end corruption,stroke politics, & incompetent administration

" Nowhere so busy a man as he than he, and yet he seemed busier than he was. "

Sligo-based solicitor Damien Tansey has been granted various orders by the High Court which effectively terminate the operation of the website

Mr Justice Michael Peart yesterday urged the Government to introduce legislation making it a criminal offence to post “patently untrue” allegations on the internet about any person.

The internet has facilitated an “easy, inexpensive and instant” means of allowing “unscrupulous persons or ill-motivated malcontents” to vent their anger and grievances against people where their allegations are patently untrue, unreasonable and unjustified”, Mr Justice Peart said.

Such postings can cause “serious distress” to adults and children and, in some “extreme cases”, such damage could “lead to suicide”.

He made the remarks when granting Mr Tansey orders against the website.

Mr Tansey, represented by barrister Richard Humphreys SC, brought defamation proceedings against John Gill and Ann Vogelaar arising from comments posted about him. It was claimed the two defendants were running and operating the site as well as the internet services provider hosting the website. Mr Gill and Ms Vogelaar denied the claims.

In his ruling, Mr Justice Peart said he would grant mandatory injunctions, pending the full hearing of the action, against Mr Gill, Drumline, Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co Clare, and Ms Vogelaar, Parklands, Westport, Co Mayo, requiring them to terminate the operation of the website.

According to The Irish Times, the defendants were also ordered to remove material posted about Mr Tansey on the website and to refrain from publishing further defamatory material about him. They must also deliver up the names and addresses of all those involved in the posting of defamatory material, plus details about those who operated the site.

Mr Tansey obtained similar orders against Dotster, a US-based firm which he alleged provides internet services to those hosting the website. In the absence of any defence put forward by Dotster, Mr Justice Peart granted judgment against it in favour of Mr Tansey. The level of damages awarded to Mr Tansey is to be assessed later.

The judge said he was “entirely satisfied” the material complained about was “seriously defamatory” of Mr Tansey.

He was also satisfied any defence Mr Gill wished to put forward at trial had no reasonable prospect of succeeding.

Mr Tansey, a partner in the firm Callan Tansey Solicitors, based at The Law Chambers on Sligo's Wine Street, said the rate-your-solicitor website has since 2007 published material on the site which wrongly meant he had committed criminal acts, engaged in dishonest appropriation of client’s property, lied to clients, engaged in corrupt conduct, engaged in unprofessional conduct, and failed to act in accordance with the highest standards.

As a result of the publication his character, reputation and business have been “greatly injured”.

Mr Justice Peart noted Mr Gill had made extensive complaints against Mr Tansey and other solicitors. A member of a group described as Victims of the Legal Profession, Mr Gill had asked Mr Tansey in March 2001 to act for him in an action against other solicitors and believed Mr Tansey had agreed to take on his case. Shortly afterwards Mr Tansey’s firm informed Mr Gill it could not assist him and Mr Gill believed Mr Tansey had breached an undertaking to represent him, the judge said.

No matter how genuinely Mr Gill believes he and others have been let down by solicitors, Mr Gill’s plea of justification at any trial had no prospect of success as the evidence put forward by Mr Gill was “nowhere near substantiating any wrongdoing of the nature alleged”. Mr Gill must address any grievances he might have with lawyers by the various means available, including a complaint to the Law Society or the Garda, the judge said. Mr Gill and others were not entitled to “take the law into their own hands” by publishing defamatory accusations.

The judge noted Ms Vogelaar had said she was a volunteer for the website who answers questions sent to the site’s email address. She had said she has nothing to do with the process of posting comments on the website, and does not run, control or organise the website, he added.

In calling for legislation, the judge said, as a result of the internet: “Anything can be said publicly about a person or any aspect of their life with relative impunity, and anonymously where reputations can be instantly and permanently damaged.”

He said, “so serious is the mischief” on the internet that he believed the Oireachtas “should be asked to consider the creation of an appropriate offence under criminal law, with a penalty upon conviction, to act as a real deterrent to the perpetrator”.
One comment:
For years the dogs on the street have been begging for the government to regulate these overpaid clowns in gowns, but all we get is the billionaire bill from Germany. Ireland would be safer tucked under the british crown than having to endure this paddy the irish way of doing things here. 
In all the fraudulent solicitors and judges to ever come before the Courts not one judge has recommended the law to be changed but just one website and they bring out their best artillery.

Mr Tepper.


20 years exposing cronyism and corruption in Irish politics.

