Cronyism within our Public Service and semi-state sector

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Reading an article on a Sunday newspaper a couple of weeks ago I noticed it was in relation to Enterprise Ireland. 6 staff members, if I recall, are out sick for periods of 5, 10, 15 and almost 20 years. I find this hard to read never mind understand. How could a semi-state body, like Enterprise Ireland, led by Julie Sinnamon, Chief Executive, and her HR/PR staff allow this to happen? Are these people alive still? Have one or two passed onto the other World without even Enterprise Ireland knowing who are still propping up their pension rights. It is a shocking indictment in relation to semi-state. Shane Ross once called Enterprise Ireland a quango for the entitled classes. As I write this article, Minister Feather Humphreys and Julie Sinnamon and a host of others are on a junket to California, all paid for by the Irish taxpayers. We are shortly in the eye of the biggest economic storm in our history Hurricane Brexit and these entitled idiots are on free travel, wine and song, talking to companies in the Hollywood area, in relation to cartoons, according to my source. Could somebody in semi-state today give us an up-date on what is happening with Enterprise Ireland and the Minister in America?

Denmark is in the European economy and they have a fantastic animation industry so why are these clowns in America especially with a tariff war going on.

In the middle of all this, there was a gathering yesterday at the Aviva with over 150 SME’s and Kevin Sherry on behalf of Enterprise Ireland was filling in for Ms Sinnamon. Again we have no idea what went on because there is nothing in the media which says to me is EI acting as a private quango at the moment. Cronyism is embedded in our semi-state not to mention our public service and if it is not tackled urgently it will get so deeply rooted it will take a social earthquake to sort it out, if that is ever possible. At the moment, the atmosphere in East Point is like a temperature in Siberia and staff apathy means they are even too afraid to complain. If you are not in the inner circle you are just a clock watcher and a pen pusher. PR is the name of the game in EI and Julie is the Queen Bee leading all the drones. I am sure there will be more on this in the coming days.


  1. Cronyism has no boundaries, just like criminality and since the downfall in Ireland from 2008, we have seen and witnessed some big hitters in banking wearing handcuffs and being driven away in prison vans. Just two days ago David Drumm went down for six years and is now mopping a landing in some prison before he goes to the bankers nursing home at Loughan House, Cavan.

    We also have witnessed our courts handing out sentences and people at times look shocked and aghast by the level of inconsistency in our courts. We cannot forget the Garlic man. He employed over 140 people; he failed to submit tax returns but he had a deal with Revenue and he was paying back the shortfall. Judge Nolan did not agree and he stated that the fraud was well planned and orchestrated. He gave Mr Begley six years in prison. Drumm defrauds the country of e7.2 billion and if he starts paying it back out of his welfare he probably will have the balance paid off in three thousand years. Then we have a doctor last week who has 7 children. He was highly respected and still is in Sutton and beyond. He again had the money in court and his wife pleading for mercy plus 12 people rushing to give him references. Yet Judge Nolan, summed up by saying it was ‘orchestrated and planned and he had no choice but to give him 16 months in custody’. Some legal experts will have different views on Judges and the pattern or may I say the lack of in the sentencing handed out in the courts.

    Now Cronyism is a very strange word and who can argue about the Separation of Powers; we don’t have any. When various Governments appoint their own through the wink and nod to the Bench and give them the wig, what can anybody call this? It is called pay-back time which is another form of Cronyism. Yesterday in a District Court, which I found bizarre, one of Ireland’s leading dentists and researchers, Jim Madden and his daughter Orna (a barrister and former Vice Chairperson of the Employment Appeal Court) were convicted of a very well planned, orchestrated, and devious operation of supplying cancer drugs to the Middle East. They had a bogus address in England and another bogus address in Istanbul in Turkey and they were in line to make multiple thousands if they were not detected. My question is simple. Why did the DPP not have this case dealt with on indictment to a Circuit Court and not left in the District Court? I fail to have an answer on this. They took the Guilty plea and Judge Coughlan fined each of them e1,000 and stated that if they had not pleaded Guilty and had gone forward for a hearing, he would have considered a custodial sentence. It is up to people themselves today to make up their own minds relating to the work within our courts and to define the words “Courts of Justice”. I am not making any comments against Judge Coughlan but I do question the DPP on this and I am sure I am not alone in this. I also would like to know does Ms Madden continue to practice as a barrister without any penalties within the Law Library?

    Yes, Cronyism is a very strange specie but it lurks in every corner on this Island.


  2. The St. John of God Charity has been in the headlines for the last two years & for all the wrong reasons. Can somebody in Ireland today define the word theft for me? Perhaps by example, e.g. taking monies that is supposed to go to children with disabilities and pocketing it for their own gain. Or we could bluntly call it fraud, but then again this is Ireland now and Corruption appears to be legal, especially in certain areas of our charity sector.

