:: Bertie and the Blue Room beauty boutique...


Congratulations to the one time First Lady of Drumcondra, that 'other woman' the lovely Celia Larkin, on her appointment to Bertie,s newest quango, the grandiose named (as always) 'National Consumer Agency'. Her duties will focus on tackling consumer rip-offs such as stealth taxes ;Public Service pay (benchmarking) ; government sinecures , cronyism, rising E.S.B prices, bin taxes, credit card taxes, and much more. She will be empowered to cap all excessive pay demands and indirect taxation of every type. Non co-operating unions will be fined -or worse- have their assets seized, just as Maggie Thatcher once sorted out the powerful miners unions of old in John Bull,s country.

According to the 'Farmers Journal' newspaper, Celia has extensive business experience of all sorts and was recently running a high fashion consultancy/advice service, presumably for upwardly mobile farmers wives, intent on making good use of the C.A.P.decoupling cheques arriving soon in the post from Brussels.( If Tony Blair does not get his hands on them first)!

Celia's seductive sounding 'Blue Room' beauty parlour in Drumcondra, is also waxing and waning somewhat, due to the high cost of an all over body shave,and an unusual esoteric 'laying on of hands' procedure which purpots to channel her 'personal energies', to the lucky recipient, for a hefty fee.She may have perfected this technique in Bertie's constituency headquarters where she spent 10 long years channeling everything of herself, according to herself ,- Bertie's way.. Her advise concentrates on two elements - style and colour. A colour consultation lasts for up to two hours and costs ?105. A similar session on style makes about an hour, and costs ?70. If you have the time and money, Celia offers the two for ?150. "At the end of a session you'll know that what you're wearing is right for you, how to accessorise it and what makeup best suits you," she said.

Bertie's  make up is the best.

Style is something which her old flame Bertie,has never lacked. As for colour, the daily diet of press releases which the government propaganda office disseminates to the waiting media, has it in spades.When it comes to make up,according to information released under the freedom of information act ,Bertie,s mascara and lipstick costs the taxpayer 500 Euros weekly.! No wonder he keeps looking so wholesome on those T.V interviews and press photogtaphs.For sure nobody makes it up as well as our Bertie.! Our thanks to Celia.

Besides finding time to greet clients in her upmarket beauty parlour and hair coiffeur service in Drumcondra, Celia provides a grooming service for dowdy dressers.She loves working with small groups of women and for a very reasonable fee will travel anywhere in the country to give her advice. Reality is, she hardly needs cushy well paid sinecures in Bertie,s innumerable quangos, but ,as with Monica Leech, the extra few hundred thousand Euros,will allow her to put a decent Mercedes sports coupe on the road. Image is everything in the glamorous world of the nouveau riche party workers who labour unremittingly for the re-election of the Soldiers of Destiny. http://www.farmersjournal.ie/2000/0513/journal_2/index.html

Besides she could make a million Euros in the morning with a 'kiss and tell tale of tempestous nights,and intrigue filled days working in Bertie's lair,St Lukes' in Drumcondra.

Her seamy-I mean steamy- novel would outsell Terry Keane's scribblings by a factor of ten.

Yes, the Ceila Lark-in show will run and run. Long live Monica Leech .The best may be yet to come.Slowly slowly..catchee-

A TRADITIONAL Fianna Fail steak dinner for two with all the trimmings and washed down with a bottle of Eddie Hobbs' infamous "sauvignon blanc" wine will cost you nearly ?120 at Fianna Fail T.D./Soldierofdestiny's Deputy Donie Cassidy's Dublin hotel.

The Mullingar TD went to war with Ireland's messianic consumer champion Hobbs in September 2005

T.V. series 'Rip-Off Ireland' has targeted the high cost of food, drink and entertaining which goes right to the heart of Deputy Cassidy's extensive business interests in hospitality.

