Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Fine Gael Minister Paschal Donohoe TD in trouble – he must go says Councillor John Lyons

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Michael Stone, a businessman and personal friend of Finance and Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe paid for a team to do the postering in two general election campaigns in a row – 2016 & 2020. Stone gave Donohoe an enormous advantage.

John Lyons, a Dublin City Councillor (Independent Left) argues that Donohoe must go.

Paschal Donohoe is in trouble. Not bothering to declare hugely significant donations you receive from a businessman who was heavily involved in the construction industry, whom Fine Gael appoint to the Land Development Agency in 2019, is rotten and revealing of how power operates in Ireland.

Election posters – the cost of them, the number of people required to put them up around a constituency and take them down again, the number of hours it takes to do that work – are a pain in the proverbial but it is unavoidable given the current set-up. The expense in terms of money spent purchasing them and hours it takes to put them and take them down is enormous. So having someone pay for that work to be done would make a massive difference to your election campaign – frees up time to canvass, chat to people, cover the area. It gives you an enormous advantage.

So when a businessman and personal friend of Pascal Donohoe’s pays for a team to do the postering in two general election campaigns in a row – 2016 & 2020 – one would expect him to reflect those significant facts in his election returns. He did not. That he did not know about these significant donations from a personal friend and businessman is not credible.

Perhaps Paschal is used to having donations coming in from every direction from businessmen. Michael Stone, the particular businessman in question in this regard, owns and runs a company that has received a significant number of state contracts. Michael Stone was head of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) at the time of the first undeclared donation. He was appointed chair of a regeneration project in the north inner city in 2017 and to the Land Development Agency (LDA) in 2019.

I know that if a left-wing politician was revealed to have done what the former minister for finance and current minister for public expenditure has done, they would be facing sustained media criticism. The media have gone lightly on Donohoe so far.

Will they continue to go easy on him?

The opposition should increase the pressure today and demand that all politicians uphold the standards in public office expected of every politician. That means Donohue should resign.

The old, corrupt Ireland of Fianna Fail and latterly Fine Gael is coming to an end. Let’s keep demanding better and get them out of office.

See Also :

Donohoe ‘has no recollection’ of company directorship he failed to declare, claims he paid firm for services

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