Ray wants out... Liam has left ..for good.(He will be sorely missed by hoodlums,and Mafiosi (but not brothel owners,thank heavens) in Ireland,Russia,and across Eastern Europe.)
"As a man lives, so shall he die "
The former Minister for Justice in the current Irish, Fianna Fail Government has fallen...
He was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment in January 2005-but only for tax evasion-like Al Capone...
He resides in a secure and peaceful institute (Arbour Hill Jail,)where sex offenders paedophiles and rapists are protected -like politicians-from the wrath of O.D.(ordinary decent) criminals in Wheatfield or Mountjoy Jail.
Bertie,our Prime Minister, has given a beautiful eulogy to his lifelong comrade in arms ,a fallen Soldier of Destiny. Question is how can decent people skittle the rest of them.?
Anyway for the record,here we reprint Bertie,s moving words.....(They could have been used to announce Ahern's own political epitaph a few years later.
"It is with profound regret that I have today accepted, on behalf of the Government, the resignation of the former Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Raphael P. Burke and his resignation from Dáil Éireann. Pending the appointment of a successor I, as Taoiseach, will assume responsibility for the Department of Foreign Affairs pro-tem.
His outstanding record of public service over the past thirty years, first as a County Councillor and later as a T.D., as well as the remarkable twenty nine years service of his late father Patrick J. Burke, demonstrate in real terms the deep commitment of the Burke family to the people of Dublin North and Dublin County.
Both he and his family can feel immensely proud of the major role he played in Government, in successfully achieving the breakthrough which resulted in today's historic events in the North. I thank him for the consummate professionalism with which he always fulfilled his Ministerial duties.
Ray Burke always distinguished himself in the Ministries to which he was appointed, by his great managerial capabilities and his high work-rate:
he introduced a series of initiatives in law reform and structural changes while in the Department of Justice, as well as tackling the whole area of serious offences against children;
he opened up a whole new era of local broadcasting when he legislated for the now successful local radio network which has changed the face of Irish broadcasting;
he stood four square with the strategically important development of Dublin Airport in good times,(200 pounds return to london?) and when times were tough; (Ryanair.?) and
he was in turn an excellent Minister for the Environment, for Energy, for Communications, for Justice and for Foreign Affairs.
He brought further distinction to his proud family tradition, to his family and friends, to his colleagues and constituents. This country owes him a debt of gratitude for his work on behalf of the nation, and his constant commitment to quality performance in his allotted tasks."
( May god forgive you Bert Ahern for this speech about one of the biggest "bagmen" in the history of your party,next to Haughey and yourself. Decent citizens will not. )
Those who choose politics as a profession, know from the outset that they are putting their lives on the line in their determination to serve the public. They have to accept the criticism which attends their decisions and their every action. Their families too learn to take the brunt of stinging remarks, which often overstep the boundaries of civility and courtesy.
In the case of Ray Burke, I see a much more sinister development: the persistent hounding of an honourable man to resign his important position, on the basis of innuendo and unproven allegations. Some who would class themselves as protectors of basic civil rights have harried and hounded this man without according him the basic right of due process, which deems us innocent unless proven guilty. I believe personally that the according of due process is not just a basic right, but the very essence of common decency.
There has been a sustained campaign of incremental intensity. When this debate first began there were calls for Ray Burke to make a public statement. Then there were demands for a Dáil Statement, followed by Questions and Answers. But when it was agreed that a special Tribunal would deal with all the issues fairly and comprehensively, that was still not enough.
There comes a time when even the strongest shoulder bows, when even the stoutest heart falters, when even the very best can resist no longer."
(Sounds like your own whinge a few years later when you appealed to the idiotic fools who re-elected you to forgive you for taking hard untraceable cash from your whiparound pals)
"I regret the resignation of Ray Burke, my party colleague for twenty years and my Cabinet colleague for most of that period.
I deeply regret the reasons for his resignation and the pain and anguish caused to Anne, his family and friends. It is an indictment of those involved in forcing him to this pass, that they clamoured for his resignation without giving him the proper opportunity of proving his case before a properly constituted Tribunal or otherwise.
I always found him to be a proud honourable man, loyal and true, persevering and principled, caring and committed but tough and a person who often lost friends very easily. On behalf of the Government and particularly on behalf of the Fianna Fáil Party, I thank him for his distinguished years in the service of his constituents and his country."