    I am asking today how can a board of St. John of God’s sharande between them monies that were destined solely for the betterment of vulnerable children and their families. Reading an article by Michael O’Farrell in the Irish Mail, I could not believe that John Pepper received €2 million in secret top-ups. Let me repeat that: John Pepper received €2 million in secret top-ups and is laughing at the Minister of State and the HSE being a significant funder. How can Pepper walk away?

    Now I read about Sharon Balmaine: Ms. Balmaine took €145,000 that was destined again for vulnerable children. Yet there is no investigation, no questions asked or even answered: carrying on regardless is the attitude of the State, in this Ireland one law for one and one law for the other. Ms. Balmaine in the next two weeks is taking a senior post in Failte Ireland… I find this disgusting and insulting to say the least.

    Have these people any shame at all? Where are the Government watchers (Irish Charities Regulator) in relation to taxpayers money? We also have Brother Forkan who got in the region of €160,000 – again no questions asked. What could be going on here but Cronyism at its deepest and worst?

    There are so many questions and very few answers. Our charities are sinking in the mire, and yet with all the scandals that are going on at the present time, not forgetting Mr. Conlon who is presently held in a Swiss prison or the €10 million missing funds from the charities he was involved with.

    This morning on the Independent I read about an Irish citizen who got two back loans with a forged document. He is now in the circuit criminal court but he was paying back the loan and it is right he is in the criminal court but my question is what about the shower above? And I ask another question: we have a two-tier health system, but do we also have a two-tier Justice system (i.e. Selective Justice)?

    Down the years there was a saying ‘something rotten in the State of Denmark (Hamlet). I want to apologise to Denmark because something is rotting in the State of Ireland and it is getting deeper and deeper by the day. We are sinking in Cronyism and Corruption.


  3. On the above comment let me add some more. Pepper and his crew literally did a dawn raid and got away with it scott free. At the moment our charities have so much corruption deeply entrenched it is hard to even get an idea of how much money in the millions has gone missing down the years. I have to agree with the above writer that practically in Ireland now – Corruption is Legal. Let me give other examples:-

    the scandal within Acquired Brain Injury “ABI” (shopping in New York with charity credit card; buying a painting for her husband) – no charges brought

    Paul Kelly, former doctor, priest, nun, pilot, et al is still living in a house which was paid for with charity money. Console was there to help people after their loved ones committed suicide. Kelly, his wife and son helped themselves and traveled the world – no charges as yet

    Fergus Finlay draws down a salary for e120,000 plus expenses from Barnardos charity

    Avril Power, the failed politician, married to Fionn Sheahan and I will quote what Mick Wallace said in the Dail “takes 80% of funds raised by the Asthma society but has now landed a job in the Irish Cancer Society with a salary approaching e150,000 plus expenses.

    then we are back to the Irish Hospice at Harold’s Cross where Mo Flynn who I find to be offensive and arrogant and is the central character in this scandal was asked to step down because she too was using the company credit card for wining and dining in top restaurants for a clique of employees and certain guests. Now Mo Flynn has been rewarded by replacing Angela Kerins in Rehab and is now on a salary exceeding e270,000 per year. Yes, I repeat the above writers comment, Ireland the land of Legal Corruption and especially within our charity sector.

    To conclude:

    Professor Hooper in charge of Spin the Wheel as in multiple charities – can he come out and make a statement about what is to be done and when to clean up the waste and corruption within Irish charities.


  4. Two weeks ago in the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court ,Judge Martin Nolan jailed a Palestinian doctor ,Bassam Naser, for not declaring tax on his earnings .This was despite the father of seven having produced a €100,000 cheque in court to pay the overdue tax. After noting how Dr Naser had been an advocate for his poorer patients and acknowledging the charity work he did for his native Palestine , Judge Nolan described Dr Bassam Naser as “morally reprehensible” and imposed a 16 month prison sentence

    Yesterday in the same court, the same judge described Limerick TD ,Michael Lowry, as a “conscientious tax payer” after a jury had convicted the Independent TD and his refrigeration company Granura of delivering incorrect corporation tax returns and failing to keep proper accounts.In Lowry’s case the judge thought a prison sentence inappropriate and fined the TD 25,000 euros noting that the TD had no previous convictions, was a good employer and a “very good public representative.


  5. Addendum: 27th August 2018

    This article was written in relation to SFI, IDA, Enterprise Ireland and the Quangos in 2012. It was the year Mr Ferguson was appointed to the position of director of SFI (formerly Renovo). Nothing has really changed and the people responsible for the waste of taxpayers money in this case are the Labour Party and the little Corkonian Sean Sherlock.

    What I am reading about the SFI debacle, its new Director General Ferguson and inside governance is even remotely true then I truly despair. How on earth can an organisation so newly created (early 2000) be apparently so corrupt? What is going on? How and by whom are these people appointed? How can an organisation/individual have so much control/power over, in the present climate, such vast amounts of money? Have we all gone mad?

