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Thursday, February 12, 2015

The failure of some religious orders to introduce protective protocols for children

Being “appalled” is not good enough. Failure by seven out of nine religious congregations operating in the Dublin archdiocese to apply strict oversight measures to protect children from sexual abuse requires some form of disciplinary action. The congregations operate under the patronage of Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and his displeasure should be made evident.

Dr Martin was rightly appalled by findings from the National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC) that, in spite of decades of scandal and promises of change, major religious orders had yet to implement the protective protocols drawn up by the church-based organisation. Recent years have seen bishops removing paedophile priests from ministry; opening diocesan records; contacting the civil authorities and introducing child safety awareness programmes. But a disconnect appears to have developed where religious orders/congregations were concerned. There, while progress was made, a comprehensive change in culture was patchy, at best.

A composite press release from the NBSC appeared to pull its punches. It expressed disappointment that safeguarding procedures were “only being bedded down in the last couple of years” while reporting of allegations to civil authorities by some orders “didn’t improve until 2013”. But individual reports on the shortcomings of these organisations displayed a much bleaker, less reassuring picture. Protection of children was very much a work in progress.

Dr Martin intends to meet the religious superiors of these organisations and ensure that Dublin diocesan child safety norms are applied in future. Victims of abuse trying to regain their confidence in the church would, he said, be disillusioned once again by these critical reports. He went on to quote§ Pope Francis on the need to reassure parents that the church would protect their children. The archbishop’s dismay was understandable, in view of his trenchant views on this issue, compared to some of his colleagues. The protection of children from sexual predators is not an optional extra and prevarication should not be tolerated. Those who neglected their duty should be held to account.

Eamon Mc Cann

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

European rights body warns of ‘corrupt Ireland’

There is growing concern about corruption in Ireland especially about elected politicians, Europe’s foremost human rights authority has warned.

Various reforms recently introduced, such as the freedom of information and ethics acts are too complex and in some cases conflict with one another.

The report, from the Council of Europe in which Ireland and 46 other governments are represented, warns that there is too much political interference in the appointment and promotion of judges and has called for changes to maintain their independence.

They also want laws that threaten government ministers, elected politicians and others with six months jail for disclosing confidential information scrapped as it discourages whistleblowing.

It notes that Ireland’s reputation has been slipping with Transparency International placing it at its lowest ever ranking among the business community two years ago at 25th, behind Uruguay, Chile and the Bahamas.

The report calls for more stringent rules for politicians on conflicts of interest and asset declarations to include liabilities and those of their closest connections. More streamlined rules and more independent way of assessing politicians’ compliance was needed.

They say all the rules that apply to government ministers should be extended to cover all elected politicians, and to their staff, and it should not be limited to just getting money, but should be extended to cover other advantages.

It raised a red flag over the fact that the clerk of the Dáil or Seanad can dismiss complaints against members without referring it to the relevant committee. They question why complaints are only made public if there is a negative finding.

They are also concerned that a minister can face six months jail for disclosing confidential government information, irrespective of the reason for doing so. This could mean that people are discouraged from becoming whistleblowers.

While the Government pointed to a range of protections, the report believes it is not sufficient and recommends that the whole issue be clarified to ensure whistleblowers are protected.
The report took on board the complaints of the judiciary that the public campaign and referendum on cutting their salaries damaged their standing. There is now a two-tier payment for judges depending when they take up their posts and the constitutional ban on changing their salaries has been scrapped.

A judicial council should be established to deal with such issues in the future, to be involved in appointments of judges, establish an ethical code and judicial training practices.
The report is very critical of politicians’ role in selecting judges and says judges’ promotion “is even more susceptible to political interference” and urges a judicial council to be involved.

The report, from the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption to which Ireland has signed up, monitors anti-corruption laws and practices and focuses on the measures in place nationally to prevent corruption among elected politicians, judges and prosecutors.

It makes 11 recommendations to the Government and has asked it to report in 18 months on the steps it has taken to implement the recommendations.

Ann Cahill

Phil Spencer on Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way

The Emperor Hoare Has No Clothes

He was short and felt it, yet believing he was better than everyone else because the alternative was too frightening: which was to face himself and what he had become. So just like any similar type who had this inner conflict he compensated by bullying those he believed he could bully. That was a while back and early successes bred more of this cowardice along the way. 

Back then, 2004 to be exact, one of the people that stood in the way of this despot builder/developer was an elderly pensioner, Mrs Madden, that lived in Newcastle in Galway. Hoare had bought two houses either side of her and she was a hinderance to his ambitions for he wanted her house as well to build an apartment block with easy money borrowed from a friendly bank. She must be got rid of with everything short of murder. Thats when it all began: an eighteen month terror campaign of torment and torture that all but worked; but she was tougher than he thought.

