By Liam Deegan
Let me quote verbatim, a passage from Denis O’Brien’s statement to the press on today’s date, the 2nd June 2015.
“Where would we be in Ireland if four million people had to make public all their banking relationships?”
The problem with that statement is that there are literally thousands of people standing in front of County Registrars and Judges baring their souls in public, pleading for the chance to keep a roof over their heads and having a bank instruct a barrister or solicitor read out a person’s private banking details to everyone present. These people don’t have the luxury of being able to hire expensive legal teams that ensure that their financial souls are not laid bare to the public scrutiny.
These same people don’t have the legal backup to order the judicial system to hide behind an injunction that at best holds no water due to no precedence having been set for a redacted injunction save in the case of family law where children are concerned but certainly not for a billionaire to abuse the judicial system and democracy at the same time. The information that is now in the public domain constituted a major part of the evidence upon which the Court based its findings and to redact such information has left the decision of the Court bereft of meaning.
The right to privacy died with O’Brien’s attempt at subverting the democratic process and the day that Anglo Irish Bank was nationalised and as such, the day that the citizens of this country were made liable for private debts such as those belonging to Mr O’Brien. Denis O’Brien we must remember didn’t do this all on his own as he had help from within the government. The same government that was democratically voted in on the basis that they would put the people first. The promises made by them are clearly shown for what they were, lies!
If Denis O’Brien wants to use the patriot card then he needs to become a patriot by pulling away from this government publicly and then giving something substantial back to the people. Substantial means in this case, the tax that he refused to pay on the sale of his telecoms company, the substantial savings that he made on the write offs with the various banks and then the interest that we lost on top of that. People might just view Denis O’Brien’s patriotism in a slightly different light. Patriotism doesn’t come cheap unless it has a price!
Denis O’Brien goes on to say “When the foreign buying of Irish assets was at its height, I decided to buy a number of companies to keep some of them Irish, to preserve and grow employment and to seek opportunities for these businesses to develop in Ireland and overseas. These included Siteserv, Topaz, Beacon Hospital and others
However that is all well and good had Mr O’ Brien paid the market price for all of the above but as we now know he didn’t. It was gained at a huge cost to the Irish taxpayer therefore the value of the taxes paid by employees or through corporation tax by would take literally hundreds of years to pay off compared to the saving that he made
Mr O’Brien bought assets while we bought debts!
The ball is now in the public’s court for a change but remember that Denis O’Brien isn’t the only part of the story. Fine gael, Fianna Fail and labour also need to be reminded of their own patriotism too!