Seems Frank Fahy & associates was run out of Moscow some years ago when he and some of his cronies (Liam Lawlor etc?) started a chain of hairdressing salons in the soviet capital. Competition from irish TD´s and property developers was not wanted by the local russian Mafiosi who thought the Paddies had a cheek moving in on their patch.!
Frank is currently overseeing a committee which is in turn overseeing the systematic destruction of the livelihood of some 25 thousand taxi drivers in Ireland.interesting job-and he is being very well paid for his trouble..
Disclosure: list of Fahey's interests
Disclosure of interests by Minister of State at the Department of Justice, Frank Fahey, in the Register of Members' Interests lodged in the Oireachtas Library at the end of last month.(March 2006)
FAHEY, Frank (Galway West)
1. Occupational Income ...
Teacher on secondment, (still keeping the day job on hold..)Gort Community School;
Income from letting and sale of properties;
Income from property shareholding - details under land or property.
2. Shares in Vodafone(?)
3. Directorships Nil
(1) Apt 8A, 16 Eglinton Court, Galway: letting;
(2) House at Kilbeacanty, Gort: letting;
(3) Apt at Dun Aengus, New Docks, Galway: letting;
(4) House at Dun na Coirribe, Galway: letting;
(5) House at Liscannor, Co Clare: letting;
(6) House at Rinawade Close, Leixlip: letting;
(7) Shareholding in apartment at Dun Na Coirribe, Galway;
(8) House at Claregalway: letting;
(9) Shareholding in extended family owned properties at Moydrum, Athlone: letting;
(10) Shareholding 4 Apts & Shop, Lower Gerald St, Limerick: letting;
(11) Housing development land, Claregalway, construction of 10 houses: shareholding in Sage Construction Co Ltd;
(12) Mixed development land, Crowe St, Gort, 5-acre site for industrial, commercial, residential development under construction: shareholding in Sage Construction Co Ltd: dwelling house at The Grove, Crowe St;
(13) Dwelling at Dromard Tce, Sandymount, Dublin 4: shareholding;
(14) Shareholding in residential property at Starthmore Rd and Tappan St, Boston, Mass: shareholding in Fahey Higgins LLC Boston;
(15) Residential property owned in partnership at Rue Paul-Emile, Janson, 1000 & Rue Du Sceptre, 1015 Brussels;
(16) Apartment at Chancery Lane, Dublin 2;
(17) Apartment at Cathedral Place, Limerick;
(18) House and site at Villefranche, France;
(19) Deposit paid on properties at Porto De Mos, Lagos, and Mongadoha Lameira, Alcantarilha, Portugal;
(20) Apartment at Irishtown, Dublin.
Greens leader Trevor Sargent used Dáil privilege to allege the Galway West TD avoided tax and called on Bertie Ahern to sack him.
Mr Ahern suggested Mr Sargent should refer the allegations to the Standards in Public Office Commission (Sipo) or else withdraw them.
During leader's questions, the Greens leader asked: "What message do you send out to people, Taoiseach, when you have a minister like Frank Fahey, who is able to avoid tax in building up a multi-million euro property empire?"
As Ceann Comhairle Dr Rory O'Hanlon tried to intervene, Mr Sargent continued: "I'm asking about Fianna Fáil supporters, whether they be in Government or outside Government, and if the behaviour of those individuals is something that you're endorsing or standing over or recommending for others to emulate."
Amid protests from the Government benches, the Dublin North TD added: "Twenty properties in Ireland, Minister Fahey, and seven abroad, no recollection of receiving donations from Monarch Properties,& a hairdressing business in Moscow.
"I would like to ask the Taoiseach if he is standing over the minister in his own Government who is under investigation by the Ombudsman for giving 75 per cent of total state fisheries compensation to two constituents?"
As the Ceann Comhairle tried to rule the questions out of order, Mr Sargent asked: "Under your watch, Taoiseach, fortune favours the corrupt and the greedy. Are you going to sack Minister Fahey?"
Mr Ahern reiterated in his reply that the Government has ended several tax incentive schemes in the biggest overhaul of the system since the early 1960s.
The country's top earners now paid more tax than they ever did, he added.