Welcome to our website. Many of the topics and stories covered and still recorded here are now ancient history. We set out to expose the corruption and cronyism twenty years ago, but the country was entering a boom era and nobody wanted to know. The Ponzi property racket, aided and abetted by tax breaks for wealthy builders, highly paid businessmen, and investors alike, was beginning to kick off in earnest.Today the greed of politicians and their followers is-at last- being exposed in the media,but only because ordinary people are on their knees and suffering more and more cutbacks and new stealth taxes to pay for the criminality of the wealthy and well connected oligarchy who still control our society.

Frank Daly and NAMA have a choice to make-supping with a long spoon and the Bailey Brothers is not the right one!

"While it's already been reported that the absence of support from Nama would see the Baileys' businesses in Ireland and the UK facing the threat of collapse, there's nothing to prevent the agency from continuing to finance Bovale's activities without Tom and Mick at the helm."

Eddie Hobbs addresses the nation in response to recent "spin" and untruths from Enda Kenny.

"Despite the fact that Ireland has one of the fastest greying public sectors in the OECD with a mean age of about 44. We are now approaching the crossover point where the total annual pension payouts exceed the total annual income tax take from the public sector payroll."

Here's the top 10 home truths;(from Eddie Hobbs)

1. We began this crisis with the national debt at 25 per cent of our GDP. To get back to where we started would take 33 years of growth at 5 per cent per year if the debt remains at present levels. Next year we hope to do about 2 per cent but Ireland's GDP would need to exceed Holland's to get back our 2007 balance sheet such is the scale of a burst that none of the coalition parties anticipated in framing our own expansionary 2007 election manifestos.

2. Ireland's 10-year bond yields, an indicator of our borrowing capacity, has fallen to 3.4 per cent or thereabouts compared with Germany's 1.8 per cent and is a cause for cheer but we now swap Troika bankers for the iron discipline of market analysis which will examine our budgets line-by-line because, at debt to GDP of 124 per cent, we join Cyprus and Italy as among Europe's most leveraged economies, twice the eurozone's target level.

3. Let's remind ourselves of the headline numbers. The national debt crouching past €200bn has long since outrun the economy valued at about €165bn, but that's not the full load carried by Ireland's 1.9 million taxpayers. Private debt, although declining, is running about €160bn and non-financial corporates, indigenous Irish businesses mostly, are servicing another €170bn or thereabouts. That's €530bn. Just take an average long-term interest rate of 3 per cent on that baby and it absorbs one euro in every eight of our current GNP.

4. In my game, it's all about the pension, which is worth about 20 times our final salary, making it the biggest asset on the balance sheet of a +55-year-old establishment insider. It's little understood. Look at it this way. A decade before the bubble burst, the total of all public sector pension liabilities was about €20bn but as the payroll doubled, the liabilities grew fivefold and like the ESB, we'd rather keep as much as possible off the books, as if it didn't exist.

But this debt, last valued at €116bn four years ago, is about 25 times bigger than the ESB's. The accounting rules upon which the ESB workers' strike threat was based are there to protect workers by forcing employers to alert them if schemes are at risk of insolvency. But unlike the ESB, we don't have assets any longer backing the pension debt, and neither do we report the numbers annually, despite the fact that Ireland has one of the fastest greying public sectors in the OECD with a mean age of about 44. We are now approaching the crossover point where the total annual pension payouts exceed the total annual income tax take from the public sector payroll.

5. Thankfully, the other off-balance-sheet debt isn't as imminent as public sector pensions, but it's just as real. This is the deficit in the Social Insurance Fund whose principal task will be to pay old age pensions. The mounting gap between PRSI contributions and payouts is €324bn over the next 50 years, with €20bn of that shortfall hitting over the next eight years. The strategy for dealing with all this debt is to light votive candles.

6. Our prime objective in running the economy is to transfer as much as possible from the outsiders to the insiders and despite the economy carrying a total long-term debt load of a trillion euro, that's six times our GDP, insider power has emerged from the bailout even stronger. The upside-down pay premium for public sector employment, even after the pay cuts, is well ahead of the private sector and, when it comes to pensions, it's bordering on apartheid.

We've also managed to keep our entitlements vastly in excess of equivalent eurozone members like Finland which is of similar size and mix. At the apex of the pyramid, for example, President Michael D Higgins, who enjoys four pensions, is paid about 50 per cent more than the Finnish president but so too are our older teachers. Finland's education system, widely regarded as the best in Europe, pays nearly €20k a year less at the top of the pay scale.

7. A thousand private sector jobs a week were added to the economy over the past year. Since no permanent public sector contracts were lost during the crisis, joblessness ought, at least in Ireland, to be reported as a percentage of the private workforce only -- but we'll continue with the fiction that all are at risk.