    I call on our ministers, the people we elected and pay handsomely to govern, to sort out this debacle immediately. Could I, one of life’s lesser mortals dare suggest that we cleanse this organisation root and branch or simply get rid of it? Could we also have a detailed and transparent spreadsheet of how our money is spent by these super brains? What we need is an exact account of who they fund? How much they fund and what we the taxpayer get for that funding? – apart from those over inflated egos that seem to have grown prodigiously over the last few years and of course SFI’s ability via its communications PR machine to link itself to the successes of the IDA and Enterprise Ireland. Can we also be told how much it costs the taxpayer for this organisation to administer these funds and what exactly it costs SFI’s highflyers to showcase themselves around the world when in fact our business acument/potential, and our scientific research is already being adequately showcased by the IDA, Enterprise Ireland, our Universities, our small hard working entrepreneurs and indeed by our own President Michael D. Higgins. Truly we have gone mad.

    Finally can this less than superbrain make one more suggestion: Send all that money wasted by quangos such as SFI back to the State coffers to be controlled and distributed by the Department of Finance and the Department of Education. Stop all this nonsense about attracting super brains to our shores. Spend the money instead on building up this country’s basic mathematical/engineering/scientific and artistic prowess which by all accounts we so desparately need to do. Let us have some degree of common sense in this benighted country of ours, and let those with the necessary talent/giftedness which at the moment are being sidelined, get down to the real business of re-constructing this country on the road to recovery.

    Weary (an interesting choice of name)


  6. Brexit is looming and if you believe what Irish Government sources are saying you would be very foolish. People now are becoming very Wary of Brexit. It is like an overrun of the OK Coral but at least after that gunfights the losers end up on Boot Hill. Coveney who has probably the real look of a true Blueshirt going back to the mid twenties does not have the social or mindset to defend Ireland’s economic survival because when this Brexit storm arrives the first victims will be our meat industry especially at the border – the truth is it will be literally wiped out. Also, we have to understand that a lot of our prescribed medications (60%>) come from England and they also supply many other European countries. This needs to be addressed and dealt with urgently. Like our charity sector, at the moment, there are two many mouths and different quango’s talking about Brexit and they are all walking either through each other or over each other. These gatherings are the elite of Ireland with their PR spin and their five course meals at the best hotels and it is a circuit or Circus. I call it the Ship of Fools.

    Enterprise Ireland last week held yet another Forum in Dublin and as usual the managers in this Quango presumed it would go off without interruption. Julie Sinnamon has more spin doctors than Donald Trump. Kevin Sherry and Leo McAdams are just the messenger boys and the rest of the over staffed Quango are so entitled that some of the staff in EI can take a year off, two years off to study or even go on global travel tours and it does not affect their pension rights. How entitled can you be? At this point I would like to know why Lisa Vaughan left the stage in EI and also what was the full story behind Simon Bradshaw and how he too left in a cloud of darkness and secrecy.

    Back to the even last week: Avolon: They were all there in their fine suits, hair do’s and designers. But the founder of Avolon came with a purpose and rightly so. Domhnal Slattery used his key note speech at the top table to lambast Enterprise Ireland and the State Bodies pay masters. You could even say the evening could have been re-titled. Appetite for Disruption. The look on the faces of EI representatives there certainly did not expect the chastisement (long overdue) from Slattery and he did not mince his words. It certainly left a nasty taste in the mouths of Sherry and co., not forgetting Julie Lexus Sinnnamon. Slattery said: “There is no shortage of innovators and pioneers in this country but only few get the support that is necessary to succeed”. Entrepreneurs create jobs, Slattery went on to say “THEY DON’T MAKE A LIVING; THEY MAKE LIVES, THEY ARE THE OXYGEN EVERY ECONOMY NEEDS BUT THEY ARE STARVED OF THIS OXYGEN BY THE QUANGOS LIKE ENTERPRISE IRELAND”.

    Slattery further said that the Government is failing to promote Entrepreneurship in the class room and highlighted a need to attract more Smart Capital and provide a greater number of Mentors for scaling companies. Slattery proceeded further again and he held Enterprise Ireland and the State responsible for its failure to do more on the tax front to encourage investors to back-up start-ups.

    I will close today by saying: Enterprise Ireland are not up to scratch and have been bluffing the taxpayer for decades. We hear the odd success story but we never here about the waste of millions on failed companies and about the cronyism within. One company that comes to mind right now is the company Steorn that proclaimed it had an everlasting battery and it is alleged this same company got over £17 + million from EI. I would like some clarification from Government on this. This is like the Three Stooges. The biggest flop of the night and after hearing Slattery’s speech was when Minister of State Michael D’Arcy who was at the top table ran off the stage, out a back door, into a waiting car and gone. Can you imagine the look on the faces of those Entitled Classes at this event? It was organised by Julie Sinnamon and her spin doctors but this time it backfired and hopefully there will be more reactions like this. EI is a quango of the Elite and that is a quote from Shane Ross a few years ago.

    To conclude: When a Government Minister takes the backdoor and runs like a scared rabbit and leaves the overdressed morons behind – what does it really say about the planning in relation to Brexit and the protection of our companies, of all sizes – in our open economy. Many are talking but few are making sense.

    To be continued:



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