But Mr Sargent continued: "Is he going to stand idly by while dodgy builders in the Galway tent like Mick and Tom Bailey and dodgy builders in Government like Minister Frank Fahey set the real standards in Government under this Fianna Fáil/PD Government.
"Is he going to sack Frank Fahey. Is he happy with the standards being set in Government by his minister?"
Mr Ahern replied: "Whether there are dodgy builders or legitimate builders, it is because of the laws brought in that we have now stopped them evading taxes in the past and they are now paying large sums of money.
The Taoiseach said the current Government had worked hard to introduce legislation under the Standards in Public Office Bill.
He added: "Some members in this House think it is unduly strict. There is a system for investigating members. I am not the investigator on these issues.
"I have to say to Deputy Sargent, this day, you either put up or shut up. If you have facts, give them to Sipo [the Standards in Public Office Commission]. If you haven't, come in here tomorrow and withdraw them."
New storm for Fahey
by Frank Connolly
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Emily O'Reilly, Ombudsman, is to commence a new investigation into the conduct of junior minister Frank Fahey, who is already struggling in a sea of controversy. By Frank Connolly
Emily O'Reilly, the Ombudsman, has started an investigation into the conduct of Frank Fahey when he was Minister for the Marine between 2000 and 2002.
The investigation is likely to cause further injury to Fahey's reputation, which already has suffered a series of blows from allegations of conflicts of interest.
Emily O'Reilly has sent a formal letter of complaint to the secretary general of the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources concerning the Lost at Sea compensation scheme which Frank Fahey introduced as Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources in 2000. Fahey was demoted after the 2002 general election and is now Minister of State at the Department of Justice. He is also the subject of a formal complaint under preparation by Trevor Sargent, leader of the Green Party, for the Standards in Public Office Commission. Sargent has called for the dismissal of the minister on several grounds:
• Over his introduction of the Fishing Vessel Lost at Sea scheme, which has been described by the Ombudsman as "seriously deficient and flawed".
• Over his introduction of Compulsory Acquisition Orders for the Corrib gas pipeline, which resulted in the jailing of the Rossport Five last year and, in one of his last acts as minister, the approval of a foreshore licence for Shell E&P in Co Mayo.
• Over Fahey's decision to build marinas that did not comply with the National Development Plan and which were publicly criticised by his officials in the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources.
• Over his use of departmental notepaper for party political purposes, which the Taoiseach has described as "totally inappropriate".
• Over Fahey's alleged deployment of tax-avoidance measures in the sale of properties in recent years in Gort, Co Galway.
Frank Fahey and the Lost at Sea scheme
Last year, the Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly, in an interim report, described the Lost at Sea scheme as "seriously deficient and flawed" following a complaint by Donegal-man Danny Byrne, whose father and brother drowned when their vessel sank at sea but whose family was not informed until after the closing date that an EU-funded compensation scheme had been established by Frank Fahey.
The scheme, which allowed boats lost at sea to have their capacity registered and transferred to another vessel or sold on, was introduced in 2000 following representations by two constituents of Frank Fahey: Anthony Faherty and Paddy Mullen, both of them based in the Aran Islands. It subsequently emerged that the two fishermen, who discussed the idea with Fahey four months before its introduction, obtained 75 per cent of the total compensation offered under the scheme. The Ombudsman has said the scheme was introduced without adequate explanation in writing on how it was devised. The scheme provided compensation in the form of tonnage quota to families or people who had lost fishing boats between 1980 and 1990.
She found that certain people were informed of the scheme and not others. The division of the department which drew up the scheme did not know of the sinking of the Byrne's fishing vessel, the MSV Skifjord, in October 1981. She said that the department should have consulted a list of fishing vessels lost at sea to ensure equity in the design of the scheme. People entitled to compensation should have been properly informed, she said in her report last year.
While 67 applications were made following the publication of details of the scheme in the marine press, only six resulted in compensation payments. The Byrne family, who lost their father Francis, his son Jimmy, 16, and three other crew members when the Skifjord sank off the Donegal coast in 1981, complained to the Ombudsman that they were not informed about the scheme and had their application rejected because they missed the closing date.