8. A big thank you for allowing us to expropriate €2bn from private pension pots even though these average seven times less than the public sector equivalent. This honey pot remains a soft target thanks to threatening trustees with daily fines of €380 and APR of 8 per cent for any delay in handing over the cash. We ring-fenced highly paid insiders from punishing rates of tax on fat cat pensions by under-pricing the value of our own pensions by 50 per cent but giving no such discount to outsiders.

9. I'd like to tell you that the eurozone banking crisis is over, but it's not. Which cross-border banking behemoths of systemic importance becomes the next casualty is unknown but what is clear is that, before ESM funds are deployed, depositor bail-ins are now a centrepiece of EU policy after Cyprus. Where the sovereign itself is borderline insolvent, deposit guarantee schemes may be breached so don't keep too much money in any one bank.

10. Globally, politicians are promulgating the soft landing theory, that we're entering a decade of inflation-free economic growth, low borrowing rates and a gradual repair of excessive debt. We need to prepare, however, for other, more turbulent, outcomes from money-printing operations unprecedented in economic history and as evidenced by the dramatic expansion in central bank balance sheets from Tokyo to London. Policymakers may have painted themselves into a corner by adding more debt to already dangerously high levels. Nobody knows what happens to servicing this debt mountain if interest rates rise in response to inflation caused by excessive money supply. The alternative outcome is a collapse in confidence in the bond market generally but whatever the outcome, you can rest assured we've learned how to handle an existential crisis.

Will we generate sufficient economic thrust to break out of this dangerous debt orbit? Much depends on the updraft from the global economy but one way or the other, in the division of scarce resources, you can enjoy your Christmas turkey safe in the knowledge that we'll continue to put ourselves first and everyone else second. So I want to thank you for all your efforts and sacrifices to make Ireland the best little country in the world in which to do business -- and the easiest for insiders to plunder the spoils.

Irish Independent

Corrupt gardai cancel penalty points for a golden circle of top businessmen and judges.Whistleblower is relentlessly pursued by the culprits.

Listen here:

Toxic fish on sale in your nearest supermarket this Christmas.


LICE from farmed fish KILL wild SALMON: ‘Recent peer reviewed international scientific literature on the impacts of sea lice on salmonids show them to have devastating effects on wild salmon, accounting for up to 39% of salmon mortalities.’ [Inland Fisheries Ireland]

ESCAPES from fish farms alter wild salmon GENETICS: ‘Interaction of farm with wild salmon results in lowered fitness, with repeated escapes causing cumulative fitness depression and potentially an extinction vortex in vulnerable populations.’ [Proceedings of the Royal Society B]

FARMED SALMON DAMAGE YOUR HEALTH: For farmed salmon from northern Europe, consumption should be limited to no more than one meal every 5 months in order to not exceed an elevated risk of cancer of more than 1 in 100,000. [USA EPA]

SALMON FARMS HURT TOURISM: One salmon caught in an Irish river is worth €423 to the local economy. Angling is worth €230m annually to the national economy. [Hotel Federation of Ireland/Inland Fisheries Ireland]

UNDER ORGANIC STANDARDS: the following chemicals and medicines may be used on caged salmon and so this product may contain traces of: Alphaject 3000, Norvax Compact 4 and Compact PD, Cypermethrine, Emamectin benzoate, Deltamethrine, Tricane meselate, Oxytetravcyclin, Bronopol, formaldehyde, and chloramine, the artificial anti oxidant ethoxyquin [EQ], and has been shown to have absorbed from the environment dioxins, PCBs, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and pesticides, including toxaphene and dieldrin.

Labour/Fine Gael want no questions.Freedom of Information clampdown legislated.

Department of Public Expenditure & Reform plays fast and loose with the facts on FOI

The lead Department for FOI in Ireland, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has issued a press statement outlining its position on the late-stage amendments to the FOI Bill. Unfortunately we don’t get an explanation of why many additions came so late in the process. Indeed, we don’t get much of anything besides some bullet points.

But one bullet point in particular on the fees issue struck us as a bit nonsensical. The Department said:

- FOI fees are an accepted feature of FOI legislation in several OECD countries -international best practice standards acknowledge the principle that countries can choose to levy a contribution towards the cost of providing FOI.

Really? That’s the first we’ve heard of it. Maybe the Department is talking about the concept of fees generally, and not the concept of upfront FOI fees that Ireland specialises in? Some countries do charge for the process of searching for and retrieving information. But only Ireland, Canada and Israel charge upfront for requests.