Thanks for that Bertie,It brings tears to the eyes of even the hardest hearts, and critics of your rotten and incompetent administration.
They say all his assets (Ray,s )have been in his wife,s name for the past 20 years.
Anyhow he will not starve on his ministerial pension of 80,000 euros yearly.
If emergency legislation can be enacted ,(albeit unsuccessfully) by Fianna Fail, to prevent old age pensioners getting back the money this government have stolen from them ,could something similiar not happen to remove this mans huge state pension? or the properties he bought for each of his children with the proceeds of corruption.? The state can take John Gilligans property lock stock and barrel.Is there something special about a crooked politicians assets-or those he purchased for his family.?
Burke spent a brief respite in jail because he evaded tax, but he was found to be corrupt by the planning tribunal. He was corrupt because there were those wealthy businessmen who saw in the politician a willing vehicle prepared to line his pockets with large amounts of money because he was in a position to do so.
Burke could not have become a rich man through abusing his position of trust unless there were those who were willing to exploit his greed for their own commercial interests. They are still there. And there will be another Burke because no matter what safeguards are put in place to try to ensure transparency and accountability by our public representatives and officials, they will not be able to contain human greed.
As far as that former minister for justice and foreign affairs was concerned, there was practically a litany of financial well-wishers ready to take advantage of his position of trust, and Ray Burke was not found wanting - apart from wanting more money.
*The tribunal deemed that Ray Burke got his house in Swords in a corrupt manner from property developer Tom Brennan, but no prosecution was sought against him.
*Another property developer, Joseph McGowan, along with Brennan, made a corrupt payment of £25,000 to the ex-minister. Again, no prosecution sought against him.
*Estate agent John Finnegan was found to have contributed a corrupt payment of £10,000 with McGowan and Brennan. No prosecution sought against him.
*Oliver Barry, businessman and owner of Century Radio, made what the tribunal found to be a corrupt payment of £35,000, and in response Burke proposed legislation to curb RTÉ advertising. Again, no prosecution.
*Property developer Joseph Murphy jnr made what was deemed a corrupt payment to Burke in a meeting set up in the knowledge of Joseph Murphy Snr, who is now deceased. No prosecution.
*Another property dealer, Michael Bailey, was present at a meeting in Burke's home when James Gogarty gave at least £30,000 to Burke on behalf of the Murphy brothers. The tribunal report noted that Bailey was seen passing another envelope to Burke believed to match the Murphy payment. No prosecution against Bailey.
Despite having avoided prosecution for such corrupt payments to Burke, they are not escaping justice entirely. Because their activities brought them to the attention of the tribunal, they have also attracted the notice of the Revenue Commissioners. On top of that, they also face multi-million euro legal bills.
Hopefully, they will reap every financial tribulation possible from the corrupt seeds they sowed in that shyster Burke. Money being the altar they worship at, it would be deliciously ironic if they ended up millions of euro worse off for the corrupt endeavours which were supposed to make them even richer men.
Nevertheless their present wealth is so great from decades of corruption that the inroads of the
Revenue Commissioners will hardly dent it...
The reality is that in this topsy turvey world we live in,the corrupt prosper,and most of them continue to prosper to the day they die.
Ray Burke,colourful though his exploits have been, has never been known to drive around red light districts in foreign parts,with young teenage prostitutes in the rear of his Mercedes. The international press picked up on a report of sexual hanky panky,by Liam Lawlor,when he was involved in a fatal car crashed in a red light district of Moscow,and his pretty young companion,(who was an interpreter) briefly suffered from amnesia when interviewed by the police.
Nevertheless Bertie had a similiar soliloquy in his pocket when Liam Lawlor, another crooked Fianna Fail politician and moneyspinner for the Tribunal lawyers, met his maker very suddenly indeed.
"In the midst of life, we are in death",the Good Book says, and Liam met his death, wheeling and dealing with the Russian Mafia,and other property speculators in Eastern Europe, and "allegedly" ( a favourite Fianna Fail term), sexually cavorting with unfortunate souls on the snowy streets of Moscow, in October 2005.This story (the prostitute bit),however was inaccurate.Newspapers and media rushed to cover their blunder,when the circumstances of his departure initially appeared to fit a tacky story,but his companion in the vehicle was only an interpreter earning an honest shilling during the negotiations between Liam and his counterparts among the local property Mafiosi in Moscow.
