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Saturday, August 22, 2015

The IRA is committed to following a political path

GerryAdams of Sinn Fein

PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton has said today:
“The Provisional IRA is committed to following a political path and is no longer engaged in terrorism.” 
He added:” Our assessment indicates that the primary focus of the Provisional IRA is committed to promoting a peaceful, political agenda, and our assessment is also that the IRA is committed to following a political path and is no longer engaged in terrorism.”

He even went further still: “I accept the bona fides of Sinn Fein’s leadership regarding their rejection of violence and pursuit of the peace process and I accept their assurance that they want to support the police in bringing those responsible to justice.”

In any terms that means the IRA or Sinn Fein are not involved in any criminal activity or murders as the Irish Independent would have us all believe. Even last February, the Garda Commissioner, Noirin O Sullivan, has stated in emphatic terms what she thinks the IRA are about today: 

“We hold no evidence that the Provisional IRA still maintain its military structure with a clear stance being maintained against all military activity.” Though this answer is a bit coy for political reasons only, it is still further evidence from the police this side of the border that the IRA and Sinn Fein has embraced the peace process and have fully and always since they signed on the dotted line.

This of course would be fine in any proper functioning democracy, but on this corrupt little island of rogues and robbers, still here after the saints and scholars had left, leaves a lot to be desired starting with gutter journalism by the Irish Independent. 

That newspaper has fanatically defended anything spouted against Sinn Fein, using tactics better suited to The Enquirer or other such rag mag. They have heralded fiction as fact and fact as fiction by innuendo, and friendly interviews of those who have an interest in shutting out Sinn Fein from any political process. Any if you say nothing, you really said everything because you said nothing. Its not personal of course but all political, underwritten by big business at the expense of the electorate. If that all sounds a bit conspiratorial then don't forget Ahern and Cowen and why we are where we are today.

Reading between the lines of any newspaper needs a certain visual dexterity to see if there is a kernel of truth at all in what is being written. Is it journalism or a political propaganda peace? That uncertainty is all what the Irish Independent needs. It is as if a group of gossips got together in a pub to shed mischief onto the masses, and it is true that you have less to fear from a thief than a liar. Denis O Brien now owns the deciding share of anything of value in the Irish Independent. He bought of their morality a long time ago. 

What is left is to them now are their informed sources, insiders, people close to the source of the source; their deep throats, private whispers, and lies. And when the truth does bite them in the rear end now and again, they always pick themselves up and carry on as if nothing had happened.

Barry Clifford

Photo Minute: Dublin City In The Rare Ould' Times (Colour)

IRA no longer engaged in terror, says PSNI chief

No information to show McGuigan murder sanctioned at senior republican level - Hamilton

PSNI Chief Constable issues a statement on his views on the current status of the Provisional IRA, in Belfast, Saturday, August 22nd, 2015. Photograph: Amanda Ferguson

The Provisional IRA is committed to following a political path and is no longer engaged in terrorism, PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton has said.
The PSNI has no information to suggest the murder of Kevin McGuigan was sanctioned or directed at a senior level in the republican movement, he added at a briefing on Saturday afternoon.

Mr Hamilton’s statement came as a response to increased political pressure in Northern Ireland in recent days in the wake of the killing of Mr McGuigan.

DUP leader Peter Robinson had suggested Sinn Féin would have to be excluded from government in the North if it emerged the IRA was involved in murder, given the republican organisation had announced an end to its armed campaign in 2005.
Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt  said Sinn Féin’s credibility was “in tatters” following the shooting dead of Mr McGuigan in east Belfast.

Organisational infrastructure
In his statement, Mr Hamilton said the PSNI at this stage assess “that some Provisional IRA organisational infrastructure continues to exist but has undergone significant change since the signing of the Belfast Agreement in 1998”.
“Some primarily operational level structures were changed and some elements have been dissolved completely since 2005,” he said.
The police’s assessment was that in the organisational sense the Provisional IRA “does not exist for paramilitary purposes”.

“Nevertheless, we assess that in common with the majority of Northern Ireland paramilitary groups from the period of the conflict, some of the PIRA structure from the 1990s remains broadly in place, although its purposes has radically changed since this period.
“Our assessment indicates that a primary focus of the Provisional IRA is now promoting a peaceful, political republican agenda.