But citing “OECD members” struck us as odd too. According to the Department’s own website the OECD recommended that Ireland abolish upfront FOI fees in a 2008 Public Management Review. The report says:

The Freedom of Information (Amendment) Act of 2003 introduced up-front fees for requests and appeals (there are no charges for requests in relation to personal information) which seems to have reduced the number of information requests and which has de facto limited the impact of the original Act. In the interest of social cohesion and trust in government, greater efficiency and the fight against corruption and greater transparency should be an ongoing objective even if it can sometimes be uncomfortable and/or costly. The government should reduce barriers to public information by making all requests under the Freedom of Information Act 1997 free and extend its reach to a wider range of state agencies, such as Vocational Education Committees (VECs). While user charges may limit frivolous requests (and therefore reduce burdens on the Public Service), they also serve as a disincentive to greater openness.

But the OECD is not the first international group to recommend the abolition of fees. The Council of Europe (CoE) through the Group of States against corruption (GRECO) recommended in its 2008 compliance report on Ireland (and not for the first time) consider abolishing upfront fees. Money quote:

With the adoption of the Freedom of Information Act and the connected modernisation process of public administration the Irish authorities provided for a more transparent administration and these moves were accordingly considered important by GRECO, as indicated in the Evaluation Report. However, the introduction of “up-front fees” in 2003 goes in the opposite direction…. GRECO very much regrets that the authorities have not come to a conclusion to abolish the “up front fees” and that it appears that the opinion of the Information Commissioner – who is responsible for keeping the Freedom of Information Act under review – has not been adhered to.

Does the “international best practice” argument hold water? Quite simply, no. In fact the Department has itself been told by international organisations that we’re out of line with the norm.

Last week it was agreed that Israel is reducing its fees, meaning that Ireland will have the glory of having the most expensive FOI regime in the world. Of course Ireland is in a very small group of 3 countries (Canada being the other) out of nearly 100 countries that charges citizens upfront for FOI requests.

International best practice – you’re having a laugh.

It’s Not the Money, It’s the Principle

We’d like to welcome Rodney Breen with a guest post for

In all the kerfuffle about the watering down of FOI, not many people have asked the simple but obvious question: why?

Actually, I think we all suspect we know why: the government doesn’t want people asking so many questions. But could there be an other, more reasonable explanation?

If there is they’re struggling to explain what it is. The government press release cited by Gavin here explains that “For FOI to work effectively each issue should be treated separately but some requests raise a number of unrelated issues within a single request.”

This is true, but not a problem. I’ve been an FOI officer. You get different questions in the same request, you send each one to the relevant person: you simply treat them as different requests. This is a simple administrative process. Approaching this with legislation would be insane.

The Department press release explains, “It is undermining of the fee per issue principle that several unrelated matters can be asked by way of a single request.”

This is interesting. The history of the fee per issue principle seems to go back to November 11, 2013, the day the press release was released. A Google search for the term produces just 4 results, all from yesterday. Nobody has ever mentioned it before, at any time, anywhere. It has no previous existence.

However, without having consulted anybody else, the Department has decided that the fee per issue principle is a thing, and a principle worth fighting for, in the name of the Law.

So what is this “fee per issue principle”? Well, obviously that anyone who asks for information on an issue should not get it for free. If you think about it, it makes sense. If you pay a fee for a request on an issue, and add a couple of questions about other issues, you are effectively getting the answers to those for free. And apparently this is a bad thing. But why?

I suppose you could argue that it’s unfair. If Paddy submits an FOI request about Education Policy, and adds a question about school closures, it’s unfair to Mary, whose FOI about school closures is costing her €15 while Paddy gets his for nothing.

If that’s what they’re thinking of, I am quite happy to say, on Mary’s behalf, and on behalf of all of us, “no, really, it’s fine. Let Paddy have his question, we’re not bothered.’

But I don’t think that’s the reason. Because, obviously, it would be completely stupid.

What else? The press release says “it is reasonable to require a small contribution to be made to the cost of information retrieval.” But this makes no sense, because there is a separate charge for retrieving the information.

What does this leave us with? It’s not a charge for retrieval, it’s not unfair, and the amount of money it brings in will be tiny. If it means, say, 200 extra FOI fees a year, that would bring in €3000. Putting the amendments in the legislation has probably cost ten times that. That would be a shocking waste of public money.

The best rational explanation is the Government simply really does want fewer questions asked. They haven’t made any attempt to conceal the fact that they see that as a desirable outcome. But it’s just possible that someone in government really does think that the fee per issue principle is worth defending even though it will cost far more than it could possibly raise.

“It’s not the money, it’s the principle”.

If that’s the sort of thinking that governs in Ireland, we have never needed FOI more than today.


Time to give Direct Democracy a look over.?

Post submitted by Noel Gallagher

If our governments lie to us to attain office, is it any surprise that they continue to lie to us when they are in office? More worryingly, are we naive enough to believe them? We have been told many times that the worst is over, we have turned the corner etc. The bold Michael Noonan, alleged darling of the Bilderberg Group, quoting W.B. Yeats during his budget speech – “too long a sacrifice can make a stone of the heart”……. before he then buried the knife again in the most vulnerable.

