It was a case of the pot calling the kettle black in the Dáil this week as the Moriarty Report was finally published and gave a damming account of how Esat Digifone was awarded the country’s second mobile phone licence with the help of former Fine Gael TD Michael Lowry.
Micheál Martin was up in arms that Taoiseach Enda Kenny refused to comment on the report, instead opting to have a two-day Dáil debate on the issue next week.
And while the Taoiseach did refer the report to the DPP and the Garda Commissioner, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams was upset about the $50,000 donation to Fine Gael by Denis O’Brien. But the Taoiseach was quick to quip back that Dep Adams should discuss the Northern Bank raid during next week’s tribunal debate. Of course that upset Dep Adams even further and it was business as usual for the new government.
So it seems the honeymoon is well and truly over for Mr Kenny. Just back from Washington with the news that Obama is coming to Ireland, it was never going to be long before the opposition parties got their claws stuck in.
The hilarious thing about Fianna Fáil’s taking of the moral high ground in all of this is the fact that when the Moriarty Tribunal published its first report on former Fianna Fáil leader Charlie Haughey in December 2006 there were no questions or discussions until the following February.
And businessman Declan Ganley was looking suitably smug on the telly on Tuesday night after the report was published. He was part of the unsuccessful Cellstar consortium that pitched for the licence in 1995 and is now looking for compensation. Mr Ganley is hopeful that the Supreme Court will hear his appeal in relation to the awarding of the licence to Esat in the next four to six weeks.
And the unsuccessful European political contender has called on Lowry to resign, but the obstinate Independent representative who claims the report was based on “opinion and not fact” is sitting tight and refusing to step down from public office.
It seems incredible though that a report that took 14 years to compile, reads over 2,000 pages and comes with a price tag of up to a quarter of a billion euro, will not bring anyone to justice.
A separate criminal investigation will have to take place if Mr Lowry and co are brought to justice, but the north Tipp TD is adamant he was “stitched up” by Mr Justice Michael Moriarty.
He has claimed that “Moriarty has outrageously abused the Tribunal’s ability to form opinions which are not substantiated by evidence or fact. For example, in relation to the license it was not possible for me to interfere with the license process without the collusion of up to 18 civil servants.”
And so the merry go round continues.
Fair play to Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan though who has announced that he is giving up the gange, although he will continue to campaign for the legalisation of cannabis.
Don’t forget to put your clocks forward by one hour at 1am on Sunday morning as summertime finally begins and we can enjoy a stretch in the evenings.