Article from the Mar. 2005 issue of the Socialist
newspaper of the Socialist Party, Irish section of the CWI
Who wants to be a millionaire?
IN WHAT must rank as one of the most lucrative gravy trains in Irish history, Bertie Ahern has told the Dail that the total cost of the tribunals has now reached @192 million. €139 million alone has been spent on legal fees with barristers and senior councils becoming millionaires overnight. The Morairty tribunal, looking into bribes paid to politicians, has cost over €18 million since 1997 and is set to cost another €10 million this year. And what have we to show for it? Only Lawlor and Burke have seen jail time. However, as Joe Higgins has consistently pointed out in the Dail, every dog in the street knew that Fianna Fail and Fine Gael politicians were up to their necks in corruption during the late 80s early 90s. Now it seems the barristers are frequent visitors to the Fianna Fail tent at the Galway races.
Poor, poor Intel
IN A prime example of multinational greed Intel, the giant US computer chip manufacturer, is reviewing its future plans for further investment at its Leixlip plant in Kildare. The decision came as a reaction to the government withdrawing a €170 million grant. On Wednesday 2 March, the government announced that it would not be giving the grant as a result of opposition from the European Commission. However what seems to have been missed by everyone is the vast profit Intel makes. Last year they returned a profit of approximately $8 billion. Why should the government give a handout to a company that makes such vast profits? You only have to look at the enormous lack of basic infrastructure in the north Kildare area, whether it's the severe lack of schools or the daily traffic nightmare faced by thousands of workers, to see were the money would be better spent.
THE DESPERATION of Ryanair's chief executive Michael O'Leary to get support for his campaign for a privately run second terminal at Dublin Airport was shown in early March. An advert on the Ryanair website offered to bribe up to 100,000 people with free flights (to airports in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night) if they wrote to the government supporting O'Leary's campaign!