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My first Holy Communion.

A day in the young life of a devout communicant.

Me mam asked me to write a storey about me communin an send it to me uncles an say  tanks for de money so here goes

"Me Ma said that uncle Phil died peacefully when he was 75, in a place where only rich people went for medical treatment when they got ill.There was no waitin lists or queus there as long as you had plenty of money.Id was in a posh part of the city too out past Ballsbridge. By den I was grown up  and runnin di country of course.

I was very excited on the morning I made my first holy communion.All my old pals said I would get lots of money from rich uncles like uncle Phil.

Mammy told me that my cousin Charly from Kinsealy got so much money on his communion day, that he used to dress up in his communion shirt every year on the same day, after that, and do the beggin rouns again and again until di uncles got a bit fed up bein pestered and told him to f**k off. He never told nobody where he was going every year dough, and all di family taut it was funny when dey found out about it.

He never gave up dough,did cuzzin Charly. He sent his pal Des after that -in his place like-, to visit his rich uncles and Des was such a sweet and endeerin child that Mam says that he rarely left any house empty handed.

Charly was very cute dough. As me mam said, "you could let him out anywhere an heed come back with a bundle a money". The mass was a bit of a bore.The preest waffled on about how we were receevin the bodie and blood of Christ for the first time.I was only tinkin about di communin money .

We had our picture taken outside the church.Then we got di bus out to uncle Phils mansion.

Mam said to call him "Mister Monahan" because he wasnt realy my uncle aldoug he was a very kind friend to di family. Mam said he was born in a labourers cottage wid notin, an his family was very poor. He worked hard and got rich.A man named Tom Laidlaw owned lots of land near Castleknock in the sixtees she said and was always complainin about the hi taxes on rich people. He sold the land,to a sindicate or sometin.anyway Phil took over an e and went back to is ancestrel home in Scotland, cause he wasnt a proper irishman and taut that it was his dutie to pay all de taxes to de state an dat an said he was payin no more.

Uncle Phil lived in this big house on a farm called Sumerten or sometin, near Casleknock  in Lucan, and was a neighbour of another big business tycoon called Liam Lawlor.. When Uncle Phil  snuff-died- he left behind im a big company called Monark Propertees which was always buildin dese shopping centres. My mam says that dese people had less problems wid wealt and income taxes,because dey never payed any.! I asked mam whi he couldnt take is money wid im when he went to evin but mam said dat nobody need money up dere an I cudent figure dat out at all.

Anyways Uncle Phil was also in trouble wid some sillie Tribunal before e died becaas  he gave €25,000 to di Finna Fall club a charity which helps sick politicians.Some people said dat de money was not used for de noble cause of de donor but ad been trousered by tieves. Seems it should have been used to fix up de liver of a sick Fianna Fail politician called Brian Lenihan who died anyway after he got a new liver so I suppose it wud have made no difference anieway.I got lots of money from di uncles dat day di most I ever got in me life. we called on ten or eleven in all I dont remember exactly. One of dem only had one leg.He owned a big pub and mam said dat robbers shot him an he was legless after dat. Dey were all self made millionaires me mam said who ad joined Finna fall gone from rags to ritches after dat.I told mam Iwant to join dat party when I am older.Me mam put all de money in a special savins account for me educatin when I grow up an in case I get in trouble wid wild wimmin or antin like dat.

Di next dey I nearly fel of di  garden wall wen Mam said we wer goin ta Manchester in an airyplane to visit more uncles.Wen we got dere a nice man in a minibus collected us.Mam said he was alzo a propertie speculator an developer an dat an had is fingers in all kinds of tings in Ingland an Irland as well.wen we got to de hotel I cudent believe me luck.

About twentie fore distant cuzzins and frens an well wishers gadered around me and pressed wads a inglish banknotes inta me hand.I culdnt carry id all. Mam got a plastik bag an we pud all the money intu it. 

 Dats all I have to say about de day I made me first Holie Communien an de day I waz in Manchestre "

                           Your nephew Bertie.

Colourful businessman at centre of latest political storm

24 September 2006 By Richard Curran (Sunday business post)
Whatever about the surprise this week at the discovery that a group of businessmen paid the legal bill for Bertie Ahern’s marriage separation when he was Minister for Finance in 1993, there was no real shock about the identity of the only one of the group to be named in media reports.

Whatever about the surprise this week at the discovery that a group of businessmen paid the legal bill for Bertie Ahern’s marriage separation when he was Minister for Finance in 1993, there was no real shock about the identity of the only one of the group to be named in media reports.

In the boom and bust of the Celtic Tiger years, no figure encapsulated the new Irish dream more than David McKenna. As chief executive of Marlborough International, the country’s biggest recruitment firm, McKenna reinvented himself from a plumber from Tallaght to the chief executive of a publicly-quoted company and made millions in the process.

He snapped up the Marlborough recruitment business in 1992 for €7,500 and transformed it into a stock market giant worth €165million in just five years. And then, five years later, it collapsed under a mountain of debt.

An Old Trafford season ticket holder, McKenna regularly talked football with Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson. Ahern and his fundraising chief, Des Richardson, were among his close friends.