‘Political path’
“It is our assessment that the Provisional IRA is committed to following a political path and is no longer engaged in terrorism.”
He said he accepted the bona fides of the Sinn Féin leadership regarding their rejection of violence and pursuit of the peace process, and their assurance that they want to support police in bringing those responsible for crimes to justice.

“We have no information to suggest that violence, as seen in the murder of Kevin McGuigan, was sanctioned or directed at a senior level in the republican movement,” he continued.

“Although still a proscribed organisation, and therefore illegal, we assess that the continuing existence and cohesion of the Provisional IRA hierarchy has enabled the leadership to move the organisation forward within the peace process.

“Some current Provisional IRA and former members continue to engage in a range of criminal activity and occasional violence in the interest of personal gain or personal agendas.”
By Peter Smyth

Friday, August 21, 2015

Fair and balanced it is not

Jim Stafford, one of the new batches of Personal Insolvency Practitioners or PIP, commenting on RTE radio about the newly drafted insolvency bill, said this: “I would be making a very strong case, for example, that a solicitor (Lawyer) should have a bigger house that accords with his professional status so that his neighbours, and clients can see that, yes, this person is a good solicitor who’s is living in a good house.”  He added:  “In practice, the PIP will also have to assess the type of house that might be needed for a professional person such as a solicitor, accountant, or a hospital consultant as opposed to a house that’s needed by someone who is in the PAYE sector for example.” 

Jim Stafford

Asked about the ethical implications of all this by the interviewer, Mary Wilson, when she said: “Well, he may need an office, but he hardly needs a palatial house in County Dublin?" it went right over the head of the ethically challenged Stafford when he replied: “Believe me, the clients we have on our books are insisting they continue to stay in their palatial homes. Now, it’s possible that some of them might have to downgrade, but that all goes into the pot at the end of the day, and the banks, the creditors, have to agree to that process. 

If anyone thinks this is just a rhetoric from an over indulged member of an inner golden circle of an old boys network, think again. Jim Stafford is no less than a member of the Chartered Accountants ’Ethics’ committee of Ireland.  He also wrote the ‘complete’ syllabus course for the diploma insolvency course for Irish  chartered accountants in Ireland.  

So much for fair and balanced. One way or the other, all PAYE workers, self employed, or unemployed, will be paying for what these ‘professionals’ will not. 

Barry Clifford

Photo Minute: Polar Bear Among The Flowers

Irish households still carry high debts

Only households in Denmark and Netherlands continue to carry heavier debt burdens than those in Ireland, despite falls in indebtedness here, Central Bank figures published yesterday showed as the economic recovery picks up pace.

The country’s households between them owed €154.6bn — equivalent to a debt of €33,530 for every one in the State —in the first three months of the year.

That figure is, however, down by €3.7bn, marking the largest quarterly reduction since the height of the financial crisis in 2010 and is being largely driven by so-called deleveraging, where households continue to pay off debt without taking on more liabilities such as housing loans. 
The data showed that debt write-downs or write-offs amounted to €1.7bn in the quarter, while debt repayments accounted for €1.6bn.

The Central Bank said overall household debt has dropped by over 24% since peaking at €454bn in late 2008, on the eve of the financial crash.

But Ireland remains at the top of the household debt table in Europe, in third place after the Netherlands and Denmark, as the most debt-ridden.

Sweden, the UK, Portugal, Finland and Spain follow Ireland in the debt league.
Slovenia, Czech Republic, Poland, Croatia and Italy carry comparatively light debt burdens. Germany, Austria and France’s household debts are also below the eurozone average.

The Central Bank’s ‘Quarterly Financial Accounts’ also showed that a key economic marker for the country, debt sustainability, also increased in the early part of the year.