Although the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources is expected to defend itself from the criticisms in the latest formal complaint by the Ombudsman, the controversy is likely to drag on for several more months before the Ombudsman's final report is lodged with the Oireachtas later this year.
Frank Fahey and Corrib Gas
Fahey was also responsible in the Department of the Marine when a series of concessions were made to the developers of the Corrib gas field off the coast of Co Mayo. Fahey was lobbied heavily by Enterprise Oil executive John McGoldrick before the company and the gas field was sold on to Shell E&P Ireland Ltd. Fahey introduced the orders allowing for the compulsory acquisition of lands for the gas pipeline which contributed directly to the jailing last year of the Rossport Five, who refused to allow Shell to enforce the orders. He also granted the foreshore license to land the pipeline and the consent allowing the construction of the pipeline within 70m of people's homes. This latter consent was in breach of international pipeline safety standards and best codes of practice.
As the minister also responsible for Coillte, the national forestry service, he oversaw the sale, for an undisclosed sum, of 400 acres of land at Bellanaboy in north Mayo for a terminal where the unprocessed gas will be cleaned before entering the Bord Gais network.
In 2001, as Minister for the Marine, he also granted the petroleum licence to Shell E&P which requires the government and the taxpayer to purchase the gas at going market rates.
Frank Fahey's marina plan, smoking ban and misuse of Dáil notepaper
Trevor Sargent's complaints to the Standards in Public Office Commission, of which Emily O'Reilly as the Ombudsman is also a member, also refer to a scheme Fahey introduced while Minister for the Marine to build marinas at a number of locations across the country which did not comply with the National Development Plan at the time and were strongly opposed by his own officials.
Before his elevation to cabinet in 2000, Fahey had been criticised by the Taoiseach for the "totally inappropriate" use of Dáil headed notepaper, which he used to promote a party fundraiser.
He was also embroiled in a bitter row with the Vintners' Federation in late 2003 when he first indicated that there could be compromise over the proposed smoking ban and then rowed back. It was particularly controversial because, as Junior Minister for Labour Affairs, he was responsible for the implementation of the ban when it was introduced in March 2004.
More recently he has become embroiled in controversy concerning his alleged involvement, with his wife Ethelle, in a hair salon in Moscow in the mid-1990s in which he claims to have had no direct interest. He is on record as seeking payment for services he provided to the project.
In 2000, he failed to declare his ownership of an apartment in Florida, while just last month at the Mahon Tribunal he claimed that he had a " hazy recollection" of a payment from Monarch Properties and meetings with lobbyist Frank Dunlop, who has admitted to bribing dozens of politicians through the late 1980s and 1990s.
Frank Fahey and "Atlantic Dawn "
His role in acquiring EU support for the registration of, and transfer of tonnage to, the Atlantic Dawn – the huge trawler owned by Killybegs businessman Kevin McHugh – also placed Fahey under some unsympathetic public scrutiny.
After an intervention with the EU Commission by Fahey and the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, the Atlantic Dawn was granted permission to become part of the European fleet. The vessel, which was launched in 2000, was refused access to the fleet unless other vessels of an equivalent tonnage and engine size were taken out of service.
In 2002, Ahern and Fahey lobbied the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Commissioner, Franz Fischler, for a change of policy to allow the vessel join the fleet. As part of the deal, McHugh was forced to remove his other fishing vessel, the Veronica, from the Irish fleet and was granted tonnage worth ?60m when he was allowed to register the Atlantic Dawn. He sold the tonnage attached to the Veronica for ?40m and other fishing boat owners complained that they were forced to buy McHugh's tonnage in order to keep their vessels on the Irish register.
"Nothing of him but doth change -into something rich and strange
Sea nymphs hourly ring his knell, Ding dong bell.!"
Frank Fahey's property portfolio
While Fahey has endured more than most in terms of controversy since his political career started with his election to the Dáil in 1982, it is his multi-million euro property portfolio which, arguably, has attracted the most negative political attention.
In his most recent disclosure in the Register of Members Interests lodged in the Oireachtas library, Fahey lists no less than 20 properties, including houses in Galway, Limerick, Dublin, Westmeath, Boston, Brussels, France and Portugal (see panel page 19). He is also the director of two property companies, Sage Construction, on whose board his wife Ethelle also serves, and Boston-based Fahey-Higgins LLC .
