Paddy’s Day Junkets

So RTÉ have the list of visits junkets for St. Patricks Day. Because of cut backs, some Ministers have to visit two or even three places. Don’t you feel so sorry for them. This of course does not include Local Councillors heading off for it. Here is the full list.

Taoiseach (Brian Cowen) and Minister for Foreign Affairs (Micheal Martin) – New York and Washington D.C.

Minister for Finance (Brian Lenihan) – London

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Brendan Smith) – Munich, Berlin & Dusseldorf

Minister for Transport (Noel Dempsey) – Toronto

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Eamon Ryan) – San Francisco and New York

Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Éamon Ó Cuív) – Sydney, Brisbane & Melbourne

Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism (Martin Cullen) – Houston

Minister for Social and Family Affairs (Mary Hanafin) – Philadelphia and Atlanta

Attorney General (Paul Gallagher) – Seattle

Minister of State Pat Carey (Chief Whip, Defence, special responsibility for Active Citizenship) – Boston

Minister of State Barry Andrews (Health and Children) – Mumbai and New Delhi

Minister of State Trevor Sargent (Agriculture, Fisheries and Food) – Paris

Minister of State Jimmy Devins (Education and Science, Enterprise, Trade and Employment) – Chicago

Minister of State Peter Power (Foreign Affairs) – Birmingham

Minister of State John McGuinness (Enterprise, Trade and Employment) – Edinburgh and Glasgow

Minister of State Billy Kelleher (Enterprise, Trade and Employment) – Rome and Milan

I hope to find out what local reps are off for St. Patricks Day Junkets as well.

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Molloy is Gone

Well Roddy Molloy the head of FÁS, and possibly related to Brian Cowen, resigned last night after what is being termed FÁSgate by some. It is scandelous the opperation going on in FÁS.

I also heard a story of how things are done in FÁS today. A friend of mine does quotes in the area for tools for a number of companies and organisations. FÁS is one of these. On average with quotes of this nature in Cork there are only three companies who can supply them, so you average out on 1-in-3 contracts. But he found with FÁS he was getting 1-in-20 which is very odd! He mentioned this to head office who had him try out something. For the next quote he charged Cost price plus VAT. Therefore the cheapest. Did he get it the quote? No. Next time he doubled the prices, he got that one!

There needs to be a route and branch reform of FÁS and its operations so waste like this does not go on.

Of course this really re-opens questions on how good Brian Cowen is at picking people. Our Tániste did not know how many Commissioners there were on the EU Commission and Brian Lenihan making a complete balls of the budget shows that if you have no brains but support Cowen, you will go far!

Morning Briefing, 17th January

Cork City is to get a new Central Library (Cork City Council) Wooo!

RTÉ viewers choose our song for the Eurovision last night. Its a John Waters/ Tommy Moran composition called ‘They can’t stop the Spring’.

The PD’s continue their conference today (Breakingnews, RTÉ) Among the guest speakers are Liam Doran of the Irish Nurses Organisation and Anne-mie Neyts, President of the European Liberal Democrats.

A Bosnian Court has sentenced a former Serb soldier to 34 years in jail for killing, enslaving and raping Muslim civilians during the country’s 1992-1995 war (France 24)

Proposed reforms of the Irish Criminal System are to be discussed by experts at an ICCL Forum (Breakingnews)

Lesotho goes to the polls today in a tight race for power (CNN)

$10 billion has been squandered by the U.S. government on Iraq reconstruction aid because of contractor overcharges and unsupported expenses (CNN) What a waste of money! All the people that it could be helping