Eamon Quinn

Ireland making ‘little or no’ effort to curb corruption - report

Transparency International report says State in need of foreign bribery investigators

The report found that Ireland, along with countries such as Russia, Mexico, Israel and Colombia, has made limited efforts to investigate or prosecute foreign bribery cases

Ireland has made “little or no” effort over the past four years to create a corruption-free playing field for global trade, violating its “obligation to combat cross-border bribery”.
The Transparency International Exporting Corruption report, released on Thursday, found that Ireland, along with countries such as Russia, Mexico, Israel and Colombia, has made limited efforts to investigate or prosecute foreign bribery cases under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Anti-Bribery Convention.
The OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, which came into force in 1999 and was ratified by Ireland in 2003, was established to curb global corruption and criminalise bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions.
According to the latest Transparency International study, carried out by group and experts in foreign bribery, only four of the 41 countries that signed the convention are actively investigating and prosecuting companies that bribe foreign officials.

“By signing up to the OECD anti-bribery convention, governments commit to investigate and prosecute cross-border corruption, yet nearly half of signatory governments are not doing so,” said Transparency International chair José Ugaz.

“The OECD must ensure real consequences for such poor performance. Violation of international law obligations to counter cross-border corruption cannot be tolerated.”
Ireland is one of 20 nations, along with Japan, Russia, Poland, Turkey, Israel and Colombia, listed as making “little or no” effort to curb foreign bribery cases, including money laundering, tax-evasion and fraud, due to “a lack of political will and inadequate resources”.
These 20 countries make up 20.5 per cent of the world’s exports.

The report found the Irish State is in need of investigators with specialised training on foreign bribery and called for increased financial resources to ensure the investigation and prosecution of companies involved in bribery.

The availability of State information concerning investigations, court cases, judgements and the publication of enforcement data also continues to be a challenge, the study found.
Cross border bribery can have “enormous negative consequences” for populations of affected countries and nations should prioritise focusing on cases of grand corruption involving politicians and senior politicians, says Transparency International.

“Combating corruption is a dynamic, ever-changing struggle,” says the report. “Corrupt practices are becoming steadily more sophisticated”.
The report also called for increased protection of whistle-blowers who play a “central role in uncovering corruption” and bring to light suspected incidents of foreign bribery “in good faith”.

Germany, Switzerland, the UK and the United States are the four leading enforcers of the Convention followed by Italy, Canada, Australia, Austria, Norway and Finland who are classified as “moderate” enforcers.

The report found sanctions in Chile and Japan were “inadequate”, applications for sanctions in France were “too lenient” and that Russia had changed its criminal code to reduce the size of penalties for receiving or giving bribes.
Sorcha Pollak

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Alan Shatter: Truth Or Justice

“We started to discover clusters,” he says. “Myself and the other man. We started seeing the same names coming up again and again on the Pulse [Garda computer] system and we realised that certain people were being looked after; that people with connections in Irish society, from judges to politicians to celebrities, were having their points quashed and that this was happening in every town in the country.”
John Wilson, former Garda and whistleblower

This is what former minister for justice, Alan Shatter, did about Wilson, Mc Cabe and anyone else with whistles in their pocket: he sacked Oliver Connolly, the man over the whistleblowers, after it emerged that he’d warned a whistleblower that Shatter would finish him. He did not stop there. He called them liars under the subterfuge of double speak when he said: “Widespread currency was given to to a number of ‘incorrect’ allegations made by the Mullingar- officer (Mc Cabe). 

Penalty points was the least of the problems of a wholly corrupt and incompetent force of course. A court was not told that a killer was out on bail after a serious assault when he was charged over child abduction. Then there was the falsification of records for all sorts, the sexual harassment of a female Garda, inadequate investigations of several serious crimes and poor policing, which begs the question: what does a Garda do all day? The reliable Director Of Public Prosecution (DPP), at least for the police, as usual gave rise to the implication that there was nothing to see here and for us all (Joe Public) just to move on, while stating as we fled that no laws were broken. 

When at last Alan Shatter proved to be the liar that he was to everyone else but himself, he fell on his own sword with a little help from his friend, Enda Kenny. And so it seemed as we all thought he would just go away. An ego that big though never does.

When finally reaching the lofty position of Minister for Justice, Alan could see it all: A portrait of himself hanging on the walls of the Dail, peering down in unspoken rebuke to the lesser mortals looking up at him; then there was the snippets of his written and verbal wisdom to be handed down and repeated by law students and civil rights campaigners across the globe for generations to come. A veneration only given to saints and scholars and great honest statesmen/ women that would be his final accolade, and higher than that given to Caesar to this day. 