In 2000 it emerged that his name was on the title deeds of an apartment in Daytona, Florida which had not been noted on the Dáil register of interests – an omission which Fahey promptly corrected. The most recent criticism in the Dáil, during which Trevor Sargent described the junior minister as a "dodgy builder", arose from Fahey's involvement in Sage Construction, which has built houses in his home-town of Gort and in Claregalway, Co Galway.
EITHER Frank Fahey or the Oireachtas Committee of Public Accounts (PAC) should go!. If we take Government seriously (and PAC's report last week makes you wonder), then the Minister of State at the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform cannot stay in office when he has rejected the basis of PAC's report.
Fahey in fact "completely refuted" PAC, which last week painted a clear picture of ministerial favouritism, inequality and the spending of public money without rigorous checking. The Taoiseach must either back the committee and sack Fahey, or make a mockery of political accountability. This is one circle that cannot be squared.
The PAC committee has taken seven years to catch up on the mess that was the Marine Tourism Grant Scheme. Even now, it adopts a coy tone by failing to name the then Minister for the Marine, Frank Fahey, or even identify his office. You have to do some digging to find out exactly what they are talking about.
And PAC's recommendations are still quite anodyne. It is only because the facts in its report speak so loudly that it is shocking to read.
We are not talking about the Haughey era, or about some distant land deals in south Dublin. We are talking about the disposal of public money on ministerial say-so, in a way that was permitted by regulations but that undermined normal procedures.
No fewer than 60 applicants applied for money under the marine tourism grants scheme that was developed from the year 2000. Fifteen of these applicants (just one in four) were then ranked. But in 2002 the Department had to abandon the scheme because of lack of funding. Only four projects were told they were getting cash, and none of these got it in the normal way.
The four got it because Minister for the Marine Fahey said so. One was in his own constituency, and two were in the constituency of Jackie Healy Rae whom the Government was then trying to sweeten politically. Fahey made a decision on viability, says PAC, "despite the reservations of officials".
The minister was able to act as he did because of a let-out in how the scheme was structured. It is the way that government in Ireland tends to work now. Plenty of modern-sounding talk of transparency, but a sneaky clause in the small print. And the small print on this occasion was in certain guidelines issued by Finance for the appraisal and management of capital expenditure in the public sector.
Those guidelines negated themselves by allowing that "nothing in the guidelines precludes Ministers from deciding to approve projects independent of the detailed application of these guidelines". PAC found that, "In this instance political direction was given in relation to the projects at the locations listed above."
It is hard to read the PAC report without one's blood boiling. Under the scheme proper, "successful projects would have undergone a searching, competitive process, based on a clear rationale for State assistance". In reality, the criteria for selection of the four projects picked by the minister "were not communicated to the Department's officials".
The usual selection process was meant to require fully developed proposals, including relevant planning permission and a foreshore lease or licence (thus allowing for comparative ranking). In reality, says PAC, "Virtually no relevant information on the viability or tourism value of the projects was made available to the Department at the time assistance was announced" for the four projects. No support from public monies was meant to be made to promoters under the competitive scheme until and unless they had been identified as successful following "searching evaluation".
In reality, "Commitments were made to those four projects when only incomplete information on them was available."
The selection, evaluation and decision-making processes were (not surprisingly) meant to be "objective and independent". However, says PAC, "The four projects were subject to very close interest and ministerial direction at all stages of the management process."
It is woeful stuff. Frank Fahey later moved on from the Department but he brazenly defended his actions last week by claiming that local communities had benefited. He was unapologetic to the 56 other applicants who got nothing and who were not favoured by his intervention.
In another very Irish twist, it transpired that Department officials were told to "retro-fit" some of the selection criteria to projects that had effectively already been selected, even thought little was known of them at the time of selection. Developers played along. For example, PAC found that the Kenmare developer submitted a copy of their planning approval "but did not state they had not built in accordance with what had been approved!"