Indeed many of the hidden blows of this budget have yet to be revealed. No one can take €2,500,000,000 out of a budget that has been already pruned almost to death, without causing extreme suffering to many – prepare over the coming months to feel the brunt of many of these still hidden cuts and charges.

Now after all these years of “ Austerity Measures” (for some at least) we must surely be getting somewhere. This oft promised “light at the end of the tunnel” must surely be coming into view…… well where can we look for the answer?

Our government claim to be creating 3,000 jobs per month. Let’s have a look at some of these jobs. They have claimed, for example, that there will be 2,000 jobs created installing water meters. So they choose to make a virtue out of introducing another tax to pay the bondholders. Let us leave that for the moment and look at the jobs, which incidentally will obviously be temporary by definition.

More importantly, this week an advertisement appeared in a Donegal newspaper seeking water meter installers under THE JOBBRIDGE SCHEME!!! A princely €50 on top of your dole and you can gain “valuable experience” as a water meter installer. What you do with this valuable experience, gained while earning slave wages, when the metering is complete is a good question.

On another occasion, our national broadcaster, or more accurately – the subservient mouthpiece of our current regime – announced the welcome arrival of a pharmaceutical company to our shores in the following exact words “ three hundred jobs will be created during the construction phase, with a FURTHER one hundred and fifty jobs on completion” I don’t think I am being unreasonable to suggest that there is such an obvious flaw in the above sentence, that reporting it thus, was designed to mislead the gullible listener. These and other methods are being used to twist the real unemployment figures, and lie to the electorate.

The real answer lies in the bottom line. What do we owe now, what did we owe 1,2,3,4,5 years ago, and what will we owe next year. The following are the actual figures ofGeneral Government Debt from the Central Statistics Office, and National Treasury Management Agency.

2007 €47,200,000,000

2008 €79.600,000,000

2009 €105,500,000,000

2010 €144,200,000,000

2011 €169,200,000,000

2012 €192,500,000,000 (192 Billion)

The projection for the end of this year is €205,900,000,000. DOES THIS LOOK LIKE WE HAVE TURNED A CORNER??

There is also the small matter of the Pension Reserve Fund, which was accumulated during the boom years and which at one time contained €28,000,000,000. This has mostly been handed over to the banking sector under orders from the Troika, and this will come back to haunt us in the years to come as our population ages. But when our Governments have such a track record in kicking cans down the road, they will worry about that later. Perhaps the shambles they have made of the health service is a ploy to reverse the trend of longer life expectancy. Well they have been poisoning our water for decades….

Meanwhile, the assets of the country are being sold off, or being readied for sale, from under the Irish people by our treacherous government, without making the slightest dent in our national debt. This was surely the endgame in a designed cycle of deliberate boom followed by bust, and the subsequent enslavement through debt of the Irish people, along with the overnight evaporation of 100 years of hard won workers rights.

What threats and inducements are made to new governments to get them to change their stated policies fully 180 degrees once in office? The time has come for people to make a stand against the austerity parties. These debts are unserviceable. They may also be odious under international law, being wrongly foisted on the people by a regime not working in the interests of the people they were elected to represent. Have we to wait until everything is gone to realise this? It is time to get behind DDI and reclaim our country for this and future generations.


All 166 TDs and 60 Senators received this inquiry by email. Less than a handful replied. The most detailed of replies coming from a Labour TD who insisted all the indicators were for recovery and the budget was a good business budget. Also that they continue to hold out the begging bowl to the ESM. Sticking to the script I suppose, can't expect anything other than that.


Many good points have been raised here, most notably the level of utterly unsustainable debt which continues to rise into the future. The figures are never mentioned when the recovery rhetoric is blasted through our radios, tv and press. One might ask why media does not balance government statements with perspective and reality? Why are they not doing their job?

One of th emost glaring misleading statements is that on jobs. A few construction contracts will not take people off the live register. All it will do is create somewhere to go for the subcontractors still working when their current project ends.

Take everything government says with a very large pinch of salt.

Farmers demand legality on pr- nuptial agreements..

The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) has reignited its lobbying campaign to have pre-nuptial agreements recognised in Irish law.

The move is part of a push by the farmers' lobby group to protect the family farm from being sold off or divided up in the event of a marriage breakdown.

"There has been recent contact between the IFA and Department of Justice officials on this issue," Morag Devins of the IFA said.

She said the IFA was lobbying Alan Shatter, the Minister for Justice, urging him to ensure 'pre-nup' agreements were made legally binding here by introducing new legislation. At present, the legal status of 'pre-nups' is unclear as they appear to go against the Constitution.