Alas, it was not to be. In the end It would all come down to a greedy and tardy grubbiness that amounted to exactly €12 and after he got out of a drunken driving charge because he claimed he had asthma. 

Yes, this was the price he paid for passport photos, and despite his salary of over €160,000 plus expenses, he was not going to let the taxpayer and those who elected him let him pay that whopping €12. No, Alan is firmly of the school of thought which says: ‘why pay for anything, no matter how small, when someone else can?” 

And as I struggled to articulate to myself what kind of a man does exactly that all of the time, good old Alan articulated it better than I ever could when he posed the question and answer to himself and us with pointed finger, (the problem with pointing fingers is that three of them are always pointing back) when he said this: The press has depicted me as a dishonest money-grabbing politician, fleecing taxpayers by an indefensible expenses claim.” Then Using the ‘is it because I am black defence’ he added: “I have become the object of vile anti-Semitic comment.”

And so Alan walked on, huddled against the rain of a waning summer and a wet August while wondering what will people think him now, and yet comforted by the fact that he still has his salary, plus expenses that included that €12; and which we will have to pay for many more years to come. Hail Caesar, hail Alan.

Barry Clifford

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

We Are Back: Fianna Fail

Michael Martin said about Sinn Fein: “I have watched Sinn Fein in the north, all they have been about is getting votes and securing power and they are at the same game here.” He also said: “We have got to show political parties can change. I have no interest in just winning votes, my ambition is to change the way we do politics.”

                                      The way Fianna Fail does politics

The Facts: 2009 The Moriarty tribunal found that Charles Haughey, a Fianna Fail leader. was taking corruption payments for over 17 years. 

The Facts 2010 Beverly Cooper Flynn, daughter of Padraig Flynn, when as an employee of the National Irish Bank, was found to have assisted clients in evading taxes by funnelling undeclared income to Clerical Medical schemes in the Isle of Man. 

The Facts: 2012  The Mahon tribunal found that Bertie Ahern, a Fianna Fail leader, failed to truthfully account for a number of financial transactions. He was in power for 13 years.

The Facts: 2012 The Mahon tribunal found that Frank Dunlop, a Fianna Fail bagman, made corrupt payments to county councillors.

The Facts: 2012 The Mahon tribunal found that Padraig Flynn wrongfully and corruptly sought a substantial payment from a developer that was meant for Fianna Fail but decided he would keep it instead.

The Facts: 2012 The Mahon tribunal found that Albert Reynolds, a former Fianna Fail man, was seeking money from developer, Owen O’ callaghan, that was entirely inappropriate, and was an abuse of political power and government authority. 

The Facts: 2012 The Mahon tribunal found that Ray burke had sought and recieved payments and other benefits from certain developers, and for being available to serve the interests of a private radio station. 

The Facts: 2012 The Mahon tribunal found that Liam Lawlor abused his position by corruptly selling his influence for financial reward that made him 'hopelessly compromised.'

The Facts: 2012 The Mahon Tribunal found that Don Lydon, a Fianna Fail senator, was found to have recieved corrupt payments from property developers 

The Facts: 2012 The Mahon Tribunal found that Finbarr Hanrahan, a Fianna Fail councillor, solicated money from developers.

The Facts: 2012 The Mahon tribunal  found that GV Wright, a former Fianna Fail senator was among the councillors who recieved corrupt payments from developers. 

The Facts: 2012 The Mahon tribunal found that John Hannon, a former Fianna Fail councillor, was among those that recieved corrupt payments from developers.

The Facts: 2012 A former Fianna Fail councillor, Gerard Killally, is found guilty of theft. 

The Facts: 2012 A Fianna Fail councillor, Francie O’ Brien was arrested and questioned by Gardai about an attempt to blackmail a public official for €100,000.

The Facts: 2013, 2014 and 2015:  A Fianna Fail.................................Oh! Whats the point?