For a whole week the nation was regaled with stories of Liam's goodness, largess,and nobility of spirit,ad nauseum, as the sexual slur on his character was deemed more unforgiveable than all the the reasons(still unknown) that he was in Moscow for in the first place..
Liam covered his tracks extremely well and his life and activities has the makings of a dozen Tribunals ,but not one has yet successfully probed his shadowy world of tax evasion, planning corruption, and property speculation-nor the activities of his associates still living, such as "Coach and four" Jim Mansfield.
If you had been to the church service you might have thought you were at the wrong funeral.!!
"As a man lives so shall he die" (Making a fast buck, in the fast lane of a Moscow suburb.)
The Taoiseach, felt it injudicious to appear personally at the wake ,but he sent his personal "Aide-de-camp, to indicate his fraternal fellowship and solidarity with one of the greatest strokers in the party.
Mr Ahern speaking, on news of Liam,s sudden demise, added;
"I have known Liam Lawlor since we were both first elected to Dail Eireann in the General Election of 1977.
In his youth, Liam was well known as a hurler of some renown and he represented Dublin and Leinster with distinction. He followed the route travelled by a number of many prominent GAA stars and swapped the playing pitches for political life.
Liam was elected as a TD for the constituency of Dublin West and during a 25-year career in politics, he was an assiduous worker on behalf of his constituents. In volatile political times in the Eighties, Liam lost his seat on two occasions but each time regained it in the following election. Liam announced his retirement from politics prior to the General Election in 2002.
At this difficult time, my thoughts are with Hazel and all Liam's family especially his daughter, Ciara, who worked with me during my time as leader of the Opposition.
In April 2004,Liam accused the british based property developer Mr Gilmartin of being a liar over his account about a controversial meeting with Charles Haughey and members of his cabinet in Leinster House in 1989.
Lawlor denied taking property developer Tom Gilmartin to a meeting of the current batch of Fianna Fail big wigs at the time and accused the property developer of making "wild and wicked" allegations. But Mr Gilmartin hit back, saying that he had not been jailed for lying, and insisting that he had met Mr Haughey and his ministers in Leinster House.
Mr Gilmartin coined that now famous statement which he uttered in a fit of pique,when Pee Wee (Padraigh) Flynn was denying many of the accusations which were contained in Tom Gilmartin's evidence.
Referring to the Fianna Fail Party and Cabinet,(then led by Charles Haughey) he declared;
"You lot make the F***ing mafia look like monks"!
The controversial meeting had already been disputed by several politicians - including the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern - whom Mr Gilmartin claims were present. With the exception of the then Education Minister Mary O'Rourke, all the other politicians - including Mr Ahern - contended that either they had no recollection of the meeting or that they did not attend.
Some day," mature reflection" by one or other of them, may amend that story...but the Soldiers of Destiny- like the Mafia -generally take their murky secrets with them-as in Liam Lawlor,s case- to the grave.
"The tribunal's legal team is wandering around the remains of Carrickmines Castle and its piseogs and leprechaun haunts searching for some invisible crock of wrongdoing on my part. I am not in a position to oblige," said Liam Lawlor in response to allegations that he had an interest in Jackson Way land at Carrickmines
From 2002 Lawlor was jailed three times for refusing to co-operate with the Flood Tribunal, the body established to investigate allegations of a corrupt network of politicians and building developers in his Dublin West Constituency.
Lawlor had admitted to taking bribes from the late lobbyist Frank Dunlop on behalf of builders. As a county councillor and later TD the 60-year-old politician rezoned land earmarked for industrial use to land for property development instead. He received tens of thousands in kick-backs while the developers made hundreds of millions speculating on the rezoned land.
It has since emerged that one of the reasons Lawlor preferred imprisonment in Dublin's notorious Mountjoy jail was that he feared naming a number of business associates in the city's criminal underworld. Lawlor was suspected of recycling cash for criminals into property across western Dublin and latterly into eastern Europe. After refusing to name names Lawlor resigned from Fianna Fail under massive pressure from the party's leadership.
A late story in the media the day before his funeral, spoke of a heart rending conversation between Liam and his son a day before he was killed. They both expressed their undying love for one another . A premonition ,perhaps by his son.?
All very moving.
