Who helped write Jamie Bryson’s Stormont Inquiry script? Er, the Sinn Féin chair.

This is funny. Remember that ‘controversial’ Stormont investigation into Nama from a year ago? That’s where Jamie Bryson made a reference to Person A, then revealing at the end it was none other than Peter Robinson…

It was great melodrama, but who wrote the script? Allison Morris reveals this morning that it was none other than a party constituency worker for the Chair of the Committee at the time, Daithi McKay.

Mr O’Hara messages Bryson saying: “A wee suggestion for your closing paragraph. When talking about Robinson refer to him as ‘Person A’. So say all you have to say about him referring to him as Person A. Then in your final line say: person A is Peter Robinson MLA.

“Means the committee cannot interrupt you and means that you don’t have to say Robbos name until the very last second. So then it’s job done”.

Now there’s there’s nothing wrong with preparing witnesses.  But that’s the committee’s job, not the chair’s party. There’s no precedent for the Chair’s constituency office writing the witness’s script for them.

There are questions about McKay’s conduct of the inquiry. His preparation of the witness omitted critical supporting evidence being circulated to committee members beforehand.

Indeed, in light of that absence, a request from Judith Cochrane (the exchange is telling) to allow members to ask questions during the process of Bryson’s oral evidence was quietly pushed aside by the Sinn Féin chair.

In other places, this would be seen as collusion. And anywhere else the chair would step down whilst an investigation is allowed to take place. In Stormont, don’t hold your breath.

At the very least it gives the opposition something to bowl at. And, perhaps, give others who also have fed Mr Bryson with interesting material something serious to think about.

Actually, it’s not that funny at all.

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  • Declan Doyle

    So who wrote it? The Chair or a constituency worker?

  • chrisjones2

    Utter tripe as unfolding events are showing.

    This is so bad that Dathai has been thrown under the wheels of the bus immediately – presumably to protect others who were involved in what seems to have been a conspiracy to undermine the work of the committee as an honest and objective committee of the house.

  • chrisjones2

    Shows how bad it was

  • Jarl Ulfreksfjordr

    Trojan horse poo hitting the fan today; but sssh, don’t talk about it Slugger, you’ll only upset the Shinnerbots.

  • WindowLean

    And the gold medal for being a complete eejit goes to…

  • Skibo

    I think Chris it shows how important the Fresh Start is to SF. Wonder would DUP throw one of theirs to the wolves to protect their relationship with SF?

  • Skibo

    Perfect way to try and bury what the investigation was all about. A NAMA deal where billions of pounds of property were sold off at a major reduction and people were bought off. Who were those people and what contacts did they use to get this deal over the line/

  • Thomas Girvan

    He makes the yogurt.

  • monkeybone

    I disagree, this is another clear sign that our ‘politicians’ believe that they are beyond reproach and can do what they like. This is a classic own goal. I have no doubt Sinn Féins vote will dip further.

  • monkeybone

    I thought the ‘party’ wrote it 🙂

  • Jarl Ulfreksfjordr

    I admire your fortitude, and in a way I understand your transparent, though obviously unstated, wish that Slugger would leave the story alone – your dig at this site speaks volumes.

    Of course I come at it from a different perspective; for me it’s a ‘dog-bites-man’ story. I mean, what else would any rational person expect of an organisation the likes of SF?

  • AntrimGael

    The usual Unionist/Loyalist mouthpieces who were nowhere to be see last week after the UDA murder are all over the media this morning. Who cares who looked what to who and when? This place is rotten and always has been since 1921. It’s eventual demise will be toasted in many circles.

  • AntrimGael

    That should read “Who cares who leaked what to who and when”.

  • Jollyraj

    Nothing to see here. Where is Gerry with his usual outlandish, diatracting trampolining dog tweet when you need him?

    I expect that will be coming tomorrow…

  • Jarl Ulfreksfjordr

    A new slogan is being distributed to the flock from Connolly House as we speak – ‘Chuckee Daithí’

  • Skibo

    Really, Jarl? Would that be different to any other political party? Not sure I have the full story but from what I can make out, Daithi is being crucified for explaining to Jamie how the committee works and how to get your point over.
    Is there anymore to the story than that?

  • hugh mccloy

    if anyone for one minute thinks this was a solo run may think again, having experience of committees they are planned and executed by the script writers not the MLA’s

  • Jarl Ulfreksfjordr

    It is patently obvious that you “don’t have the full story”.

  • Jarl Ulfreksfjordr

    I think they’ve done the “corruption for financial gain” thing too. Didn’t the Beeb do a prog on it.

    But again I have to say I’ll come most of the way with you. Corrupting the commitee system at Stormont is small beer. The entire edifice is a farce.

