Jim Higgins, Fine Gael spokesman on Justice and former government Chief Whip, presented the clearest exposition so far of the passports for investment scheme in his speech to the Dáil (sic) on September 11, 1997. From ‘Magill’ magazine, October 1997.

Jim Higgins, Fine Gael spokesman on Justice and former government (Leinster House) Chief Whip presented the clearest exposition so far of the passports for investment scheme in his speech to the Dáil (Leinster House) on September 11th (1997). ‘Iris Oifigiúil’ of September 4th, 1992, lists 11 Saudi Arabian and Pakistani nationals who were granted certificates of naturalisation dated December 8th 1990 and all gave Glenmore House, Clonee, County Meath, as their Irish address. Local people in Clonee confirmed in 1994 that nobody had lived in the house since 1990.

In his speech, Jim Higgins stated – “The awarding of a passport is supposed to be directly linked in the case of investment to a specific job-creating scheme. The supposed project in the case of these 11 passports was, according to the IDA , linked to investment in the equestrian industry : what the IDA was doing meddling in the horse industry is a mystery to me. Yet, four years later, Meath County Council was in a position to confirm that no application had been made to it for such a development.

Each application must be accompanied by character references from three Irish citizens. The (State) Department of Justice , when asked to provide the names of those who proposed the 11 individuals or the group in question for naturalisation, either collectively or individually, refused to supply the information. The Department was also asked how much investment was made, and where and when it was made, but again refused to supply the information. The (State) Minister for Justice in 1990 was none other than Deputy Raphael P. Burke and , when asked about the scheme, he declined to give any details other than to say that ‘there was a government scheme in place at the time…’ .

Two of the 11 people to whom Irish citizenship was granted were involved in the biggest banking scandal in history…..”


By Michael O’Higgins and John Waters. From ‘Magill Magazine’ , October 1988.

The SAS regiment’s ‘Standard Operational Procedures’ instruct that soldiers employ a shooting technique known as ‘double tapping’ , which involves firing first into the head of the target person in order to destroy the brain’s motor function, thus stopping all body movement. There was a double reason for firing at the head on this occasion, since the soldiers’ own case is founded on the fact that they believed the IRA members were carrying a remote control device with a button, which presumably could as easily be triggered off by a bullet as by anything else.

It was reasonable to expect that any such device might be concealed in the torso area of the body but the fact that they also fired several times into the back of each victim indicates that it is most unlikely that they were thinking any such thing. Despite assertions by the SAS at the inquest that the regiment’s track record shows a ratio of seventy-five arrests to twenty-five kills, nobody who has monitored the history of the SAS involvement in the North of Ireland in recent years can think of a single instance where prisoners were taken by them.

Father Raymond Murray, who is based in Armagh, is currently researching a book on the activities of the SAS in the North over the past twelve years. Since 1976, he says, there is evidence of SAS involvement in forty-seven killings in the North, and there may be many more in what he describes as the “murky” period before that. He has not come across any examples of arrests, and sees many similarities between the evidence which emerged at the Gibraltar inquest and that given to inquests in the North into deaths in which there had been an SAS involvement. (MORE LATER).


‘Only one country in Europe, Kosovo, manages its household waste collection services in the manner we do (in this State). [Everywhere else] it is either organised on the basis of contracts awarded by the relevant local authority using competitive tendering or it is provided by directly employed public service workers. Our system is not sustainable….’ – from a letter sent to union members in late July 2014, by SIPTU.

As well as treating their workers in what many of us consider to be an illegal manner, it now appears that other legal issues are beginning to surface in relation to the overall legality of its operations, including the apparent lack of a suitable company registration certificate, site drawings not being up to accepted standards, queries re planning permission, issues re emissions and noise from machinery and questions re ambient monitoring. In any other State or country in Europe (except Kosovo, apparently!) the owners of such an apparently dodgy operation would keep their heads down and hope to get away with operating a profitable business in such a hap-hazard and sloppy manner but here, in this morally bankrupt entity, they draw attention to themselves by attempting to increase their profits at the expense of their workers. All of us, whether working or unemployed, pay tax and, whatever about the financial/tax liabilities of the Greyhound bosses, their employees had their income taxes stopped at source, like the rest of us that are somehow still in employment. They, at least, have clean sheets in that regard and would soon be ‘put out of business’ by the powers that be were that not the case. But, it seems, wealthy businesspeople are allowed to continue to trade, in apparent dodgy circumstances, trouble free until, that is, they foolishly bring themselves to public attention? Is that a sign of arrogance or stupidity, I wonder….?


