Socialist Party Dáil Debate

10th February 2004

Inconceivable That Taoiseach Did Not Know About Rampant Fianna Fail Corruption

Joe Higgins TD, Socialist Party

During today's Statements on the Mahon Tribunal, Joe Higgins called for a full Dáil debate on corruption, and for the Taoiseach to stop hiding behind the tribunals to avoid answering questions about his knowledge of corruption in the Fianna Fail party.

Joe Higgins: It is clear that obvious corruption should be debated in Dáil Éireann today. When these issues arise in the future, the Taoiseach must not again reach for the tribunals, as he usually does, as a handy prophylactic to protect himself from legitimate questions which should be put in the House. Corruption went to the heart of the leadership of the Fianna Fáil Party in the 1980s and early 1990s. It is obvious there is corruption in Fianna Fáil when a property developer who survived the bruising world of the Murphys and the McAlpines in London left a meeting of senior Fianna Fáil Ministers in 1989, thinking he had been to see the more dysfunctional wing of the Corleone clan. While Mr. Gilmartin may not have had his legs crushed on the way out, he was certainly arm-twisted for lots of cash.

When I became a member of Dublin County Council in 1991, everyone knew that planning corruption was rife. I and others shouted "Stop", while no one in Fianna Fáil did so. The Taoiseach was a treasurer, Chief Whip and senior Minister of Fianna Fáil, and became the party leader. He found his way around the Fianna Fáil Party as easily as a worn wheel around a greasy axle.

It beggars belief that the Taoiseach did not know about the blatant greed that his senior Cabinet colleagues and county council colleagues were guilty of. Senior members of Fianna Fáil were not shocked by the corruption of the 1980s because there was no dividing line in Fianna Fáil between the greed of senior Ministers and the businessmen who paid them off on the one hand, and the management of the affairs of State on the other. How could it be otherwise in a party which hired out the plushest Dublin hotel suites, where party fundraisers officially accepted the fat envelopes, referred to as political donations, from tycoons and financiers? This was legalised bribery whereby the rich and powerful bought from Fianna Fáil the influence to become richer and more powerful.

Substantial elements in the political and business establishment in the Ireland of the 1980s and 1990s were swimming in a sea of sleaze and corruption. They made fortunes from corruption and saved fortunes in tax evasion, but there were victims - the struggling working class communities floundering in misplanned housing estates without facilities and sometimes as a result without hope, as well as the poor, the old and the sick, whose hospital beds were virtually snatched from beneath them. Those who thrived in that morass of sleaze, some of whom remain as Cabinet Ministers today, should join those who have been found out, and resign. If they do not, the people should deal a crushing indictment on 11 June to all elements of the political establishment who have cheated them, and should also take down the hapless Progressive Democrats, who have no more bark or bite and who now seem eternally locked in the inseparable but deadly embrace of Fianna Fáil.

For further information, contact Joe Higgins T.D. at (01 or 003531) 6183038


Other articles opposing corruption can be found on the sitemap.
More scandals Editorial March 2002, Socialist Voice

Ansbacher Debate Dáil Eireann, 11th July 2002:

Tourist board scam By Ciaran Crossey Socialist Voice, Nov. 2002

Corruption: Put the system on trial! Kevin McLaughlin Socialist Voice, Nov. 2002

Morris Tribunal: Garda corruption exposed Socialist Voice, Nov. 2002