Richardson is a well-known Fianna Fail figure who, in the 1980s, used to fundraise for the party from a suite in the five-star Berkeley Court Hotel. He sat on the board of Marlborough when the company was at its height.

McKenna’s links with the Taoiseach stem from his early association with Fianna Fail while he lived in Tallaght.

He regularly enjoyed pints in Fagan’s pub in Drumcondra with Ahern and met other members of Ahern’s social circle including Fagan’s owner, Joe Burke, long-time Ahern friend Tim Collins and Dermot Carew, owner of the Beaumont House.

Burke is a former councillor and was appointed chairman of the Dublin Port Company in 2002.

Ahern’s circle is based in Drumcondra. A group of around 12 local businessmen bought St Luke’s, his constituency office, and placed it in trust for his use. But their identities have never come out.

The closeness between McKenna and Richardson was obvious to those who know them. ‘‘They were so tight together and their friendship was well cemented long before the mid-1990s when things were really taking off for Marlborough," a business colleague said.

Even though McKenna was to become a very wealthy man through the success of Marlborough, the millions only arrived after 1997 when the company was floated on the stock market. While well-off in 1993 when the payment to Ahern was made, McKenna was by no means a multimillionaire.

But he was drawn to Fianna Fail and Ahern, and all the glamour that went with it.

‘‘He was always hiring jets to fly everywhere. He would hire a jet to go anywhere there was football, particularly if Manchester United were playing," said a former associate.

Those who know him say they couldn’t figure out just why he seemed to be so pally with Ahern.

However one old friend said: ‘‘You have to understand him.

"He was the plumber from Tallaght who made millions and he desperately wanted to escape that label and not be known as the plumber from Tallaght’’.

As McKenna’s business grew, he was seen more and more often with Ahern who opened Marlborough offices in Limerick, Waterford and Dublin. He flew Ahern to a Manchester United match at Old Trafford on a private jet.

McKenna regularly took a table at Fianna Fail fundraising events and visited the White House as part of an Ahern-led Irish business delegation during the Clinton era.

McKenna’s profile also grew as did his circle of friends.

Those in his wide circle also included former Enterprise Oil executive John McGoldrick, telecoms entrepreneur Declan Ganley, whose Ganley Group had former Fianna Fail minister Maire Geoghegan-Quinn on its board, ACT venture capital executive Niall Welch and engineering mogul, Frank O’Kane.

McKenna landed the recruitment contracts for many of the big multinational firms coming to Ireland such as Intel and IBM. He did little business by way of state contracts, but ironically, the deal that seems to have contributed to Marlborough’s demise had a connection with a state body.

(Will Enterprise ireland/and the I.D.A. please come in..)

McKenna launched Fillthejob.com in 2000. It was a website aimed at matching CVs with jobs.

The company planned to invest €11.5 million in the venture.

It involved a link-up with state agency Fas, which gave Marlborough access to its jobseekers database. It should have made millions but as an idea it came too early and it never delivered on its potential.

Hostile councillors and headless chickens.

On the day our beloved Bertie made public atonement for his pecadillos on the nations airwaves, who rolls into town but ex president Clinton  who also cried out for forgiveness in public when another woman caused him some embarassment of different sorts.

The same day too the senior bosses in Aer Rianta told the Mahon Tribunal that they suspected some county councillors were being corrupted when they suddenly began rezoning lands around Dublin airport for commercial use.

Former Aer Rianta general manager Brian Byrne told the Mahon Tribunal individuals were "chancing their arm" in the context of the development plan and coming up with half-baked ideas.

He said: "Headless chicken proposals, including one to build a hotel in the middle of a red safety zone at the airport, emerged at this time. It was developer driven, it was madness and it made no sense."

He said a marked change came over the councillors in 1993 and there was hostility towards almost everything Aer Rianta was trying to do.

"We couldn't understand it. I think we were a bit naive. I assumed we were all playing for Ireland," he said. He said he did not know what was behind the hostility.

"Some of the councillors such as Cllr Joe Higgins (Ind) and Bernie Malone (Lab) would have indicated to us that there was something untoward going on in relation to other councillors but what it was we didn't know," he said.

Mr Byrne added that one expression used was that the councillors were leeches on the body of the country.

"There was something suspicious because this should have been a win-win because were the State body looking to grow commercial activity.

"We had generously invited councillors to the airport to keep them abreast of what was happening and they were hostile to our needs. I couldn't understand it," he added.

Mr Byrne said that it had been a stated policy that the council should co-operate with the airport. There was land adjacent to the airport which was zoned agricultural which the airport authorities had earmarked for expansion.

"We were running out of space and it was critical that we acquired those lands," Mr Bryne said.

Frustrated

Mr Byrne said he had made a presentation to councillors emphasising how crucial it was for the airport to expand. Although they had 2,500 acres, passenger traffic, stagnant at two to three million a year, was now increasing.

Aer Rianta were extremely frustrated at trying to deal with the councillors.

"We were now seeing councillors making representations about lands 30 miles away from where they lived."