Martin McGuinness has not only succumbed to the ‘VIP/career politician’ lifestyle to the extent that he considered the religious bigot Ian Paisley to be his “friend”, but he also bought into the ‘Yes Minister’ gobbledygook speak so much so that he allowed himself to believe that the description ‘Chuckle Brothers’, which was used to describe him and Paisley, was a positive one (!) “I think it was done in a way that was to demean both of us but I think it backfired. I think people liked it….” It wasn’t done so much as to “demean” them as much as to sum-up the way their carry-on actually embarrassed those of us who didn’t buy the political bullshit they were trying to peddle. In the old days, back when he was a militant nationalist, Martin McGuinness would probably have at least thought twice before tearfully describing Paisley as his “friend” and, had he not been diverted (as had become clear in later years) from fighting for ‘civil rights’ from Westminster, this ‘half-a-prime-minister’ might even have said something nearer the truth re Paisleys passing. But probably not.

Anyway – to our EXCLUSIVE!! : this blog has it from solid sources that Paisley is to be reinterred to a grave in this State and we have obtained a copy of the speech to be delivered by the surviving chuckle brother on the occasion. Try and not hum along, please, as this is a sombre moment, especially the part where Martin reminisces about the physical attributes of his recently departed friend – “My man is six foot tall, six foot tall, six foot tall, my man is six foot tall, he likes his sugar candy….” Pull yourself together, readers, and read the rest of this historic reinterment speech here….


“Does the world even have heroes like Ireland’s Thomas Francis Meagher anymore? After fighting for Irish independence (“I know of no country that has won its independence by accident”),then condemned to death, pardoned and exiled, Thomas Francis Meagher escaped to America,where he became a leader of the Irish community and commanded the Irish Brigade during the Civil War. General Meagher’s men fought valiantly at some of the most famous battles of the Civil War,including Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. After the war, Meagher served as Acting Governor of the Montana Territory. In 1867, Meagher disappeared on the Missouri River ;his body was never found…”(from the poster, pictured, left.)

The defining day of the The Battle of Antietam/Battle of Sharpsburg was September 17th, 1862, which was the bloodiest day of not only the American Civil War but the bloodiest single day in all of American history. The battle took place between the town of Sharpsburg in Maryland and Antietam Creek, and it ended General Robert E. Lee’s first invasion of a northern state, and was the first major battle in the American Civil War to take place on Union soil. The combined tally of dead, wounded, and missing stands at 22,717 soldiers of which the Irish Brigade, under the command of Brigadier General Thomas Francis Meagher, who recruited soldiers from among Irish immigrants for the Union side, lost over 60% of its men in an area that came to be known as ‘Bloody Lane’. We have previously mentioned Meagher’s involvement in the Irish struggle on this blog (here and here , for instance) and this piece is just by way of a short acknowledgement of his contribution to a struggle in a land he found himself exiled in.


Jan the Man :“At the pre-emptory request of a large majority of the citizens of these United States, I Joshua Norton, formerly of Algoa Bay, Cape of Good Hope, and now for the last nine years and ten months past of San Fransisco, California, declare and proclaim myself the Emperor of These United States…. …and with those words a new ‘royal family’ came into being, although it took the man – Joshua Abraham Norton – ten years after his ‘anointment’ to abolish some of the ‘opposition’, which he did (!) in 1869 by declaring – “Being desirous of allaying the dissension’s of party strife now existing within our realm, (I) do hereby dissolve and abolish the Democratic and Republican parties, and also do hereby degree the disfranchisement and imprisonment, for not more than ten, nor less than five years, to all persons leading to any violation of this our imperial decree….”

JAN was his own man, with his own currency!

Anyone of that ‘character’ is bound to have left a few choice words in his/her wake and the Emperor is no exception – “We, Norton I, do hereby decree that the offices of President, Vice President, and Speaker of the House of Representatives are, from and after this date, abolished……now, therefore, the Directors of the company are hereby ordered to see that precautions are taken to make travel on said railroad perfectly safe by using a screw with at least twenty-four inches diameter… is my desire that, in case Maximillian will surrender, he be sent here a prisoner of war, but that in the event of his continuing the war, or refusing to surrender, then he be shot…..we do hereby command the Leaders of the Hebrew, Catholic and Protestant Churches to sanctify and have us crowned Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico…..we further decree that the Senate of the United States elect a prominent Democrat as their presiding officer, to act as President until the next election, and to reconstruct the Cabinet according to our wishes hereafter to be declared….”