The IFA wants farmers to be allowed to draw up contracts before he or she gets married to ensure family farms remained intact post a divorce. This would ensure that it would be clear how assets owned by both parties prior to getting married were ring-fenced in the event of a divorce.

The IFA said it had first lobbied for the changes in March 2011 but had recently begun its campaign again following the expression of concerns by members.

The IFA declined to comment further but referred to remarks made in earlier unsuccessful campaigns.

"IFA's interest in the issue of the legal status of pre-nuptial agreements arises primarily from our policy of seeking to ensure that the inter-generational transfer of family farms takes place in an orderly and timely fashion," it said.

Kathy Irwin, partner and head of family law with Beauchamps Solicitors, noted that: "Farmers were against divorce historically because of fears of in-laws getting any interest in the family farm. It is interesting that they want this change having been more conservative in the past."

Irwin said that 'pre-nups' were a "grey area" at the moment in Ireland. "You can make one but there is no guarantee it will do anything," she said.

(Sunday Independent)

There is a german proverb which translates something like:

"If you want a glass of milk you do not have to buy the whole cow "  

There are enough brothels in the country to keep every Irish farmer smiling-problem is they don't want to have to pay for it.!

America or Ireland-or both.?


Get rich-sue the HSE and your local hospital

Do you want to get rich.?

Are you pregnant.?

Are you willing to risk the health (or life) of your unborn offspring in order that you never have any more financial worries for the rest of your life.

The somewhat ineffectual and toothless (almost) government Quango called HIQA ( Health Information and Quality Authority ) is seriously pissed off.!

The do not want to their colleagues in the HSE to foot the enormous compensation bill for incompetent and inefficient and downright careless medical staff in Ireland's hospitals anymore.

The private insurance companies have long ago washed their hands of insuring the doctors who work in the public health sector hospitals in Ireland.

The taxpayer foots the bill now.

There are hundreds of compensations pending against hospitals and doctors for malpractice.

The HSE (Health Service Executive) which is currently hiring more managers (on mega Euro salaries) to try and find a way to reduce costs; is also stone broke and half a billion over budget ( and rising) 

However, the poor and in some cases complete lack of response from six hospitals was described as "unsatisfactory and concerning" by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA).

The hospitals are Kerry General, South Tipperary General, Portiuncula in Ballinasloe, Wexford General, Waterford Regional and Portlaoise.

The maternity units were asked to provide details of how they had implemented the 27 recommendations of a report into the death of pregnant garda Tania McCabe and her infant son Zach in 2007 after she suffered haemorrhage and multi-organ failure due to sepsis.

However, the poor and in some cases complete lack of response from six hospitals was described as "unsatisfactory and concerning" by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA).

HIQA was probing the safeguards in place by the country's 19 maternity hospitals and units after the death of Savita Halappanavar from sepsis in University Hospital Galway.

PS if you are not pregnant, and break a leg or an arm or need an appendix removed; check in to any of the following: Kerry General, South Tipperary General, Portiuncula in Ballinasloe, Wexford General, Waterford Regional and Portlaoise.

It may change your life forever.

It may even end all your earthly troubles.

FG/Labour Budget 2013 looms..

I won't see 2025 but I want a new Minister for Health 

Remember Susie long.? Siobhan Kavanagh: Here we go again.!

Both died because they did not have the money to engage private consultants and obtain prompt treatment.
How many hundreds die each year unheralded, unnamed, unnoticed-for the same reason.?

26 SEPTEMBER 2013 Irish independent.

THE family of a woman who died of breast cancer following a nine-month delay in her diagnosis have spoken of their heartbreak, after the consultant who treated her was cleared of professional misconduct.

Separated mother-of-one, Siobhan Kavanagh, passed away in September 2012 after a four year battle with the disease.

Yesterday a Medical Council fitness to practise committee found that a breast surgeon who admitted to failing to send Ms Kavanagh for a mammogram was not guilty of professional misconduct.

The surgeon, who at the direction of the inquiry can only be identified as Dr C, was cleared of all allegations against him at the conclusion of the three-day hearing.

Ms Kavanagh's sister Denise described the decision as a personal tragedy for her family and Siobhan's 11-year-old daughter Eva.

"It's heart-breaking, I don't think it's unfortunate or any of the words they used inside (in the inquiry) it's much worse than that, it's a very personal tragedy for our family, I am glad my dad has passed on and isn't here to see any of this here today," she said.

"Her daughter is now going to continue to suffer, Siobhan battled for her daughter. I remember she said 'it's very hard to see others take care of her now, I won't be there'," Denise Kavanagh added.

The inquiry heard that Siobhan Kavanagh was examined by Dr C on August 29, 2007 after complaining of two lumps in her breast.