Can I also express the anger that many ordinary people feel that a corrupt public figure has cost the ordinary worker a huge fortune in Tribunal fees;has undermined the whole planning procedure; and has encouraged an ethos of criminality and stroke politics among decent citizens seeking planning permissions etc. for the past three decades.
Enriching favoured bribe purveyors,with re-zoning favours has undermined the moral fabric of this nation. While he is not alone in his attitude to stroking (it is shared by many Fianna Fail T.D.s), it has contributed to the cynicism with which all politicians are viewed.
Can this evil be compared with and weighed against the minor media cock-up of an errenous report of a sex romp during his last hours.
God will decide the fate of the affable and family loving politician, Liam Lawlor
This was no Robin Hood. Just a hood, posing as a representative of decent people. A liar.A cheat. A swindler. If he was a loving father figure besides,he represents the incredible contradictions and blindness that lie within the human psyche.
"To whom much is given ,much is expected"
Like Charlie Haughey,Ray Burke and many many more Fianna Fail politicians; Liam was a talented figure who could have done much good for the nation had he not been driven by greed and self interest.
"It is the blight,that man was born for".
Liam,s final shindig took place in St.Patricks church Lucan,October 27 2005
The church was packed to capacity.The Russian ambassador and numerous "heavies" in black suits abounded,although I am not sure who they were minding .Maybe some of Liams Moscow "business associates" were there also. "Coach and Four" big Jim Mansfield was also prominent at the coffinside,and was overheard to remark that "so many have gone lately,heart attacks and so on",
Certainly in big Jim,s case (and the rest of the Soldiers of Destiny), money can not buy immortality.
If only it were so;
" If the poor could die for the rich they would make a wonderful living".
Frank Dunlop sneaked weasel like,in and out a side door, to avoid the host of photographers at the main entrance.
90% of the congregation were sixty somethings,veteran FiannaFail wheeler-dealers, looking a mite shocked at the suddenness of it all,and wondering how soon and how suddenly the bell would toll for them...
Lovely stories were told about acts of spontaneous generousity by Liam such as delivering food hampers or coal etc to the needy of Ballyfermot etc.(Sh*t) at Christmas time. The songs and hymns were wonderful and very professionally delivered.His four fine sons reminisced on family times together.
The veteran Soldiers then retired to Liam,s mansion at Finnstown to complete the wake,and it is ongoing as I write.All in all it was a good goodbye for Liam.The image of a family man permeated the whiff of scandal which was,on this happy occasion, barely detectable in the air.
If the number of big wig catholic clergy officiating was indicative of Liam,s influence with the Almighty,he will jump the lengthy queue at the gates of Saint Peter. I dont think so.
I am reminded of a story about a bunch of knackers who died suddenly(in a car crash as it happened) and went to join theheavenly queue.When they got to the Pearly Gates, St Peter did not like the look of them at all,so he asked them to wait there while he consulted with the Man himself.
Ten minutes later,he returned but the knackers had scarpered."Where did the gang of knackers go ?" he asked the next person in the queue."They have gone" he replied."what do you mean they have gone" St Peter said.".As I said" the man replied,"They have gone.!,just ten minutes ago- they took everything-the gates..everything !!
Liam, I hope you get away with everything.If we judge you we have to be judged ourselves.Nevertheless corruption in public life still pisses me .Its no joke. It impinges in many ways on the daily struggle of decent citizens, to survive. It affects their opportunity to buy a home .It distorts the economic life of a nation, in respect of the price and availibility of building land,and consequently the price of housing. Can none of you see beyond the next stroke.
Now we know. Lawlor wasn’t a crook, he was an "engaging, witty and larger-than-life character". We know this because our Taoiseach Bart Ahern tells us so.
Lawlors family are furious at allegations that he died alongside a prostitute.
In Moscow, the hookers may be furious at allegations that one died alongside a corrupt public representative,one Liam Lawlor.!
None so blind?
The time worn formula for Fianna Fail strokers in government is exemplified in the following article from the Irish Independent.When a decision is made to purchase land for some purpose,those privy to the "inside information" endeavour to buy the site privately from the existing owner who is not aware that his property has been earmarked for some government project.The stroker in the case that follows is one Tim Collins a close associate of our ever upright and apparently disingenuous leader Mr Ahern.