.... and on and on it goes. There are a lot more in the rogue’s gallery, and I already appreciate you as a reader hanging in this long. None of the above have ever been charged with actual political corruption or indeed convicted. Six are receiving massive pensions for services to their country, or pocket, depending on your point of view. 

The secretive and dangerous incompetents of Bertie Ahern, Brian Cowen and Brian Lenihan had their sticky fingers everywhere too and now we have Michael Martin telling us the way forward. All three were at the helm when they sank or sold anything that was left in Ireland. 

Fool me once....................  

Barry Clifford

Photo Minute: Manchester England-1960's

German airmen were guests in Ireland not prisoners

There was little for the men to do at the Look Out Post at Brandon Point, Co Kerry on August 20, 1940. The area was shrouded in thick fog and visability was down to only a matter of yards.
Suddenly they heard an aircraft approaching. Although it was obviously flying low, nobody could see it from the ground.

The crew of the Focke-Wulf Condor had left their base in Abbeville, France, before dawn on a weather reconnaissance mission. Dr Eric Kruger, their meteorologist, took three hours of readings at different heights off the west coast of Ireland. The commander, Oberleutnant Kurt Mollenhauer, then asked the navigator, Ludwig Wochner, for a course home. Wochner suggested they climb to 5,000 feet and hold that course for 30 minutes, by which time they should be clear of the mountains on the west coast of Ireland.
Thinking they were out over the ocean south of Ireland, they descended to 1,000 feet in the hope of attacking some Allied shipping. The clouds suddenly broke and they saw the Maharees peninsula, forming the western boundary of Tralee Bay, off their port wing.

Mollenhauer ordered the pilot to head west back into the mist and away from the Irish coast. He had no idea they were over Brandon Bay and were turning towards Mount Brandon, then shrouded in thick fog.
At the last moment the pilot, Robert Beumer, saw the mountain as it loomed out of the mist. He instinctively raised the nose of the plane, but as he did, a large rock tore off the under turret. Had he planned it, he could hardly have done better. The rock slowed them and by sheer luck the aircraft, with its nose up, was moving almost parallel to the mountain slope, making a belly-landing on the treacherous slope.
Only two of the six-man crew were injured. Mollenhauer fractured his right ankle, and Beumer suffered a painful back injury.

While the two injured men were taken to the County Hospital in Tralee, their colleagues were taken to Collins Barracks, Cork, where they were held for 10 days.

“You need have no anxiety about me, since we are here removed from the vicissitude of the war,” Kruger assured his mother in a letter. “I have here a lazy life, and perhaps the abundance of sleep and good food will have a good affect even on me.”
“The people are very friendly and put everything at our disposal that we need,” Kurt Kyck, 20, wrote to his parents in Allenstein. “When the war is over I shall probably come home again. I hope it won’t be long now.”
The six men were interned in Ireland for just four days short of five years, but they were housed in what must have been one of the strangest concentration camps of the war. Kyck actually got married while interned and he spent most of the next 70 years in Ireland, where their son, Wolfgang Kyck, became a senior pilot with Aer Lingus.

On August 31, 1940, Mollenhauer and Beumer were transferred from Tralee to the Curragh Military Hospital, and the four others were moved from Cork to ‘K Lines’, or the No 2 Internment Camp, as it was officially called. It was a newly constructed camp at the Curragh, about a mile from Tintown, the No 1 Internment Camp, where members of the IRA were held.
The guards there were not initially as friendly to the Germans as the soldiers in Cork. Guards at the Curragh did interchangeable duty between the K Lines and Tintown, and this inevitably affected their attitude towards the internees, who complained to the German minister that they were being treated like prisoners of war.
Strictly speaking, they were not prisoners, but guests of the State, which was merely obligated to insure that they took no further part in the war. Colonel Thomas McNally, the officer in charge of the Curragh command, considered them prisoners, however, and he ordered stringent security.

“These prisoners in my opinion are the type who consider it a duty to affect escape at the first available opportunity,” McNally wrote. “As a race they are very tough and methodical and I feel will avail themselves of any laxity in the regulations which govern their internment.”