As Chairman of the Dail's Enterprise, Trade and Employment Committee, Cassidy took the unusual step of recalling the all-party group to discuss Hobbs' programmes,  warning that the detection of any inaccuracies would have "serious implications for RTE". But Deputy Cassidy need only have looked at prices in his own hotel to gauge the cost of going out in the capital. Cassidy's hotel ironically occupies the site of the infamous Groome's Hotel in Parnell square - the legendary Fianna Fail drinking den where the men in mohair suits caroused away in the Sixties.

A fillet steak in a juniper berry sauce will set you back a hefty ?25. Fancy some sauteed mushrooms with that Sir? That will be another ?3.50. French fries? Another ?3.50. Side Salad? Yet another ?3.50. Add a starter of plaice stuffed with spinach, lightly poached in a court boullion with a spaghetti leek garnish at ?7.50, and the cost of this delightful meal in Restaurant Six at Cassidy's is mounting.

Hobbs maintained that a winemaker could expect to get just ?2.05 for a bottle of white Bordeaux. Restaurateurs were enraged when he alleged that the same wine is being sold in Irish restaurants for ?24 - almost 12 times as much, though there is excise duty, Vat, transport costs and the wine dealer's profit to be taken into consideration.

Cassidy's Hotel has a good wine list, including two whites made with the sauvignon blanc grape. A nice New Zealand bottle from the international selection is ?25 while the house selection features a "Rosario Estate" sauvignon blanc from Chile at ?20.

With desserts at ?5.50, and an Irish coffee at ?5.50, that meal for two people with a bottle of the cheaper house wine at Cassidy's comes in at a hefty ?117.

A pint - another Hobbs hobby horse - is ?3.95 while draught lager is ?4.50 and bottled beers sell for ?4.60 minimum. A measure of spirits is ?3.70 while a bottle of still water (250ml) is ?2.40. The prices reflect the current regime in the vast majority of pubs and hotels in Dublin where more and more consumers are voting with their feet and staying at home. Mr Cassidy said in an interview that he paid ?1.65m for Groomes Hotel and then spent a further ?6.4m on it,bankrolled no doubt by tax reliefs/incentives paid for by ordinary workers

He also revealed that he and his sons have three Sky Music shops in Dublin Airport. A price check by the Irish Independent showed a significant mark-up on CDs compared with suburban record shops. Deputy Cassidy was not available for comment.

catchee monkey.!.....You could not make this stuff up either.!!

:: Directors of state companies escape Celia's scrutiny.

A few bob extra to cope with unforeseen inflationary factors.

DIRECTORS of State companies are to get fee increases ranging from 40pc to over 80pc, it was announced in June 2006.

The biggest increases will go to the non-executive chairpersons of major State companies who will see their fees rise from ?19,000 to ?35,000, an increase of 84pc.

Details of a new scale of fees were approved by the Cabinet yesterday on the recommendation of Finance Minister, Brian Cowen. They were last increased in May 2001.

The main winners will be those who chair major bodies such as Aer Lingus (John Sharman); ESB (Tadhg O'Donoghue); RTE (Mary Finan); CIE (Dr John Lynch); Dublin Airport Authority (Gary McGann); An Post (Margaret McGinley) and HSE (Liam Downey).

These companies are among the so-called "Category 1" State firms, the biggest companies, but the increases approved by the Government will apply on a scaled basis to State bodies in all four categories.

This will mean in the case of chairpersons for Category 2 businesses, such as FAS (Peter McLoone) or Enterprise Ireland (Pat Molloy) the figure will increase from ?15,000 to ?24,000.

In smaller State firms the fees for chairpersons have been increased from ?10,000 to ?14,000 (Category 3) and from ?7,000 to ?10,000 (Category 4).

In addition to the fee increases for chairpersons the Cabinet has also approved similar large increases for ordinary non-executive directors who serve on the boards of State companies.

Why?-because they're worth it.! Jobs for the party stalwarts. 

:: Another quiet stroke for Bertie's folk.