Will we see Bertie going around with dark glasses ,a guide dog and a white stick next.? His cabinet;his office;his constituency ,is riddled with strokers:
To quote Francis Thompson,
"Turn but a stone,and ye start a worm"
It seems to be payback time for Independent Newspapers for all those years of being sued for slander by evert political or business hoodlum in the Fianna Fail tent.
They are now free to quote from the numerous tribunals without ending up in the Four Goldmines,and quote they do day in day out.Bully for the new found freedom of the press.!
"SILE de Valera, the minister who has successfully resisted ham-fisted attempts by the Taoiseach to sack her, strongly opposed the State's purchase of land which earned a close friend of Mr Ahern over €750,000, the Sunday Independent (April 2006 )revealed.
Even though she was told that the purchase of the controversial Battle of the Boyne site was a "priority" of the Taoiseach's, Ms de Valera did not consider it at all urgent in the context of other projects in her then Department of Arts and Culture.
It can also be revealed today that moves to purchase the site were personally initiated by Mr Ahern, who had his advisers, including the now Senator, Martin Mansergh, raise the issue with the Office of Public Works.
Files seen by the Sunday Independent show that Mr Ahern had at all times kept himself fully briefed on developments in relation to the State's purchase of the site.
His friend, Tim Collins, a Trustee of Mr Ahern's constituency office in Drumcondra, Dublin, made a windfall profit of over €750,000 as a result of the deal.
Mr Collins and the McCanns then managed to substantially reduce their tax liability arising from the sale. They did so by selling to the State the company which owned the lands as opposed to the lands themselves. According to Mr F Glavey, director of audit at the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General, "The purchase of the company was at the behest of the vendor as it resulted in estimated tax saving of £920,000 (€1,168,000) for the company shareholders relative to a direct sale of the lands to the Office of Public Works."
Ms de Valera was "shocked" to discover that the Taoiseach had written to the Department of Foreign Affairs stating that her Department would provide interimfunding and staffing for the project.
According to her then adviser, Brigid McManus, Ms de Valera "did not wish to fund the project at all - she apparently does not consider it a priority . . . "
Ms de Valera's views are contained in a memorandum of a phone call between Ms McManus and Dr Albert Jordan of the Department ofthe Taoiseach, which has been seen by the SundayIndependent.
Earlier this year, it was widely reported that Mr Ahern wanted to remove Ms de Valera from her position of Minister of State in the Department of Education.
An arrangement has been reached between them whereby Ms de Valera will now step down at the end of this year.
Details of the controversial sale of the Battle of the Boyne site were first reported in the Sunday Independent.
Last week Mr Collins told the Mahon tribunal that he had never received shares in any property company as payment for his services as a land agent.
However, when presented with documents showing that this was the mechanism used for paying him for his involvement in the Battle of the Boyne site, Mr Collins agreed that he had been mistaken. (So much Alzheimers in the ranks of the Soldiers of Destiny..almost seems like a plague)
In 1997, the Battle of the Boyne site was bought for €3.4m by the McCann family, who control Fyffes, the giant fruit import company. They formed a separate company to own the land, Deepriver Ltd, of which Tim Collins had 12.5 per cent of the shares.
A month after the McCann transaction was completed, the then Minister for Foreign Affairs, David Andrews, announced that the Government planned to develop the Battle of the Boyne site as part of the peace process.
Negotiations to purchase the site on behalf of the State began, and were concluded in 2000, at a cost to the taxpayer of just under €10m.
That tax bill of almost €1m was instead paid by the OPW when it wound up Deepriver some years later.
Mahon tribunal judges have said they found it "astonishing and extraordinary" that Mr Collins had failed to mention the Deepriver deal until the inquiry's lawyers drew attention to his 12.5 per cent share in the company.
Mr Collins said his job was to bring people together on land deals and, if they were developed, to seek a finder's fee. Asked if he had ever been given a share of land as part of a deal, he replied "never in my life" and "categorically not".
Patricia Dillon SC, for the tribunal, then presented the witness with a document setting out his involvement in the Deepriver project.
Tribunal chairman Judge Alan Mahon said he found it extraordinary that the witness could not remember Deepriver. Mr Collins said he and solicitor Liam Moran were sourcing land for the McCann family and came across a site in Drogheda.
The McCanns bought the 700-acre site and gave him 12.5 per cent of it. He subsequently sold his stake for £600,000 (€750,000)."