The camp authorities were in a quandary when the German minister arrived at the camp with six bottles of wine. The men had been permitted to drink alcohol, read Irish newspapers, and even listen to the radio while in Cork. Now these facilities were being denied for no good reason.
Mollenhauer complained about not even being able to get enough fresh air in the military hospital. Large nails had been driven into the window frames to prevent the windows in his room being opened more than a few inches for fear he might try to escape. There was already an iron grill on the window, and his leg was in plaster.

Thus he welcomed his transfer to K Lines, where he was able to get all the fresh air he desired. The six internees were housed in two separate wooden bungalows — the officers in one and the NCOs in the other. All ate together in the same mess, at their own request.
The German minister asked for a relaxation of the prison-like conditions, but the Army authorities moved slowly until the internment of the first British airman on September 29, 1940, added a new dimension to the internment question, especially as Pilot Officer Paul Mayhew was the son of prominent British businessman Basil Mayhew.

Mayhew’s aircraft was actually the seventh British warplane to land in Ireland, but no effort was made to detain any of the crew of the others — even after the pilot of one plane went into the Garda station in Skerries to make a phone call after he set-down just off Dublin coast. Following the internment of the Germans, however, Irish authorities felt Mayhew had to be held.
As a separate compound was being prepared at K Lines for Mayhew, Frederick Boland, the assistant secretary of the Department of External Affairs, warned the Army that the internment of the British airman was going to give rise to more difficult issues.

“What we must be sure of,” Boland wrote, “is that we do not withhold reasonable and usual amenities which it might later be deemed to be expedient to grant to military internees of another nationality to obviate, for example, attacks in the British press.
“We are under international obligation to keep these men in this country and to ensure that they do not escape and return to Germany. Once their safe custody is assured the men should be granted every facility and amenity calculated to soften their captivity and relieve their monotony.” He thought there were no grounds for denying the men a radio, newspapers, or magazines.

The German government gave permission for the men to sign out of the camp on parole, promising on their honour not to try to escape, or take part in any activities relating to the war. The officers were given an allowance of £3 per week and the NCOs £2 per week, which compared favourably with the wage of less than £1 a week being paid to their guards. All of the internees were also given £5 each to purchase civilian clothes.

The limited freedom granted on parole was quickly expanded. They were allowed to sign out each day within a 12-mile radius of the camp, and they could go to Dublin once a week.
As the war continued, K Lines expanded with the addition of 45 other German airmen and 47 more Allied airmen. Within each compound, the internees were allowed to have a bar in which the Army sold drink duty-free.

In October 1943 the Allied internees were moved to separate camp in Gormanston, Co Meath, and most were secretly freed. In a gesture towards the Germans, Mollenhauer and 19 of his colleagues were allowed to move to Dublin and enroll at University College, Dublin, or the College of Technology in Bolton Street. They stayed in groups of three or four in rented houses.

The Garda Special Branch kept an eye on the students and their contacts. People who rented them accommodation were investigated, and the Special Branch informed the Army that some of the men had amorous involvements with their Irish landladies.

Meanwhile, back at the Curragh, Kyck had fallen in love with Lilian White, who lived with her parents in the married quarters in Kildare Army Barracks. Her father — a sergeant in the Army — had served in Germany with the British army of occupation after World War One. That was when he met and married Lilian’s German mother.
Thus Kyck looked on the Whites’ quarters as a home from home. He married Lilian while he was still interned.

Mollenhauer married Dr Paula Mecklenburg from Dolphin’s Barn, Dublin, in 1947. They courted while he was attending UCD. Her parents were Germans who had moved to Ireland many years earlier.
The students in Dublin were able to buy duty-free alcohol at K Lines, and they exploited this to supplement their incomes. In just one week in December 1944, the seven German internees living in two houses purchased over £352 worth of wine and spirits, even though their per diem allowance only amounted to two shillings and two pence each. Thus, in that week leading up to Christmas, they actually spent more than their total combined allowances for sixteen months.

Shortly after the war ended in Europe, the Germans internees were repatriated. It took Kyck more than four years to get back and settle in this country, where he died in 2010, some 70 years after his initial arrival.
Ryle Dwyer

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Elbib book

Once upon a time there was a man who suffered from terrible delusions, and who told tall tales and made rules for the few that believed him. These guys handed down the strange stories to others and over several generations the reference book for the fairytales came to be known as The Elbib.’