Following a physical examination and investigation using an ultrasound machine, Dr C concluded that the lumps were the result of dense tissue.

He admitted that this assessment turned out to be incorrect and said he regretted not sending Ms Kavanagh for a triple assessment, an investigation that includes a mammogram.

The inquiry was told that before her first examination, Ms Kavanagh initially failed to turn up for two consecutive appointments with Dr C where she was scheduled to undergo a mammogram. She also failed to attend a follow up appointment in December 2007.


She was eventually diagnosed with breast cancer by Dr C through the use of a mammogram in June 2008 and lodged a complaint against him shortly before her death in 2012.

During the hearing Dr C gave evidence that at the time he first saw Ms Kavanagh, patients had to wait at least three and as many as 18 months for the now standard triple assessment examination, an investigation which involves clinical examination, mammography and pathological examination.

He used ultrasound to decide which women should be sent for an immediate mammogram and triple assessment. He said all women who did not receive an immediate examination would eventually receive triple assessment in a number of months anyway.

In delivering its ruling the fitness to practise committee said while Dr C's omission of a mammogram might appear incorrect in hindsight, this was not a failure to consider his patient's medical condition having regard to the prevailing conditions at the time, including the medical resources available to him.

It cleared him of an allegation that he failed to consider Ms Kavanagh's medical condition, that he failed to carry out an adequate examination, and that he fell seriously short of the standard of care that could reasonably be expected of him.

By Kevin Keane

I mean this guy looks at two lumps on her breast and makes an appointment for 5 months later.!!

This article has an inference that because she missed the appointment she was somehow to blame.!

5 months without a mammogram and cancer is streaming out of her breast to all parts of her body.

Could she be blamed for thinking that this could not be serious, after getting an appointment for 5 months later.??

Why can these people not be named.?

Small mercies that Seanie Fitzpatrick and Bart Ahern were named.

The former, because he cost the country 80 billion Euros, the latter because he cost the country 300 million Euros (Mahon Tribunal) and thought he would never be caught.

If anybody out there knows the name of this medicine practicing incompetent murderer, who is still practicing medicine in the HSE-please let me know and I will name him!

Shades of Larry Goodman -Ireland twinned with the Philippines.?

Pork Barrel politics reigns supreme in Ireland and the Philippines.

Manila, Philippines - In a country where millions of people survive on just a dollar a day, Janet Lim Napoles' claims that she comes from a humble family are hard for many Filipinos to accept. Her 23-year-old daughter Jeane, fresh out of college in the US, owns a $1.89m condo at the Ritz-Carlton Residences in Los Angeles. That's apart from the$9.5m worth of properties the family has across California. The Napoles matriarch is known for her generosity, subsidising Catholic priests and giving out a $1,500 engraved Montblanc pen to a Philippine senator.

But in mid-August, Napoles went into hiding. The businesswoman, who reportedly owns at least 28 luxury houses in the Philippines, was accused of funneling $232m in government funds intended for farmers through ghost projects linked to senators and more than a dozen congressmen. The scandal has ignited a wave of public anger that led to mass anti-corruption protests on Monday, attracting an estimated 100,000 people in the capital Manila and other major cities.

The protesters were demanding the abolition of the "pork barrel", the practice of appropriating public money for local projects through Congress. A legacy of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, the practice has remained untouched and has become a source of massive corruption. While the Philippine economy has posted solid gains over the last decade, protesters say the country will continue to be stuck in poverty if institutionalised corruption persists - a problem that now bedevils the popular President Benigno Aquino III.

From college students to members of the clergy to regular citizens, the rain-soaked protesters marched, chanting in Filipino, "No more pork". 

"This scandal is so gut-wrenching," Peachy Rallonza-Bretana, the public face of the social media-driven demonstration, said in an interview with Al Jazeera. "That's 32 percent of income tax and 12 percent sales tax that I pay to the government. It's so personal it makes you angry."

Bretana, an advertising executive who has never led a protest before, said the recent corruption case drove her to post a comment on Facebook that snowballed into a call for "a million people march". Last week's massive flooding and the much-criticised government response only drew more attention to the scandal.  

"We have been duped for far too long," she said. "We want the pork barrel abolished, and we want a transparent investigation and prosecution of those who are guilty."

President under pressure

On Friday, seeking to defuse the growing public pressure while navigating the political realities in Congress, President Aquino - a former senator and congressman - changed course and announced plans to implement reforms.

"The shocking revelations of this misuse are truly scandalous," he said in a national address. "Now, we will create a new mechanism to address the needs [of constituents], in a manner that is transparent, methodical and rational, and not susceptible to abuse or corruption."

