Letters to the Editor: Fianna Fáil should forget ‘badly damaged’ Bertie

September 26th, 2022 8:00 AM

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EDITOR – THE growing movement by Fianna Fáil to bring back Bertie Ahern is all the proof we need that things are desperate and current leadership within the Soldiers of Destiny party is not adequate. In 2007 a poll was done, subsequent to his two-day appearance at the Mahon Tribunal, and it revealed that less than a third believed his account of his finances.

He was also criticised for his lack of candour at the Mahon Tribunal. He was repeatedly criticised for changing his story under oath by former Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the then Labour leader Eamon Gilmore for his answers at the Tribunal.

The Moriarty Tribunal in December 2006 criticised Ahern for signing blank cheques for Charles J Haughey.  There was controversy, too, about the way Sipo (Standards in Public Office Commission) handled two complaints made against Ahern who allegedly received undeclared sums of money, but it did not carry out an investigation.

Mr Ahern also headed up a government which squandered €62m plus storage costs on scrapped electronic voting machines. And his frequent use of Celtic Helicopters to get him wherever he wanted to go instead of using cheaper modes of transport, raised more eyebrows.

Fianna Fáil believes they are living in the old days when just because you are popular you can get away with anything.

And there are signs of the old Fianna Fáil coming back with Dara Calleary’s controversial reappointment to a ministerial post following Golfgate, irrespective of critical and angry public criticism.

Just because Bartholomew Patrick Ahern (Bertie) was a player in the peace process and a more charismatic leader than Micheál Martin gives him no right to automatically hold public office, especially recalling his business dealings with Des Traynor, Frank Dunlop, Padraig Flynn, Michael Lowry, and the way he handled the Ansbacher controversy.

God knows what else could emerge as time goes on if he is put back as leader of our government. To many, Fianna Fáil are still a party of sleaze and corruption.

Fianna Fáil better forget about Bertie and move on – at speed. He is badly damaged goods which will bring Fianna Fáil further into the gutter.

Maurice Fitzgerald,


Politicians’ Slovakia trip is really bad timing

EDITOR  – At a time when many people are finding it difficult to put food on the table and many elderly are terrified of future gas and electric bills, and parents are struggling with back-to-school expenses, I find it highly questionable that 16 politicians and five civil servants should be planning a trip to Slovakia at taxpayers’ expense.

In my opinion, this is yet another example of lack of respect or consideration for taxpayers’ funds.

Michael A Moriarty,


Shameful treatment of our fishing industry

EDITOR –  When will this government get to grips with our declining fishing industry? They are people who make their living from the sea providing food from a resource of the nation, ensuring this widens to encompass other sectors of Irish life who benefit the food and hospitality industries.

Increasingly, the cost of going to sea to fish is so high that it is not viable with the cost of diesel now and is the reason boats are berthed at the piers throughout the coasts of Ireland.

It is a shame that the industry has been treated this way with unworkable quotas and high costs.

Noel Harrington,


Greyhound industry’s stance is bemusing

EDITOR  – I’m bemused by the Greyhound Racing Ireland’s statement recently that it could not release track attendance figures because this information might be ‘commercially sensitive’.

I cannot imagine another sport (apart from hare coursing, the even darker underbelly of the greyhound industry) that would shy away from letting us know exactly how many people are turning up to support it.

But then, greyhound racing isn’t like other sports. If I were a tennis or soccer player or a swimmer I wouldn’t expect the whack of a spade over the head if I underperformed or my career was over ... or to be exported to Spain where I might end up hanging from a tree, or to Southern China to be boiled alive for the meat market. No, that fate is reserved for one particular breed of Man’s Best Friend.

I could go into graphic detail about what happens to greyhounds in this so-called ‘industry’ but what I’d have to say might prove more than a  little ‘commercially sensitive.’ Stomach-churning might be a better term.

I know that attendance figures at tracks were adversely impacted by the RTE Investigates programme Running for their Lives, broadcast in 2019, which is understandable given that most people like dogs.

Greyhound racing is bad for dogs, to put it diplomatically. It is in fact the only sport in Ireland that has a finishing gun instead of a starting one.

John Fitzgerald,

Callan, Co Kilkenny.

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