Spoil Your Vote

This morning at 07:00 Paul Murphy TD was taken into custody by six members of an Garda Siochana in relation to protests that occurred three months ago in Jobstown, Tallaght.

During that protest Tanaiste Joan Burton TD and her staff were delayed and intimidated by local residents:

Allegations brought against him included false imprisonment of the Labour Party leader and a file has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Protesters from the community are beginning to appear in jails around the capital. This bully-boy strategy is the first in a creeping authoritarianism that has established itself within the main structure of our democracy.

The Executive (ie Enda Kenny, Michael Noonan, Joan Burton and Brenden Howlin) between them exert supreme power over the Irish State. Their decisions affect what we do, how much money we make, and essentially how happy we are.  They can choose whether to deprive us of our liberty or our wealth, depending on the climate of the day.

It occurred to me the other day that the truest most non-violent form of protest of all is that which involves the nullification of one’s national poll sheet.

Instead of marking my 1, 2, 3 preferences like I have done since the beginning of time, why not just spoil it with a big X across the entire sheet. Each spoiled vote is counted, as far as I’m aware, and it would send a clear message to the government that something is amiss.

The first time I considered spoiling my vote, I was 18; young, angry, stupid. It seemed a valid protest, but then I realised that without my preferences the entire system was a tiny fraction diminished and less valid.

Ahern’s Tribunal recordings stay under wraps

VIDEO FOOTAGE of former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern’s appearances at the Mahon Tribunal will remain beyond the public gaze, according to the Tribunal’s <SITE>.

The Tribunal has recently received a number of media queries relating to the use of electronic video/audio recording of evidence given by witnesses in the course of its public hearings. The purpose of this statement is to deal with such queries.
1.       Evidence at public hearings has been electronically video/audio recorded since 2002 for internal use only. Such electronic recording has proved useful on a number of occasions in correcting errors in the stenographically recorded transcripts of evidence. A number of such errors were corrected at the request of witnesses.
2.       References were occasionally made to such electronic recording in the course of the public hearings. Furthermore the camera recording the witnesses giving evidence was clearly visible at all times.
3.       These electronic recordings have never been shown or released to any third party, and will not be in the future.

Wait One More Week

Well the time has finally come :)

The Mahon Report on government corruption will be released in early March, let that be the final word on it (please Sky-Fairy please).

So how do we know? Well the judges who drafted the Report have let it be known that they will be available to hear cases in early March – in other words, they will not be working the Tribunal any more, according to Paul Cullen of the Irish Times.

Judges Mary Faherty and Gerald Keys have informed court colleagues they will not be available to sit on the Circuit Court benches next week but should be available the following week, according to legal sources.

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Report on Corruption Coming Soon

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern

A Report by the Mahon Tribunal into corrupt payments to politicians is expected to be published in the near future.

The Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan recently called for the publication of the Report which is being finalized by Judge Alan Mahon.

The Report is expected to be critical of former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, prompting the current Fianna Fail leader Michael Martin to make a statement regarding the Party’s culpability.

FIANNA FÁIL leader Micheál Martin and party officials are working on a strategy to respond to the Mahon tribunal report, especially potentially adverse findings against former taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

The party has taken the view at the highest level that the final report of the planning tribunal, chaired by Judge Alan Mahon, will be a watershed moment for the party, and particularly for Mr Martin.

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THE MAHON TRIBUNAL resumes its inquiry today of Bertie Ahern TD, who resigned as Taoiseach last May following the discovery of several unsound payments of UK sterling into his bank accounts in the mid-90s.

The Inquiry will continue its cross-examination of Mr. Ahern concerning allegations that he received bribes totalling IR£80,000 from Cork based developer Owen O’Callaghan when he was Minister for Finance in 1993 and 1994.

It is alleged that the former Taoiseach received the unethical payments in return for assisting in the rezoning and development of Quarryvale, a lucrative tract of land in west Dublin adjacent to the M4 motorway, which would eventually become the bustling Liffey Valley Centre. Continue reading