Another developer has received a remarkable 83 per cent grant, even though the maximum was supposed to be 50 per cent. In Roundstone, more than three years passed after the initial commitment by Fahey to finance the project before a business plan was even sent to his Department! PAC was highly skeptical of Fahey's argument that the grants ultimately created a public good, suspecting that gains were largely in the private sector.
PERHAPS most shocking of all, for those interested in equality and justice, is that the Attorney General of Ireland advised that necessary EU approval which had been secured for the scheme in general specifically "did not extend to the four projects selected outside the scheme". Yet Fahey felt entitled to direct public money towards those projects.
Fahey claimed on the radio last week that the Government wanted particular projects funded, and had provided the cash. Why then even pretend that they were being funded under a transparent and supposedly competitive scheme? The PAC reportprovides him with no comfort.
But nor does it name him, or suggest that any consequences should attach to him politically or financially. Instead, its recommendations are almost laughable insofar as they call for measures one might have hoped would be in place long ago. After all those tribunals, after all the scandals, how come members of the Oireachtas still need to ask ministers and civil servants to "ensure that the principles underlying the Guidelines for the Appraisal and Management of Capital Expenditure Proposals in the Public Sector are applied to all capital projects undertaken by the State"?
And to ask that, "as the guidelines represent best practice they should only be set aside for formally stated reasons"? That "independent certification that planning conditions have been complied with should be obtained before grant aid is paid"? And that, "Conditions set out in scheme approvals needto be followed up to ensure compliance"?
Such procedures are the basis of any open and fair democracy, and a protection against the abuse of public money. But, still in Ireland, individual ministers want the freedom to make personal decisions despite the reservations of officials, and such personal decisions often have a narrow political dimension. And ministers, it seems, are free to "refute" the basis on which the Oireachtas proceeds without consequences for their jobs. (Sunday Business Post)
MAEVE SHEEHAN (sunday Independent)
THE councillor sentenced to jail last week(March 2007) for conning Galway County Council into paying for a mile of fencing on his farm has been besieged by curious onlookers.
Supporters of Michael "the Stroke" Fahy, say that his remote farm in Ardrahan, Co Galway, has become a tourist attraction with dozens of visitors making the pilgrimage to view the contentious fencing that resulted in his conviction for theft and fraud.
The 56-year-old bachelor farmer, who lives with his 97-year-old mother, was fined €75,000 and sentenced to a year in jail last week by a judge who depicted him as a "determined fraudster" and noted his "bombast, bluster and bluff".
Cllr Fahy has told friends that he may now have to sell the land - one field of which is worth €3.8m - to pay legal bills estimated at €250,000. He is refusing to accept the jury's verdict and is due in the Court of Criminal Appeal tomorrow to begin legal proceedings to have his conviction overturned.
Cllr Fahy was given until April 3 to make arrangements for the care of his elderly mother and to wind up his council work before starting his jail sentence.
"He said while there is blood running in his veins, he will try and have his mother cared for in her own home," said one friend. "He is going to continue his work as a councillor for as long as he can."
Cllr Fahy denied seven counts of theft, fraud and false accounting during a five-day trial. In sentencing him last week, Judge Raymond Groarke said that the jury had refused to believe his "fiction".
During his trial, it emerged that Cllr Fahy had organised for a mile of fencing to be erected on his land and charged Galway County Council for it, claiming that it was carried out for the benefit of the local community. The county council paid £7,055 for the work.
But the trickery didn't stop there. The court heard that Fahy had also submitted to the council two false invoices purporting to be from the fencing company, for €7,233 and €7,523, described in court as an attempt to line his own pockets.
When the fraud was rumbled in 2004, Fahy attempted to cast the blame on a council official. He paid back €7,000 to the council and €3,000 to a local Lourdes charity in an attempt to settle the affair. The council referred it to the gardai.
Judge Raymond Groarke scathingly denounced Fahy when delivering his sentence last week, describing him as a "determined fraudster" whose evidence was a fiction. He could pay his way with no difficulty but chose to do so by dishonest means, said the Judge. Not only that, but he had tried to implicate an innocent businessman and council officials in the fraud.
"You gambled with the reputations of honest men in seeking an escape from the consequences of your delinquency," he said.