    Still even I can find a little sympathy for the genuine politicians on the hill. Please God! There’s got to be some, surely?

  • Skibo

    Enlighten me!

  • Jarl Ulfreksfjordr

    Eh? You’ve lost me.

    My moderately amusing bon mot was addressed to Jolly.

    Too quick on the ‘outraged of Belfast’ on your part I fear.

  • Jarl Ulfreksfjordr

    No.

    Employ a PA.

  • Skibo

    Obviously you are not sure either and are not prepared to put your C@ck on the block. Haha.

  • Jarl Ulfreksfjordr

    You’re confusing me with a news service. Follow the already published links, you can read till you’re satisfied.

    Unlike you, it would seem, I don’t have a “C@ck” in this particular imbroglio.

    I’ve always suspected you of being a one-handed keyboard warrior. Now at least I know where your other hand is – and it’s not an image I ever wanted in my head.

  • Jollyraj

    I’m not sure either. I think it might be David actually, but like some of his colleagues he changed it around a bit to make some point or other back in the day.

  • Jollyraj

    Rather a tart comment for a man who, fundamentally, was only voicing agreement with you.

  • Jollyraj

    You’re quite right, Declan – I daresay this goes beyond Daithi.

  • anon

    Oops – Daithi is obviously not as cute as the rest of the cute hoors up there.

  • Thomas Girvan

    It is the curried variety.
    Mind you it does sometimes stimulate a part of the body,but not the cerebrum.
    Clue… think Johnny Cash!

  • Brendan Heading

    I seriously doubt there was a “locked in and lying about” machine involved in any way here.

  • Oggins

    Jolly, it is David, and it’s underlying point you tried to make, would be offensive.

  • Tochais Siorai

    Should really make those Irish names illegal, shouldn’t they? Along with the rest of that leprechaun language.

    But then that was tried already, wasn’t it?

  • mickfealty

    Nope. NCA and US investigations have teeth and aren’t hamstrung by TORs. If there’s dirt here it WILL come out!

  • Jollyraj

    I think people should name their children however they choose, personally.

    I don’t see why you advocate banning some.

  • Jollyraj

    Not sure I follow.

  • Oggins

    You indicated he changed his name like his colleagues to make a point. Come on jolly, don’t play dumb. We know you have a decent intelligence. No need to troll

  • Oggins

    Very mature Thomas

  • Tochais Siorai

    Then what’s the problem with ‘Daithí’ then?

    Would you have the same issue with ‘Dewi’ or ‘Dafydd’?

  • Jag

    Was the existence of this “prepping” or “coaching” more widely known in SF three months ago. It was curious in May 2016, just after the Assembly elections, that Daithi wasn’t given a ministerial posting, unlike, say, Megan Fearon and Chris Hazzard.

    BTW Mick, having studied the tweets published yesterday, Daithi’s prima facie role was putting Jamie in touch with a junior SF member. And that was it. Was Daithi subsequently involved in prepping Jamie? Who knows, doesn’t seem likely, but the tweets don’t prove that. So, you can’t say the chair directly prepped Jamie.

  • Skibo

    Actually I type with both hands.
    From what I can make out, the issue seems to be that Daithi and a n other offered advice on how Jamie should present his evidence. Neither Daithi nor Jamie say that anyone from within SF supplied any actual information.
    Yes or no?

  • Skibo

    Mick,
    as the monies were not forwarded, what trail will they follow?

  • Jarl Ulfreksfjordr

    I have no doubt that is indeed what you can “make out”.

    I am also not surprised that McKay’s position as Chair of the Commitee, his colluding with, at the moment, one other known SF member to couch Bryson before his appearance before the Commitee, and the proper concerns about such behaviour is beyond your ken.

    I expect in your world that’s all just fine and dandy.

    And should you be thinking of coming back to me for an greater explanation of the issue, don’t. I’d rather employ my time in a more worthwhile endeavour that has, in comparison with drawing you from your mental fog on this matter, more chances of success. Such as, for example, teaching my cat algebra.

  • Skibo

    I can only take from it what I can find. From what I can find both Jamie and Daithi, Nobody from SF supplied any information to Jamie so what the whole issue is based on is how his evidence was presented.
    Can Jamie stand up and say who his sources actually are?
    The actions of a DUP member trying to influence how a councillor from DUP votes was a much more serious matter, yet DUP were capable of burying the whole issue.

  • Jollyraj

    I don’t have any problem with it at all, actually. The other poster said ‘Who’s Daithi?’. I hazarded a guess that that it was Irish for David, and a further guess that the man himself may have changed his name as some kind of gesture.

    Then we have several prickly comments from various posters looking for offence in what I wrote.

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