The Elbib book

It was claimed to be the last and final words from the original delusional one, who was homophobic and racist among other things, and of course his equally delusional followers did not think that he was in this state of mind at all. 

He did not care much either for those with tattoos or had a propensity for fortune- tellers, and non-virgins before marriage were positively looked down upon, and it was seen as a good thing just to stone them to death in this exact manner: ‘Then they shall bring out the woman to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones until she is dead.’ 

If you have had your private parts cut off by an angry wife or lose them in battle, you are not wanted in this tribe either: ‘He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his private member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation…’  

For the lippy children that curse their parents: they do not fare much better in this book either I'm afraid, or at least they should be afraid: ‘And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.” 

Working on Sunday can be quite fatal as well: ‘Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore for it is holy unto you. Every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death.’

The other fact is that when not following the rules, which also excludes ham sandwiches and sea food, can be very bad for your health; while speaking in church, consulting physics, getting divorced can be positively detrimental for it too.

One way or the other, you are damned if you do and definitely damned if you don’t.

I do not know if just one person reading this is an Elbib thumper, who is frustrated in life and/ or has actually read it at all, but one thing I do know is: that The Elbib book has all the above rules which would frustrate the most benign and righteous among us. 

The ELBIB book is also the BIBLE spelled backwards. 

Barry Clifford

Photo minute: Around the world in 80 seconds

 National Park New Zealand
 Petra Jordan 13th century
 Newgrange Co Meath Ireland
 Newgrange Co Meath Ireland
 Cashel Co Tippeary Ireland
 Cliffs of Moher Co Clare Ireland
 Giants Causeway Antrim Ireland
 Trinity College Dublin Ireland
 Colosseum Rome
 Anghor Cambodia
 Galapagos Islands
Grand Canyon Arizona USA

Monday, August 17, 2015

The wall Of Blue Silence With A Few Shades Of Grey

An eastern European prostitute, who said she was raped by a police officer after he and his panting fellow cop raided their den of iniquity, was instead prosecuted for prostitution and fined along with her friend, who was forced to watch the rape. Yet the policeman and his buddy escaped any prosecution and both their jobs remained intact. This is justice, Irish style.

The cop claimed the sex was consensual and offered that he was off- duty in any case as a mitigating factor. Of course it was consensual and he was off duty as well, and who would believe any prostitute anyway, especially one from eastern Europe above all places, who?? Bless his lying heart and the wall of blue held firm again with a few shades of grey. I was wondering though how many women of that particular profession accuse cops of rape, kidnapping and blackmail if it was not so? How many women indeed……?

All or part of this case of course was sent to the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC), who, it must be said, have as much power as a man trying to stop a water leak with a net, and pretended they had a real job while arresting the erstwhile cop. They even sent a watered down version of the ‘alleged’ crime of rape, kidnapping, blackmail and having sex with a prostitute to the Director Of Public Prosecutions, except there is not too much public about these guys either or even transparent- prosecution wise. The KGB would be proud of them and their secrecy and could even learn a lesson or two from the DPP as well. 

In fact the GSOC only acted at all when the woman who was raped came forward. Anyway, the final judgement came down from the DPP and the GSOC together and it was this: “The records of duty relevant to the garda were contradictory as regards his actual hours of duty, so it was unclear whether he was on or off-duty at the time of the act.” So they declined together not to bring any criminal charges against this cop except that matter of a fine.

There you have it: Nothing to see here, move on….and that ‘act’ of rape, kidnapping, blackmail, and having sex with a prostitute because of confusion of whether he was working or not only cost him that fine of €10,000. Cheap at half the price!!

This rapist, kidnapper, blackmailer officer is understood to be still working/prowling on the force in the west of Ireland and that is unfortunate for him or me for that is where I live too. Lock up your daughters in the meantime until we put a name to this particular man. 

Barry Clifford

Wrongful Convictions: Time to shine a light on the innocent

I know a man named Angel who spent 21 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. During his incarceration, both his mother and the mother of his children died and he exhausted all his appeals. He was fated to die in prison without any chance of parole.

