John O’Donoghue – he has form
9 August, 2009
We shouldn’t be overly surprised at the revelations of flagrant abuse of taxpayers’ money by the Ceann Comhairle, John O’Donoghue. There is a pattern and a context.
For instance, cast your mind back to the year 2000, and the alleged speeding of O’Donoghue’s state car (he was then Minister for Justice). After the incident, O’Donoghue told the Dáil the car had been stopped for travelling at 86mph (138km/h), but he was not in it at the time. (Reports at the time suggested speeds of up to 115 mph were involved.) He said the car had been carrying his wife, children and a family friend who were returning from the All-Ireland hurling final.
The focus at the time was rightly on the alleged breaking of the speed limit, but a subsidiary issue is the taxpayer rip-off involved in this “jolly” for the Minister’s family. Most politicians in most normal democratic countries wouldn’t dream of doing this, but for some reason Fianna Fáil don’t see anything wrong with such behaviour. And our collective failure to keep them honest, whether through the media or through the ballot box, ensures that such behaviour will persist.
klep·toc·ra·cy (Pronunciation: \klep-ˈtä-krə-sē\ ) : government by those who seek chiefly status and personal gain at the expense of the governed ; also : a particular government of this kind