'The Phoenix' magazine August 12/05 has observed another slot quietly filled in the government quangos,while Celia was getting high profile coverage. One Joe Murphy, a Fianna Fail stalwart and activist from Bertie's own holy of holies, 'St. Lukes'  in Drumcondra, has been installed on the board/gravy train of the controversial 127 million Euro 'Digital Hub Project'.Murphy's track record includes the publication of a direct mail magazine 'Inside Government' which exclusively targets well heeled civil servants. His enterprise has lost 60,000 euros to date,and two of his previous companies have been (1) Dissolved  and (2) struck off the companies register for failing to file accounts.This implies incompetence and carelessness rather than criminality neither the type of qualifications to inspire confidence in the handling of large sums of taxpayers cash.

Bertie's mentor C.J.H. has of course appointed numerous strokers to government companies such as Aer Rianta,Telecom Eireann,Greencore etc etc.over the last three historic decades. Dermot Desmond and Michael Smurfit,are among the most prominent of those who were eventually asked to 'step aside' by their benefactor Charly, when murky property dealings and 'conflicts of interest' arose as they enriched themselves dealing and wheeling in publicly owned  property and land assets. Essentially  they were greedy pigs,doing what they do best: However, swilling openly in the public  trough was quite unforgivable.It is to be hoped that Bertie's failed businessmen such as Joe Murphy will not be tempted to profit from nefarious contracts or dodgy dealings, while they are entrusted with the expenditure of massive amounts of taxpayers money.

What,s with this digital "Startrek" thing ?

A futuristic starship "Enterprise" captained by "An Taoiseach", Bertie Ahern (the Irish Prime Minister)is now docked at a place called the "National Digital Research Centre" (NDRC) somewhere in the Coombe galaxy.in the centre of Dublin. 

This "enterprise" is reputedly Bertie Ahern's brainchild,and will be Irelands "flagship project" in the "digital media sector"of a "futuristic Celtic Tiger"..according to government spin sources

 If you are all at sea,by now, so are we.But whatever is is-or was-it was set up by Bertie to support the development of the "digital media enterprises that can move the economy up the technological value chain" (whatever that means)

(One thing is certain it will take Liberties-as all government mad hatter schemes do- with vast amounts of taxpayers money,and when it folds you will only get to hear about it if some intrepid journalist grapples successfully with the so called "Freedom of information act")

At the current rate of expenditure,(rumoured) on this unusual project, citizens may all end up in "The Tenters"another Liberty neighbourhood nearby.

The "Digital starship hub" is thought to be located in the Thomas Street area of Dublin,from where it is to provide "state-of-the-art start up facilitates for early stage, fast growth companies, and established companies, in the digital industry." You may even see the occasional flying saucer as you pass by the derelict St Catherine's Church,in Thomas Street, where Robert Emmet was executed in bygone years. 

The "NDRC" (National Digital Research Centre),  in this" Digital Hub district", (formerly a haven for druggies,muggers and brewers of black beer) is to represent the type of value-added activity that will contribute to Ireland?s future "at the forefront of the knowledge society" according to government sources.( It might help take irish broadband access, statistics higher than those of Romania.!) More likely it will trigger more taxation to pay for another  misconceived, mismanaged ,misadventure by Bertie and "Friends of Fianna Fail."

Crooked auctioneer John Finnegan (a very close Friend of Fianna Fail) who operates a prestigious auctioneering firm in Merrion Row,Dublin represents the real estate end of the scheme at present. He is a big player in the "Enterprise",and has recently been awarded contracts to wheel and deal in digital hub sites, on behalf of Bertie,s pet brainstorm.

Finnegan is a former Ansbacher Account holder ,a crook,a tax dodger and typical of the weasels who appeared before the Mahon Tribunal. Here he was accused him of obstructing justice, in relation to payments to Ray Burke.(Who is not famous for that, nowadays.!) However he is also a friend of the most high,and a favoured one, when it comes to dishing out the dosh.Such little pecadillos do not deter Fianna Fail from maintaining their golden circle.

