I have been tracing the story behind the story, as it were; of a vicious spat between Fine Gael TD Regina Doherty, Minister for Employment & Social Protection and an American-based Irish blogger named Professor Catherine Kelly. Now this small tussle should have had the self-starting ability to grow into a scandal; but probably will get all hidden behind the Irish haze which usually springs up whenever a scandal heaves into sight.
Seems as though the good Professor published a blog post stating that the Minister had broken election rules by not stating that she had previously declared bankruptcy, then re-stating bankruptcy and then ‘apologising’ for the error. The post also picked up the story in the Irish Independent that the bankrupt company owed 60,000 euros to the Taxman, and 50,000 euros to AIB bank. Minister Docherty took the ‘high’ road and stated ‘I am not a crook’; and lo and behold, everyone seems to have believed her!
But the kicking point on the Professor’s blog was not just that the Minister had ‘forgotten’ that she was a bankrupt, she had also taken an illegal ‘loan’ from her company, later seemingly repaid, she had not stated that she was a bankrupt in terms of Electoral Legislation when placing her name before the electors, namely the voters of Meath. The Professor also queried why none of these failings were made good, none of the other ranking Media had even commented, and it seemingly all went away with the washwater.
However, the Minister, instead of reaching for her legal man’s phone number if she reckoned she might have civil redress against the Professor for stating and broadcasting the stuff previously pushed under the carpet, seemingly called one of her mates in the Gardai. Two Garda heavies confronted the Professor just before the airport departure gates, and the upshot was that the Professor was ‘cautioned not to Tweet about the Minister’,,,,,,,,’ ‘ as she does not like it’.
The man who questioned me then reintroduced a small notebook and I saw a page of notes that I did not attempt to read. I was asked to sign the page of notes at the bottom. I did as requested, as I was informed I was required to do so before I could proceed to my gate.
When queried, the usual garbage was eased out about ‘It’s a matter for the gardaí’.
I would comment that its a bit more important than that. An Irish Government Minister, miffed at having her dirty laundry exposed, possibly sends the ‘heavies’ to do her bidding? Whatever next?