Anne Driscoll and David Langwallner of the Innocence Project

He was fortunate enough, however, to be freed this spring after a 10-year investigation by the Justice Brandeis Law Project of the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University convinced a judge in Massachusetts to throw out his conviction.
If only this was an isolated story of injustice.

Back in the Second World War era in New Inn, Co Tipperary, Harry Gleeson was a fiddler, a farmhand, and a greyhound handler, a quiet but well-liked man. He was hanged in 1941 for the murder of a neighbor, Moll McCarthy, all of which was both scandalous and newsworthy at the time.

Harry Gleeson

And when news of Harry's exoneration of that murder broke earlier this year, it also garnered enormous press coverage. However, behind the headlines, what many people in smartphone-era Ireland don’t understand is that what happened to Harry — being convicted of a crime he didn’t commit — can happen to anyone, anywhere, still today.

Prior to the late 80s, it was assumed that if someone was convicted, they were most likely guilty. However, with the introduction of DNA evidence in courts in the UK in 1987 and in the US in 1988, this forensic tool demonstrated unequivocally that the justice system doesn’t always work and thus the birth of the innocence movement occurred.

That began in 1992 as the Innocence Project in New York City has now grown internationally to include 68 separate innocence projects under the aegis of the Innocence Network, including the Irish Innocence Project, founded by Griffith College dean of law David Langwallner in 2009.
Research over the past two decades since has revealed that about 2.3% to 5% of all convictions are wrong and that eyewitness misidentifications, faulty science, police or prosecutorial misconduct, ineffective counsel, false confessions, or snitch evidence are the most common contributing factors.
The toll such a miscarriage of justice takes is nearly incalculable.

And any wrongful c onviction is always a double miscarriage of justice, as an innocent person has been convicted and the guilty person has not been held accountable, often free to commit more crimes.

Harry Gleeson

Since 2009, the Irish Innocence Project — the only innocence project in Ireland and providing all its services for free — has trained nearly 100 student caseworkers from Griffith College, Trinity College, and DCU, working under the supervision of pro bono lawyers, to investigate cases believed to be wrongful convictions and uncover new evidence — the basis of establishing a Miscarriages of Justice claim in the Irish courts.

And their work has paid powerful dividends.
This year, Minister of Justice Frances Fitzgerald expressed regret and sympathy for the wrongful hanging of Harry Gleeson. This is our first exoneration and the first time in Irish history for such a posthumous presidential pardon has been made;
A High Court decision defined the mechanism for post-conviction access to DNA testing — something every state in the US provides for;
We are, this month, offering submissions in a case before the Greek Supreme Court;
We hosted the Irish Innocence Project International Wrongful Conviction Conference and Film Festival on 26-27 June 2015 at Griffith College Dublin featuring addresses by Dr Mary McAleese, Guildford Four defence lawyer Gareth Peirce, Innocence Project co-founders Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld, and In the Name of the Father director Jim Sheridan and drew 200 delegates from 15 countries, including the attorney general of Thailand;
The Irish Innocence Project and the Italy Innocence Project now co-direct the European Innocence Network, which will vet and validate new and developing innocence projects as the movement expands.

English jurist William Blackstone recognised the dire consequences of a wrongful conviction when he said: “It is better that 10 guilty people escape than that one innocent person suffer.”
We are attempting to better balance those scales of justice. It is an aim that none other than Sean McBride dedicated his life to. McBride was Harry Gleeson’s junior counsel and it is believed that his experience representing an innocent, but ultimately doomed man, was the genesis of his later role in the founding of Amnesty International.

That aim continues in the founding of the nnocence Network and its expansion beyond the US with the European Innocence Network, where the Irish Innocence Project has taken a lead and dedicated itself to investigate injustices, right them whenever possible and prevent other Harry Gleeson cases from happening.

The Irish Innocence Project is a Revenue-approved charity that provides all its services for free and relies on donations to do the work it does. For more information or to donate, please visit 

Anne Driscoll is the Journalist Project Manager of the Irish Innocence Project, a 2013-2014 US Fulbright Scholar and the senior reporter of the Justice Brandeis Law Project at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University in Massachusetts.