Business as usual among "Friends of Fianna Fail...."


SHANNON SHENANIGANS.  Down Limerick way, the same pattern of waste and incompetence repeats itself.When plans for a 30-acre "Ennis Information Age Park "("EIAP") were first announced, Shannon Development declared that it had the potential to create 3,500 jobs within 15 years.

However, the company confirmed in May 2006 that just three new small enterprises have been established in the first phase of the EIAP in the past 12 months.!

The company is refusing to disclose how many jobs have been created in the three new enterprises. ! Shame.We need a "freedom of information act " down Shannon way..!

Independent Clare TD James Breen said: "They have no problem stating the number of jobs when the news is good, so it is no surprise that they refuse to release the information when the news is bad.

"The information age park was opened to much fanfare last year and a lot of money has been spent. We were promised great things, but after one year, there is little to show for it."

Shannon Development has spent ?11m on the first phase of the information age park. A spokesman confirmed that there are 15 enterprises based in IAPE, employing 40 people.

However, 12 of these enterprises transferred from the Shannon Development-owned Clare Business Centre in Ennis, with just three new enterprises setting up.

He also confirmed that the space let to enterprises is 5,000sq ft and the agency currently has 8,500sq ft available for letting.

Wanto waste makes woeful want.Never for the Soldiers of Destiny though.The waste,the incompetence,-it goes on, and on.

:: Bertie;-A puppet on a farming string

Some Goodman beef baron types were upset about Brazilian fillet steak being sold in Irish Restaurants,in Sept 2005. A dozen or two arrived in town and picketed a popular eatery in Temple Bar. The next day Bertie announced new legislation to force restauranteurs to identify the source of their beef on the menu.It's a pity the mountain of more important legislation awaiting Fianna Fail's attention has to join the back of the queue to this kind of crap.

The dairy farmers,also picketed Dunnes Stores not too long ago when the bold Ben attempted to break their  bully boy stranglehold on the retail price of milk in our Supermarkets. For 50 years the "Milk Marketing Board" a government quango did the job for them until it was recently abolished as being an outdated body created for no other purpose than to maintain a cartel pricing structure among Dublin's Dairies,when milk was delivered door to door. They lost that particular fight,but milk still sells at an  outrageously inflated price in all but a few of the larger supermarket chains.The poor who have no private transport to stock up here still pay the inflated price.  Consumer protection agencies and Celia Larkin -how are you.!

:: More news of Mr Donie Cassidy..

Irish Independent.10-11-2005.A FIRM founded by millionaire businessman and Westmeath TD Donie Cassidy has been struck off the company register for failing to return accounts.

Last night Mr Cassidy said those spreading news about the de-listing of Belvedere Hills Ltd were "following their own political agendas," including a few people within his own party. ?

Belvedere Hills is a prestigious development of new homes in Ballinderry, Mullingar, and the company was involved in selling sites and homes in the locality. Mr Cassidy, who lists the firm in the Dail register of members' interests said last night it was "a small little company."

The Irish Independent understands that the striking-off of the firm and listing of it as a defaulter in Iris Oifiguil followed a failure to return accounts to the Companies Office.

Mr Cassidy resigned as a director of 11 companies in November 2003 in order to concentrate on his political career.

The Belvedere Hills firm passed into the control of his son Donal and a fellow director. ( Business as usual )

Mr Cassidy said last night: "The paperwork has been prepared and I expect and understand that this firm will be relisted within the next day or two.

"Everything I am involved with is 100pc. There was no wrongdoing within the firm.

"Naturally, however, I am disappointed that something that should have been done was not done. It will be righted in a short period."  Donie you had no right to attack poor Eddie(Hobbs).Everybody is watching you.Watch out-you ratbag.!

