Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Political World

Vote of confidence in Perry is a sure sign of the high jump!

Published

on

I will be surprised if John Perry is still a Minister of State when the Dáil resumes on September 18.

 

While all the public pronouncements of Government Ministers – including Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore – have pledged unstinting support, the tide has definitely turned against him.

Ministerial colleagues say privately that things don’t look too well for him… the controversy surrounding his personal debts are beginning to look like a “running sore” as one put it.

It’s like the chairman of an English Premier League club releasing a statement saying he has full confidence in the manager. Once that is issued, you be sure that as sure as night follows day that the manager is a goner.

Perry’s difficulty is that the crisis he has found himself in just can’t be explained away… well not in an easy way at the least. He obviously over-invested during the boom years and now the chickens are coming home to roost.

The reasons he got so much support when the judgement in favour of Danske Bank emerged was that he was not alone in his predicament. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of small to medium business people like Perry who expanded too much during the good years, over extended themselves, but are now paying the price.

That outpouring of sympathy from colleagues, including virtually all ministers, was in response to that. “It seemed like a plain vanilla business failure when first reported. Admittedly, more had come out since then which I didn’t know about,” said a minister to me in a text.

The first was that Perry owed the taxman a lot of money (€125,000) when he became Minister and it took a while (including a loan from a bank) for him to resolve that situation. So the first bit of explaining he will have to do is when and how he got a clean bill of health form the tax authorities and to ensure the public that he has no current issue with the Revenue Commissioners. He will have a bit of clarifying to do on that front.

Secondly, if Perry was Minister of State for, say, Housing, he would have no difficulties whatsoever. But he was Minister of State for Small Business. If you were to do a Venn diagram depicting Perry’s ministerial and business interests there would be a considerable overlap.

Back in April Perry as Minister was calling in the chief executives of Bank of Ireland and AIB, essentially asking them to explain their positions and policies on small and medium business, including those with distressed loans.

The Court papers showed that at around the same time Perry was telling Danske Bank that he knew Richie Boucher personally and was talking to the AIB at a senior level.

You can talk until the cows come home about Chinese walls but it gives rise to a perception of conflicts of interest. The court documents also show that Perry has other substantial loans.

All of this needs explaining and a lot of it. And once you get to that level of explanation you are in real difficulty – especially when your personal and ministerial interests are so intertwined – was he speaking to the head of the bank as a junior minister or as an individual seeking a loan or a rescheduling of debt?

This is an edited version of Harry McGee’s column. For the full version see this week’s Tribune here

Connacht Tribune

Sinn Féin will discover power brings evolution not revolution

Published

on

Taoiseach in waiting?...Mary Lou McDonald with Galway West TD Mairead Farrell on the streets of Galway.

World of Politics with Harry McGee

Sinn Féin is not like any other party; even when it enjoyed only a fraction of the support of the SDLP it was still attracting the attention of the world media. During the 1980s and 1990s, just about the only Irish political figure American political journalists could name was Gerry Adams.

There was something about Sinn Féin that set it apart – that smell of cordite was catnip for the media.

So the party is viewed through a different lens than, say, the Labour Party, or the Social Democrats, or even the Greens. It carries original sin in the eyes of a portion of the electorate (generally older) who see its association with violence (which included many egregious murders and massacres) as unforgivable for all time.

For others, the passage of time has taken some of the sharp edges away. For the rest, specifically those born after the 1994 ceasefire, that is just not relevant to their lives. For some of those who remember those years, that attitude of younger voters is hard to stomach. But that’s the reality of how things stand just now.

I was always taken by the phrase of the late historian Ronan Farren that the birth certificates of all nations are blood-soaked. The fact of the matter is that Sinn Féin has been in from the cold for 25 years almost, accepting that it would strive to achieve its goals by exclusively peaceful and democratic means.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Áras an Uachtaráin and the constitutional ties that bind

Published

on

Making headlines... President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina during their visit to the Galway 1916 Exhibition in the former Connacht Tribune Print Works on Market Street.

World of Politics with Harry McGee

Those who become President of Ireland are, metaphorically, provided with a silken gag; for the seven years they reside in Áras an Uachtaráin, they are supposed to keep their opinions and personal political persuasions to themselves.

The relevant Article in the Constitution sets out this rule: “No power or function conferred on the President by law shall be exercisable or performable by him save only on the advice of the Government.”

The President is not allowed to leave the State without first receiving the advice (i.e. the permission) of the Government. Theoretically, every speech they make needs to be run by the government first.

The President is said to be “above politics”. That meant they are not subject to any criticism from parliament or from the government. The other side of the coin is that it is expected the President will not wander into the political forum.

For most of the time since the office of the President was established in 1937, these rules have caused no major problems. With one exception.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Trimble leaves a legacy of peace to be proud of

Published

on

David Trimble...lasting legacy.

World of Politics with Harry McGee

The death of David Trimble brought back memories of the time he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize almost a quarter of a century ago, along with John Hume, for their efforts in securing the historic Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

It could be argued that others should have been also on the plane to Oslo that winter, namely Bertie Ahern and Tony Blair.

Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness also played an important role by steering the hard men of the IRA on a path that saw them end their campaign of violence and accept a political solution achieved by solely democratic means.

Of course, it would have been a blatant contradiction to award a peace prize to Adams and McGuinness given their instrumental roles in a republican movement that prosecuted a ruthless armed strategy for almost 30 years right up to that time. The Damascene conversion in 1998 did not erase what had gone before.

Certainly, Hume and those around him from the SDLP – particularly Séamus Mallon – deserved all the praise they got for their selfless pursuit of a political pathway and their brave eschewal of all forms of violence as they grappled with the unique set of circumstances of Northern Ireland.

That said, Trimble showed a huge degree of personal courage and resilience in facing down his critics and enemies – and there were many loud and bitter voices condemning him on the unionist side – and persevering with the talks that culminated with the historic agreement in Hillsborough Castle on that Good Friday in early April in 1998.

But it would have been unimaginable for him to be in that position three years before hand or even three years afterwards when the UUP began imploding around him. The important thing was that he stayed the course during that crucial period.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending