Fine Gael’s Catherine Byrne (left, )- receives obscene amounts of money from the public purse and has the cheek to try and lecture the public on how to spend the pittance they are left with after taxes!
‘She knows nothing; and she thinks she knows everything. That points clearly to a political career’ (- with apologies to GBS!) .

‘While Catherine Byrne was voting for health cuts, eviction, water charges and austerity…(she) terrorised the public purse for the disgusting amount of €451,223.13c between the general election in March 2011 and the end of July 2014…’ (from here).

And ‘terrorise the public purse’ she certainly does : in 2011, this woman took home €2387 a week, comprised of her weekly salary of €1812 from Leinster House and an extra €575 a week in ‘expenses and allowances’.

The following year, 2012, the lady obviously realised that she was short-changing herself and, on top of her wage of €1812 a week she upped her ‘expenses and allowances’ to €899 a week, ‘earning’ a combined total of €2711 a week.

In 2013, perhaps thinking that whereas she had underpaid herself in 2011, she might have overpaid herself in 2012, she landed bravely on the middle ground – €2566 a week, comprising her €1812 weekly wage and ‘expenses and allowances’ of €754 a week. That’s called ‘taking a hit for the team’.

Last Year (2014), she not only ‘took a hit for the team’ again, but became a martyr for the cause – the lady managed to eke out a living of sorts on just €2166 a week (comprising her weekly wage of €1812 and ‘expenses and allowances’ of €354 a week).
This is the same women who stated (above link) – “I go to the shopping centre at the weekend like most normal people (and) I try my best with my budget to fill it out and get what I need…” “Normal people” in this State would be doing well to be on over €2000 a month, never mind a week and those that are fortunate enough to be on the money that Catherine Byrne is on would not be complaining about budget constraints like she is. I reckon it’s a ploy on her behalf to soften us up in preparation for later on when her 2015 ‘earnings’ become public! (‘1169’ comment – the above amounts were arrived at from figures published in ‘The Clondalkin Echo’ newspaper, 9th July 2015, page 20.)


Last month, 28 women who protested peacefully in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, against US President Ronald Reagan’s visit to Ireland received £1000 each arising from their action for wrongful arrest. Gene Kerrigan recalls the weekend when another State determined Irish security requirements and details the garda action which could cost tens of thousands of pounds. From ‘Magill’ magazine, May 1987.


John Kelly, Fine Gael TD (sic) spent much of his speech in Leinster House praising the gardai and assuring the Dáil (sic) of what he called his ‘bona fides’ before he got to the point, and mentioned in passing the subordination of the Garda Siochana to the US Secret Service – “What appeared to be a large portion of their normal peace-keeping and security enforcing duties were appropriated, by what authority I am not clear, by a police force or a security force for which no one in this country was responsible.”* He was immediately warned off this issue by Ceann Comhairle, Tom Fitzpatrick.

Kelly pointed out that “the greatest principle of criminal procedure” is that an accused be brought before a judicial authority (a judge or peace commissioner) where it will be decided whether the accused will be granted bail or remanded in custody. Pointing out that the maximum penalty which could be imposed on the women, had they been found guilty, would have been a £5 fine, he said “there is some explaining to be done, and I do not mean of the police, but more generally on the part of the State, if we have a legal system which makes it possible for people to be held in custody for so long when the maximum charge on which they can be convicted is such a trivial one, carrying such a trivial fine.”

He referred to suspicions that the object of the exercise “was to keep those women on ice until such time as the President of America should have left this country.” Some people, he said, might consider such protestors a pain in the neck : “In many ways they are a pain in the neck to me too but next time, Sir, it could be you or me. Unless we stand up for the people who are a nuisance** it could be our turn next.”

(* ‘1169’ comment : strange how Mr. Kelly or his political party never once complained about, or objected to, the fact that, less than 90 miles from where he spoke, a so-called ” police/security force” from an outside source were appropriating “peace-keeping and security enforcing duties” which should be carried out, if at all, by Irish agencies// ** the real “nuisance” was Reagan and the administration in this corrupt State which allowed him to land here in the first place.) (MORE LATER).


Ed Moloney speaks to a leading member of the Provisionals who has been authorised to speak on behalf of the (P)IRA Army Council.
From ‘Magill’ magazine, September 1980.

Ed Moloney : Does the IRA intend to retaliate against loyalists for recent attacks on republicans and in particular the killings of John Turnly and Miriam Daly?

IRA : Firstly, the majority of people assassinated by loyalists have been totally innocent catholics. This year they have attempted a certain degree of discrimination. They have attacked republicans and also fellow protestants, close to the Irish nationalists tradition, in an attempt to provoke the IRA into blind or frustrated retaliation. We have absolutely no intentions of getting involved in such a war. They distract the IRA from attacks on Crown forces and help the British to foster the idea of being brokers between two factions. That’s not to say that we wouldn’t take retaliatory action against loyalists we knew were specifically in the UVF or UDA, and were in an influential position with regard to these attacks.

Ed Moloney : British undercover surveillance has been responsible for a number of recent arrests of IRA teams in transit this year. How badly does their activity affect the IRA?

IRA : The British are very good at undercover work. This is what they are into now. Nevertheless, we are totally satisfied that we know why our active service units are caught. While the British are good, we always know where they operate and why they operate. Because the population is hostile to them and sympathetic to us, they tell us about them. They’re not that effective, but they’re a hindrance and they probably perceive their role as that. (MORE LATER).


…’born’, that is, from an organisation that was ‘conceived’ in February 1900 – the British ‘Labour Representation Committee’, a group of like-minded working-class activists who agreed to “…embrace a readiness to cooperate with any party which for the time being may be engaged in promoting legislation in the direct interests of labour..” . The formation of such a group, at that particular time, was a daring move in itself, a challenge to the ‘Establishment’ (a trait lacking in the British Labour Party today which, in our opinion, is actually part of that ‘Establishment) ; the ‘Combinations of Workman Act 1825’ effectively made trade unionism illegal in that it was an Act of the British Parliament which declared that it was practically ‘treasonous’ for any trade union organisation to seek improved working conditions for its members, outlawing the right to strike and giving employers the power to jail ‘offenders’ for 3 months for having ‘interfered with commerce and trade’.

Workers and their trade union representatives fought back as best they could, but it seems that both sides were reluctant to fully ‘test the waters’ regarding the ‘Combination Act’. This scenario was brought to a head by the actions of management in the Taff Vale Railway Company, in Wales, where 1,327 workers (‘Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants’ [ASRS] union members) went on strike in August 1900 for better pay and to have their union properly recognised by the company, which hired scab workers (from the so-called ‘National Free Labour Association’) and evicted striking workers and their families from the cottages they were renting from the job.

The strike only lasted for about two weeks, as the company was continuing to trade but the workers were suffering more than they could endure – they reluctantly agreed to go back to work on the understanding that they could have their jobs back, with nothing else being offered. However, during those two weeks, the company began legal action against the ASRS under the ‘Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act of 1875’ for financial reimbursement and the union tried to defend itself by claiming that as it was not a corporation or an individual it should not be held responsible for financial losses caused to the company by the strike action. The company won its case but that decision was overturned on appeal and the issue was then referred to the ‘House of Lords’ for final adjudication, following which, in 1901, the company emerged as the winner, meaning that picketing could only be carried out in a manner that made it ineffective and trade union funds would be open to the company in question to seek damages from.
It was not until five years later (in 1906) , with the passing of the ‘Trade Disputes Act’, that this employer-friendly loophole was closed. The only real benefit (and, believe it or not, it was actually seen as such at the time!) was that the dispute concentrated the minds of trade unionists to the extent that, in 1906, the ‘Labour Representation Committee’ reformed itself as ‘The Labour Party’. And it has been operating since then, just like its ‘sister’ grouping in this State, as a political vehicle on the back of which careerists can forge a path to a political pension for themselves. And to hell with the workers except, of course, at election time!


The Reverend William Archibald Spooner and his wife, Frances Wycliffe Spooner : the poor woman must have been driven to distraction by being married to such a brilliant, but ‘absent-minded’, man!

This ‘On This Date’ post is not one of our usual offerings, but we couldn’t let the 22nd July pass without mentioning one of the most academically-sharpest minds that we have encountered on our internet ‘travels’ – William Archibald Spooner, born in London, England, to William and Jane Lydia, on this date (22nd July) in 1844.
As far as we can ascertain, he did not involve himself in Irish republican issues either here or in England but deserves a wee mention for his many other achievements and on the manner in which he propagated his knowledge to his students – he was born an albino and, as such, his eyesight was extremely limited, but that didn’t stop him from living a full life. He was a father to seven children, an Anglican priest and a scholar who studied at New College in Oxford, where he eventually lectured for about 60 years, on a range of subjects including history, philosophy, divinity and Aristotle’s Ethics.

By all accounts, William was a gentle, humble man who was known to be kindhearted, and his acquaintances found it easy to forgive him his absent-mindedness : it seems that his intellect and ability to visualise what it was he wanted to say outpaced his physical ability to actually say it – he inadvertently placed the initial letter(s) of one word in front of adjoining words, meaning that his tongue couldn’t keep up with his thought processes, resulting in many verbal blunders for which he became famous : “Blushing crow” for “crushing blow”, “a well-boiled icicle” for “well-oiled bicycle”, “I have in my bosom a half-warmed fish” for “I have in my bosom a half-formed wish” (supposedly said in a speech to the British ‘Queen’, Victoria), and “a toast to our queer dean” instead of “a toast to our dear queen”.

On dropping his hat, he is said to have asked “will nobody pat my hiccup?”, at a wedding he stated that “it is kisstomary to cuss the bride”, on paying a visit to a college official he asked “Is the bean dizzy?”, and speaking to farmers he addressed them as “noble tons of soil”. He reprimanded a student with the words “You have hissed all my mystery lectures. You have tasted two worms. Pack up your rags and bugs, and leave immediately by the town drain!” – “You have missed all my history lectures. You have wasted two terms. Pack up your bags and rags, and leave immediately by the down [London] train!” and, finally, an Irish connection – he once referenced a famous Irish play as “the Ploughboy of the Western World”!

William Archibald Spooner died in Oxfordshire, England, in his 86th year, on the 29th of August, 1930, and is buried in Grasmere in Cumbria. Or, perhaps, he’s crasmered in Gumbria, and, hopefully, pesting in reace!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

About 11sixtynine

A mother of three (and a Granny!) and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
This entry was posted in History/Politics.. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.