:: Donie the heritage vandal

A Georgian vision for the city is sent to scrapheap by the bold Donie Cassidy.

IT was a success for country-and-western design over city style, but for many it was seen as a Pyrrhic victory.

Rural Fianna Fail millionaire/T.D. deputy Donie Cassidy's of "Attack Eddie Hobbs infamy" had his controversial vision for Georgian Dublin upheld in the High Court In Sept 2006

Polite residents of the trendy North Great Georges Street area lost their battle to prevent the renewal of a liquor licence for the Belvedere Hotel, another business in Cassidy,s extensive Dublin property portfolio. They had claimed that the Westmeath developer did not uphold his planning permission.

The residents believe the brains behind Foster and Allen's music, who is a director of the premises, is destroying their stunning streetscape with his alterations to the hotel.

Allegations of late-night discoveries of 18th-century stuccowork in skips and the installation of elephant-paw mouldings had earned "desperate" Donie the disdain of his neighbours.

They include articulate Joycean scholar David Norris and couturier Jen Kelly, who live in stylish, protected structures nearby.

The residents awaited the outcome of their application for a judicial review of the handling of their objection to the renewal of the hotel's liquor licence, in court five of the High Court.

In the end, references to the well-known North Great George's Street in Joyce's 'Ulysses' were not enough to outwit the former showband star's Martin Cullen like destructive plans for another little part of the Heritage of old Dublin.

Should somebody call Eddie Hobbs..'

:: Oiling the corrupt cartels.

They steal 5 million Euros from the public and only the ringleader is fined 15000 Euros.?

. Suspended sentence for official in oil cartel case .

A retired Fianna Fail (Mayo) businessman has been given a six-month suspended sentence and ordered to pay a ?15,000 fine over his involvement in a home-heating oil cartel.

Judge Katherine Delahunt at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court said JP Lambe, chairman of the Connacht Oil Promotion Federation, had participated fully in this criminal activity and was an experienced businessman.

She said that "without his talent, acumen and knowledge, this kind of distortion could probably not have functioned at any significant level".

The court heard that, as a result of the cartel's price fixing, customers were paying perhaps 10 per cent more than they would have otherwise and were out of pocket by up to ?4.4 million.

Lambe (69), of Brookhill, Claremorris, pleaded guilty to two counts of aiding and abetting a named oil company to enter agreements to prevent, restrict or distort competition and thereby directly or indirectly fix the selling price of gas, oil and kerosene.

The former treasurer of Mayo GAA county board and Mayo representative of the Central GAA Council took an unpaid and part-time position as chairman of the federation, which agreed to fix prices. Lambe had a long career in the oil industry and was approached to act as an independent arbitrator to facilitate agreement between oil distributors in Galway.

David McFadden, a solicitor and officer of the Competition Authority, told George Birmingham SC, prosecuting, that he led an investigation into the activities of "the great bulk" of oil distributors in Galway.

Mr McFadden said that ostensibly competing companies in Galway came together under a trade association called the Connacht Oil Promotion Federation and entered agreements to fix prices.

Mr McFadden said that, while the Competition Authority had not gone into the actual effect of the price fixing, the estimated cost to the public was possibly ?4.4 million over a 12-month period and it was possible that prices were 10 per cent higher than they would otherwise have been.

The investigation revealed a high level of conformity across many distributors in the area and meetings were held to agree a tiered pricing structure. Between June 2001 and February 2002 Lambe chaired 18 meetings across Galway.

Mr McFadden said there was a "high level of participation" among distributors, although a small number refused to get involved. Lambe sought to induce those not involved to join the cartel.

Roderick O'Hanlon SC, defending, said his client owned his own home, was on a pension and had ?250,000 in the bank in his and his wife's name. Mr McFadden agreed with Mr O'Hanlon that Lambe was unpaid, only recovered expenses, and was not party to the illegal gains made.

Crime pays well, and fraud pays absolutely.!

? The Irish Times March 2006