When the councillors voted overwhelmingly to re-zone the 24 acres at Cargobridge Mr Byrne said he asked Labour councillor Sean Ryan for an explanation and Mr Ryan told him he had felt compelled to vote for the proposal as it would create 400 jobs.

A VITAL policy document which could have blocked Dublin county councillors from rezoning land at Dublin Airport was not issued in time to prevent the vote going through.

And yesterday former general manager of Aer Rianta Brian Byrne said he could only assume that the then Minister for Transport, Brian Cowen, had decided not to issue the document "for reasons best known to himself".

But former Secretary General of the Department John Loughrey said it was his judgment call to issue this document, which was not a ministerial policy document but came from the department.

Aer Rianta had asked the Department of Transport for help in trying to fight the rezoning of 24 acres at Cargobridge.

This was land which Aer Rianta felt was necessary for the continued expansion and development of airport facilities.

But although the policy document was prepared on August 8, 1993, it was not issued until October 6, 1993, six days after Dublin Co Council had voted overwhelmingly to rezone the land.

The decision by Mr Cowen to give the business consortium which owned the Cargobridge lands a right of way through the airport lands after the rezoning went through encouraged others to think that it could be considered "fair game" to acquire land near the airport and then apply political pressure and to assume that they could be successful, Mr Byrne added.

He told the Mahon Tribunal that the right-of-way decision by the minister had a devastating effect on the management at Dublin Airport.

Abandoned

They had played it straight up the line and felt they had been abandoned for reasons which they could not understand and they were not at all happy.

"Somebody decided at a very high level that this was going to happen," Mr Byrne added.

He said that Aer Rianta had a close relationship with the Dept of Transport.

The 24 acres at Cargobridge was the last parcel of land available to the airport, and that was why it was so important.

He said he did not know that lobbyist Frank Dunlop had been retained by Michael McGuinness of Neptune Freight, one of the Cargobridge consortium members, or that Mr Dunlop had been speaking to the minister about the Cargobridge consortium.

Aer Rianta had written to the Department trying to get the rezoning revoked, either by getting the Minister for the Environment to use his powers under the 1963 Planning and Development Act or by means of a judicial review.

But Mr Byrne said he did not know that Mr Cowen had decided to grant a commercial right of way across the state lands to Cargobridge.

Former Secretary General of the Department of Transport John Loughrey said that he was less than impressed with the case being made by Aer Rianta that development at the airport should be confined to them.

"My concern as accounting officer of the Department was that Aer Rianta had failed the litmus test in 1991 when they could have acquired this land by CPO [Compulsory Purchase Order] and they now they wanted the sledgehammer of ministerial direction," Mr Loughrey said.

Seems like a lot of incompetence in aer Rianta, gave Cowan an opening to appease the cronies/speculators,and even the Dept of Transport(mr Loughrey) threw in their lot with the land owners/developers in this instance.A sorry mess indeed.

Cowan was in Dunlops pocket on this one. 

Twenty questions a bishop wouldnt ask poor Bertie

1 Who are the unidentified businessmen who came together to give you money in 1993?

2 How much did they give you?

3 To what purpose was the money put?

4 Was it clearly stated at the time the money was given that it was a repayable loan?

5 Was it an interest-free loan, and if not, what was the rate of interest?

6 Was any of the money, either because an element of it was a gift or because you had the use of it for a period,liable for tax?

7 If there were any tax liabilities in respect of this money, were they discharged in the normal way at the time they arose or was the situation regularised later?

8 Were any of the people who gave/loaned the money involved in any enterprise that involved applying for planning permission, seeking tax-designated status, or anything else that might have been relevant to you as a politician in general and/or as Finance Minister in particular?

9 Did any of them ever make any representation to you on any such matter?

10 Do you still believe that no politician should be under any obligation by virtue of accepting money, as you said in 1997 at the time of the setting up of the tribunal?

11 Does the fact that the money was arranged by another individual without your direct involvement and that that individual is now dead, mean that you intend using the "dead man" defence, pioneered by Charles Haughey?

12 Do you also intend to use the "no favours asked, none given" defence, also used by Mr Haughey and others?

13 Did you pay all of the money back, or just some of it, and when did this occur. If you only paid some of it back, what is the position on the money that remains unpaid?

14 If this money or part of it was repaid in 1997, was it a coincidence that you appear to have made the repayment just before the setting up of the tribunal and your own election as Taoiseach?

15 If you have given the tribunal all the information about your separation and your legal fees and how you funded them, as you said, why are you planning to go to court to seek to prevent the tribunal verifying this information?

16 Do you agree that the payment/lending of this money to you is something which the Mahon tribunal is properly inquiring into?

17 Do you believe the details of these payments/loans were leaked to damage you by a) someone associated with the tribunal; b) someone associated with one of the businessmen who gave the money; c) political opponents in your own party; or d) political opponents in the opposition?

18 Have you given the Tanaiste a full report on the issue? Is this putting a strain on FF relations with the PDs?

19 Is this the kind of issue that under new privacy legislation, the media would be prohibited from discussing?

20 Would you accept that the whole matter of your separation and how it was handled would not be in the public arena if you had not accepted money in connection with it?

(Sunday Independent)