This English-born ‘royal’ proclaimed himself as ‘(his) Imperial Majesty Emperor Norton I, Emperor of the United States of America and Protector of Mexico’ on the 17th of September 1859 and has been variously described as being both (and between!) eccentric and barking mad. Nevertheless, when he died in 1880, at 61 years of age, about 30,000 people turned out for his funeral and the cortege was two miles long! More about Jan the Man can be had here. And it is hereby declared a violation should you not click on that link!


‘A report showed that in 2004, a senior (British) royal aide had asked for a handout from a 60-million-pound energy-saving fund….(complaining)…that the 15-million-pound government grant to maintain the Queen’s palaces was inadequate….’ (from here) – and those that wish they, too, were ‘royal’, are also bloodsuckers when it comes to taking money from the British working and unemployed classes : ‘…originally established with the intention of supporting small farmers and reducing Europe’s reliance on food imports, the CAP, which accounts for 43 per cent (€55bn) of the EU budget, has become a slush fund for assorted dukes, earls and princes…’ (from here.)

Desiderius Erasmus had this to say about so-called ‘royalty’, which encapsulates my feelings on those human leeches and saves me from putting too much time into this post, as they’re just not worth it : “Picture the prince, such as most of them are today: a man ignorant of the law, well-nigh an enemy to his people’s advantage, while intent on his personal convenience, a dedicated voluptuary, a hater of learning, freedom and truth, without a thought for the interests of his country, and measuring everything in terms of his own profit and desires.”

May they crumble, in public, and in a most humiliating fashion.


‘Therefore go on brave Irish! and never fear,

Although your case may seem dark and drear,

Put your trust in Ireland, for she is strong;

And ye will gain your Freedom before very long….’




Well….so much for our Ladies Day at the raffle : we girls not only didn’t have one winner, but we didn’t even sell one of the winning tickets 😦 !

The Sisterhood was out in force on Sunday last, 14th, as predicted, with the same excuse that has been used on us for decades – ‘just popping out to watch the match. I’ll be back for dinner…..’ But it’s usually supper time with they get back! Anyway – it was our time last Sunday to ‘just pop out’ and we did so in our dozens to the sports hotel to have the craic and a chit-chat….but the five of us were there to work, not to pretend to be watching football on the telly!

A local lad who we know as ‘Tapper Owen’ scored twice (….but only on the raffle!) when one of his customers, Frank, pocketed €200, having won the first prize on ticket 086 and one of his other customers, Johnny ‘Mack S’, won the last prize, €20, on ticket 106. The Tapper fella soon forgot that the lounge was full of women as himself, Frank and Johnny retired to the bar and got one of the barmen to ‘pull’ for them! On the other hand, Luke, from Meath – a much more cool-handed (!) chap – remained calm and collected as he strolled up to our table to collect the second prize – €100 – which he won on ticket 271, but he showed a wee bit of emotion when he came up the second time as the winner of the sixth prize (€20, stub 280) but that was probably due to the girls in the immediate vicinity telling him he looked like Paul Newman in his prime!

Two lads, Anto and Paul, had to share a ticket (….hope the raffle committee are reading this!) such was the shortage : our regular seller, Anto the bus man, had only got the one ticket left to sell so the two lads bought it between them – and won €40 , third prize, with stub 025. A chap named Denis Victory, from Bluebell in Dublin, claimed the fourth prize, €20 (148) having bought his ticket from our Andy, who also sold ticket number 347 to Tom Cull, who won the fifth prize, €20, on ticket 347. Prize number seven (ticket 248), worth €20, was sold by pub regular Martin Reilly to a chap called ‘Sweeney’ who shouldn’t have been left on his tod(d) even if he hadn’t won a prize as his resemblance to Johnny Depp was uncanny. We girls shouldn’t be let out on our own…..!

We stayed on afterwards for a bite to eat and a few drinks, merrily encouraging each other to email some football association or other to request that they organise more ladies football matches , preferably for dates that coincide with our raffles. But only if Paul and Johnny are available…..!

Thanks for reading , Sharon.

About 11sixtynine

A mother of three (and a Granny!) and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
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