Rave parties were held at both Hoare’s houses every weekend and windows and furniture regularly smashed. Rubbish was allowed to accumulate on the lawns and rats soon took up residence as well. Mrs Madden said she had been threatened and intimidated by one tenant in particular and had to move out of her own home because she feared for her life. Mrs Madden and her neighbour Mrs Maura Dalton described how their gardens had been vandalised following a court order made the previous year, ordering Mr Hoare to vacate both houses and make them secure, so that people could not get back in. Flower pots had been broken and excrement was put on Mrs Madden's doorstep. The rave parties continued regardless. 

Hoare was consumed by the rage of his thwarted ambitions. He had now been ordered to ‘paint’ the houses after they were to be made secure yet again. The devil was in the detail and the judge should have known better. Hoare later painted the houses with pitch black paint from top to bottom and over all the windows and doors.

The judge commented: “These two appalling squats were neglected by the landlord to such a degree that it prompts the question: Was he hoping Mrs Madden would move out and put her lifelong home up for sale?” Check out the brain on this judge !!!He awarded Mrs. Madden €30,000 compensation including costs. Hoare borrowed that money from his friendly bank as well and he never did get his planning permission. 

Still, after that he bullied others and harassed and refused to pay more than a few honourable sub-contractors to help get his confidence back, and he was soon back to his own self again. Ten years later the conman would finally meet his match: another conman.

By 2014 Michael and his clever accounting wife Mary, owed the friendly banks over €7, 400,000, except they were not so friendly now. They wanted their money back, or to be exact, taxpayers money, for this toxic bank belonged to us now whether we liked it or not. The best laid plans of mice and men… and all that stuff, it seems that Michael Hoare was not too good at developing, or his wife at accounting. Somewhere along the way the Celtic tiger’s roar was reduced to a whisper just before it died altogether.  Somebody’s loss was going to be someone’s else’s gain and the Emperor Hoare had no clothes and it was finally known to all as well.

Their barrister convinced them, because he knew now not only were they greedy but a bit thick as well, that after losing in the High Court they had a real chance that they could win in the Supreme Court, the highest and last appeal place in the land, to get out from under their debts. The fix was in. They duly went along with his master plan, but justice, or the lack of it, is expensive at this court: the court of actors, charlatans and thieves. 

Their original judgement against them was reduced to around €5,600,000 as one guarantee was unenforceable, but the rest of the loans stood still owed as they rested on the solid bedrock of an unarguable and un- winnable case.  But then the clock had always been ticking on the interest for that amount, and we must not forget the barristers have to be paid on top of the solicitors. Together this will mitigate greatly any gains on that day which put the Hoare’s right back where they started, or indeed much further in debt. Without perhaps fully understanding it, they had simply transferred part of their debt to another small group of conmen. Men wearing false wigs should always be handled with great and suspicious care.

The Supreme Court judge also commented that ‘one’ could only have sympathy with people such as the Hoares who "were caught with large loans when the economic crisis and the fall in house prices occurred". 

'One' could indeed have sympathy with the Hoare’s but it would be extremely hard to find two.

Barry Clifford

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

10 Gardai in 3 cars were sent to arrest a 16 year old water tax protester at taxpayers expense...What?

At dawn this morning, 10 Gardai in 3 cars were sent to arrest a 16 year old water tax protester at taxpayers expense. Yesterday, a former FF councilor, suspected of planning to murder 3 people was arrested by appointment (he agreed to go to the police at a time that suited him and the Garda). See the difference?

Seanie Fitzpatrick and his cohorts colluded and succeeded in bankrupting this country with illegal dealings within Anglo Irish Bank under the noses of the Government and the central bank regulator, he too was asked to visit the station by appointment. He later faced trial and got away scott free in a trial where he got to pick his own Judge who dismissed the case.

Whats really going on? This is not about Joan Burton, (who herself should be facing the full rigors of the judicial system along with all her Fine Gael & Labour buddies) for the fraud and traitorous actions they have indulged in over the past few years. This is an attack on society, an attack on democracy, an attack on the sovereign people of Ireland.

One must ask the questions was Joan detained or was it a situation of her own making and stupidity trying to make herself a victim.
Ask the Question “Why did Burton decide to get into the Car?” She saw the peaceful protest & protesters.
Ask the Question “Why did Burton decide to drive through them?”
Ask the Question “Who was the real Victim/s?”

If the answer we come back to is, “Burton is the victim”. Then we are saying that this person, did not have the foresight and went ahead with her decisions.
(a) Open car door (b) Got into that car (c) Closed that car door (d) Instructed her driver to drive away (e) Instructed her driver to drive through the protesters OR “Was She Fully Aware of Exactly what she was Doing?”

The establishment know they have lost the Water War. They know we the people are winning and winning with peaceful protest. This has sickened them. They are now trying to incite a reaction, to incite angry protests. They are doing this, because they want to jail all opposition political activists.

Do not fall for their tricks, stay peaceful. The activists are winning. You the people are winning and our government know it. 

From: A different point of view)