It is early on Thursday morning. I’ve woken up and can’t get back to sleep. I have not been posting in a while, a mix of low productivity, house moving, busy at work and entertaining two niece’s and two nephew’s. Anyway, waking up early gives me time to post and while I only have a short time between this and getting ready to leave for work, this story annoyed me yesterday.
A Galway County Councillor, Michael Fahy, has declared his determination to remain a Councillor, despit the fact that he has been sentenced to 12 months in prison and fined 75,000 euro for theft and fraud offenses at Galway Circuit Court.
Fahy, using his position as councillor had nearly a mile of fencing erected on his private land at the expense of the Council and the Irish taxpayer. The judge said in his summing up of Fahy,
“The verdict of the jury convicting you on all counts meant clearly that they had no doubt but that you were telling lies under oath and that your evidence was a fiction. You are publicly declared a fraud…” The judge went on to say that Fahy thought nothing of implicating the innocent fencing contractor and later, council officials in his scheme of fraud and deceit.
I heard the story yesterday on the RTE Radio News programme, Morning Ireland. They had Fine Fail (the majority ruling party in government) on the show to discuss what it means for Fine Fail and Galway Council. What struck me was the opinion offered was:
The money was paid back – “so that was that matter dealt with”
However, its not the matter dealt with. There is still the matter of the criminal record, the prison sentence and fact that someone still has access to public money, and is able to shape policy for the county.
Alarm went off, have to get up.