end corruption,stroke politics, & incompetent administration

More subsidies for the (relatively speaking) rich, working class.

CIVIL servants, nurses and a majority of industrial workers would not qualify on their own for "affordable housing" - because they don't earn enough. 

According to Dublin City Council, the latest affordable housing scheme comes with an income guide which excludes anyone earning less than €45,000 or more than €58,000.

The Central Statistics Office puts the average industrial wage at between €25,000 and €35,000.

Information on the Clongriffin and Balgriffin developments in north Co Dublin was sent out last week offering one- and two-bed apartments and duplexes ranging in price from €200,000 to €280,000 in three estates - Beaupark, The Grange and Railway Close. The estates are part of a new development on the coastline close to Baldoyle where the Environment Department bought 113 apartments on the open market for allocation under the affordable housing scheme at an average discount of €100,000.

In exchange for these unaffordable dogboxes in traffic nightmare Suburbia, Fianna Fail transferred prime city state owned building centre sites to the favoured.. A scam is thereby dressed up in "affordable houses clothing" and the developers are laughing again. Sean Dunne would have got the Jurys hotel site a mite cheaper if the state -instead of the children of another grasping tax dodger-P.V.Doyle-had been the landlords.

These unaffordable apartments are part of 500 units the Department has bought in developments across Dublin city, South Dublin, Fingal, Kildare and Meath. According to the Affordable Homes Partnership (AHP), which works to co-ordinate and assist local authorities in their delivery, the houses are still targeted at people who have been priced out of the market.

"These 500 homes, which include two- and three-beds are ideal for couples who earn between €45,000 and €75,000 or individuals earning up to €58,000 who can afford a mortgage for these homes," said a spokesman.

Although many hopeful of securing a home under affordable housing will be excluded from this latest offer, it is also the case that previous schemes were not within everyone's reach. (Unless they got a dig out from their pals- or their Daddy and Mammy.. which has been the norm now for a number of years)

Now to the shy snakes in the long tribunal grass..As Mahon turns over the stones.

Richardson: Unanswered questions

04 March 2007 By Pat Leahy (The Sunday Business Post)
Bertie Ahern. Celia Larkin. Tim Collins. Paddy Reilly. Joe Burke.

Some names stand out more than others.

As the Mahon Tribunal continues to probe the business affairs of Des Richardson, the Fianna Fail fundraiser and one of Bertie Ahern’s close associates, the tribunal’s lawyer, Patricia Dillon, brought listeners on a walk-through tour of the group of Drumcondra intimates (not yet inmates..and probably never will be.) that surround the Taoiseach.

They have been around Ahern since long before his ascent to high office, and have organised the financing of his extensive constituency operation.

Last week, the tribunal inquired about Richardson’s relationship with another name that causes sharp intakes of breath in Fianna Fail - Frank Dunlop.

If many in the party are uneasy about what the examination of Richardson’s business and fundraising activities may throw up, they practically come out in hives when you mention him in the same sentence as Dunlop.

Richardson worked as the party’s chief fundraiser from 1993 to 1999, though the party could not confirm those dates last week. A party spokesman said he had ‘‘no official fundraising role’’ now, but conceded he ‘‘plays a role in the Galway Races’’.

Last week, the tribunal sketched a picture of a close business relationship between the two men, in their private affairs and in the work that both did in politics. This is what makes things uncomfortable for Fianna Fail. Richardson raised money for the party; Dunlop paid bribes to politicians.

Richardson still runs the annual Galway Races fundraiser for Fianna Fail. Last week, he was answering questions in Dublin Castle about a company he controlled with Dunlop at a time when he was Fianna Fail’s head of fundraising.

The company, Berraway, was paid by a variety of other sources - including Arks Advertising, which was given contracts by Fianna Fail, and Ken Rohan, the property developer who was the sole beneficiary of a tax law introduced by Bertie Ahern in 1994.

Previous investigations by The Sunday Business Post have revealed that over €1 million passed through Berraway’s bank accounts between 1996 and 2000, a period in which Richardson told the tribunal last week that he had sole control of the company bank account. For much of this time, the company’s offices were in the building occupied by Dunlop’s public relations firm.

There was a formal contractual relationship between Richardson and Dunlop’s firm, through which Richardson helped Dunlop to source new clients.

Richardson invoiced Dunlop through Berraway for his services. But the tribunal has established that Dunlop was also registered as a shareholder in the company. Richardson wasn’t listed as a director of Berraway, although he says he controlled its bank accounts.

Confused? Well, it’s not easy to pick your way through it.

Consider this exchange between Richardson and counsel for the tribunal last week on documents showing his relationship with the company to get an idea of how the evidence goes, and why the tribunal is taking so long.

Richardson: I haven’t seen that before.

Counsel for the tribunal: Well, I suggest you have, Mr Richardson.

R: Have I?

C: Because you signed it on the following page.

R: Okay, fine, I accept that so.

C: Is that your signature?

R: Yes, it is. Yeah . . . I see it, yeah. I’m just checking the signature...I’m not 100 per cent sure that was my signature.

C: You’re not satisfied that that’s your signature?

R: No, I said I’m not 100 per cent sure it’s not my signature.

It may be.

C: Yes. If you could just look at [page] 3,132, Mr Richardson, and this is the signature on your statement to the tribunal.

Do you see that signature?

R: Yes.

C: Now. . . is that your signature?

R: Yes.

C: Right. Now if we go back to look at the document at [page] 1,964 and if we could just, if it’s possible to put the two signatures side by side, 1,964 and 3,132, to assist you, Mr Richardson.

Now looking at the two signatures together there, Mr Richardson, does that assist you in assisting the tribunal as to whether the document at 1,964 is actually your signature?

R: Well, they’re different, I can say. They’re different signatures.

I’m not saying it’s not mine. It may very well be mine, but I can see a difference in them.

C: Yes, if you look at the signature at the top under Mr Eamon Duignan’s name?

R: Yeah.

C: And if you look at the signature at the bottom of your statement. You say that they are not the same signature.

R: No, I didn’t say that.

C: You say, it doesn’t appear to be your signature.

R: No, I didn’t say that, no.

C: What exactly are you saying Mr Richardson?

R: I’m not 100 per cent certain it’s my signature. They appear to be somewhat different, but that can happen. I’m not saying at all it’s not my signature, it may very well be.

This went on for some time further. Throw in the land deals near Dublin Airport and Navan, and a system of pick-me-up payments operated for Fianna Fail by Richardson (‘‘It was a very, very, very small percentage of our fundraising activities’’), and you can see why building a picture of this closed, Byzantine world where money and politics interact is a slow and difficult process.

But, however hazy the details, there are two questions that haven’t been answered fully.

Why did Richardson have business relationships with individuals and businesses that benefited - in some shape or form - from Fianna Fail? And what did his pal, the party leader, know about it?

I suppose,if we don´t "have the gist of it" by now-we never will.