After hearing the details of the multi-million dollar scam, however, many were in no mood to accept Aquino's proposal. Former national treasurer Leonor Briones told Al Jazeera that Aquino did "not address the very source of corruption itself, which is congressional and senatorial interference in the budget process".

"The pork barrel, historically, has always been abused regardless of the administration, regardless of party affiliation, and all of us know that," Briones said, adding that no president has dared to confront Congress on the issue.

Briones, now head of the watchdog group Social Watch Philippines, also said that the pork barrel is only the "tip of the iceberg", pointing to the president's own annual discretionary fund, which this year is at least $7.2bn.

For now, though, much of the ire is being directed at Napoles, who before going into hiding declared that "not a single peso" of their wealth came from the government. One of Napoles' lawyers added that her client's family started out trading meat products including chicken and pork, and later expanded into the export business.

What enraged the public were the details of Napoles' alleged dealings with top government officials, in which 60 percent of the pork-barrel funds reportedly went to legislators.

One of the witnesses in the scandal told the local broadsheet Philippine Daily Inquirer that bags of money were stashed in the bathtub of Napoles' master bedroom in a posh condo in a Manila suburb. The money was reportedly distributed as bribes to lawmakers.

While this was going on, Napoles still managed to get involved with Catholic charities, providing shelter for prominent priests and foreign clerics inside the Philippines' most exclusive subdivision.

Napoles and her family also reportedly maintained at least 415 bank accounts that are now subject to a government freeze order.                            

'This is just the beginning'

Edly Aparejado, 55, comes from a squatter community in the Manila suburb of Caloocan. She said she was saddened after hearing about the scandal.

"They could have used that money to build houses for the poor," Aparejado, who joined the protest, said "I see some of my neighbors who are unable to eat three times a day. They could have benefited from that stolen money."

For Homer Castillo, 38, the father of two grade-school students, the protest "has been a long time coming". He added that many poor families share the same sentiments, but were unable to join the protest because they couldn't afford to do so. 

Law student Eric Joven, another protester who voted for Aquino for president, said he hopes the demonstration will have substantial results, such as the imprisonment of those involved in the scam and the passage of the Freedom of Information Bill, which seeks to open government records to public scrutiny. "This is just the beginning, and I hope that the people will remain vigilant," he said.

Meanwhile, Bretana, the march's spokesperson, said social media will be critical in sustaining public engagement on the issue after the protests have died down. "We cannot let this chance go, and we have to hold onto this to effect change," she said.

New Freedom of Information Bill is a product of the bureaucratic mindset

August 24th 2013  Irish Times.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin has published a new Freedom of Information Bill, which proclaims its purpose to be “to enable members of the public to obtain access, to the greatest extent possible consistent with the public interest and the right to privacy, to information in the possession of public bodies [and] other bodies in receipt of State funding”. It states this is necessary “to ensure accountability and the promotion of the principle of transparency in government and public affairs”.

It is nothing of the sort. Although it is a modest improvement on the 2003 Fianna Fáil-inspired evisceration of the original 1997 Act, it is a product of a bureaucratic mindset that wants to keep secret as much as possible while, of course, professing openness, transparency and the rest.

The information concerned is owned by Irish citizens. Every scrap of it should be made public except that which would infringe individual privacy; or compromise the security of the State and its people; and which, in exceptional circumstances, would be commercially sensitive.

Instead of establishing at the beginning the public’s entitlement to all information, with some exceptions, that would help keep Ministers as well as all public bodies and agencies accountable, this Bill makes clear that if Brendan Howlin or his ministerial successors want to suppress anything at all they may do just that. It states (section 6.3.a) that the Minister may by order declare any public body or any other body covered by it exempt from freedom of information (FOI). A later section gives the Minister further powers to declare any record exempt from disclosure if asked to do so (section 34.1.a).

Section after section of the Bill is devoted to curtailing the entitlement of the information’s owners, Irish citizens, to access to that information.

A request may be refused if the person handling it thinks that it involves too much bother (section 15.1.c); or that it is frivolous or vexatious (section 15.1.g); or that effort might be required to extract the information (section 17.4.a). Another provision states that no agency covered by the Bill will be required “to take any steps by way of manipulation, analysis, compilation or other processing of any such records, or any data contained in records, held by the body” (section 17.4.d). Why?

The fees to be charged will be lower than now apply but will still, in my view, be prohibitive. For an internal review of a decision to refuse a FOI request the fee will be €30. A fee of €75 for an appeal to the Information Commissioner will apply. But it seems from section 27 that the fees to be charged for the retrieval of information might be enormous – potentially thousands of euro. Irish citizens will have to pay, in certain instances, huge sums of money for documents that they own.

fianna Fail are back topping the polls, neck and neck with Fine Gael

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Gamblin' John Perry (TD) shafts the bankers.