In Ireland, the parish and the county matter more than ideology

Probably the sharpest comment on the latest polls comes from former Justice Minster Michael McDowell, when he notes that:

The latest poll does not indicate any last-minute surge in support one way or the other. But of course, we haven’t reached the “last minute” yet. Labour appears to have come off worst in its scrap with Fine Gael and the “Gilmore for Taoiseach” posters are going to become collectors’ items — just as the famous 1969 Labour poster “The Seventies Will Be Socialist” became iconic symbols of over-reaching ambition.


However with Don’t Knows still at around 20%, there are likely to be a few surprises left in the can before Friday. Of those moving parties, in the Sunday Independent poll at least, they are moving from Fianna Fail to Fine Gael at roughly twice the rate they are going to Labour.

But for all the enthusiastic talk from the top to bottom in the Sunday Independent for Fine Gael going it alone, McDowell says their pre-election vote management strategy only allowed for a tight fight with Fianna Fail and that that has left them in difficulty pressing home for a full one party advantage:

With the benefit of hindsight, FG should have signalled a go-it-alone strategy last year and recruited heavy-hitter candidates to go for majorities in three, four and five-seat constituencies.

The very late nomination of Peter Mathews in Dublin South illustrates the opportunity it has lost elsewhere.

Of course, the reality of total melt-down in FF was not as apparent then. And prevailing electoral orthodoxy is to keep your vote tight by keeping your candidate numbers tight.

And the extent of this meltdown of FF is not even certain. It’s instructive that within 10 years of FG’s meltdown and the last rumours of the end of civil war politics, it is a civil war party that’s making the ground, not the new radicals of the left, or even the old stagers of Labour.

In Irish politics, the parish and the county still matter much more than whatever ideology you are peddling. Come Saturday, that’s likely to make the difference between the two main contenders for government.

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  • J Kelly

    who is Michael McDowell?

  • Mick Fealty

    That would be playing the man JK.

  • J Kelly

    Just making the point that his opinions were well and truly tested in 2007 and if he were serious about Irish politics he would be standing again. Its interesting that he complains about parish pump politics after spending his time in government hooked to the ultimate parish pump party and if he had been elected in 2007 he would have been happy to jump on the bandwagon again.

    Economically and politically illiterate i think you could call the pd’s.

  • Drumlins Rock

    It is starting to look like FG Gov. Lab opposition with FF and SF hovering behind them, ironically essentially a left/right split, will the 3 of them eventually work together or start fighting each other rather than FG?
    We see the weakness of the STV system here, with fluid events too hard to account for and small local issues out weighing policy.

  • Mick Fealty

    He’s writing as a journalist (a highly informed one at that). Journos don’t have to pass the mandate test before they get the right to speak. The deal is they don’t (or at least shouldn’t) have any power.

    Has he complained about parish pump pols? From what I read he’s merely pointing out that FG now find themselves in a position they hadn’t planned for.

  • Mick Fealty


    I still don’t think so. They may have a choice, but would youtrust five or six independents, or 30 Labour party members.

    The Sindo is otherwise pushing hard for them to uncouple from Labour, but their prime reasoning is an FF, ie you cannot give away top jobs to another party at the expense of the ambition of your own folk. But it is always handy to have one of them there mudguards.

    That said, when all is said and done, the Labour party have choices to make too.

  • Fair Deal

    “In Irish politics, the parish and the county still matter much more than whatever ideology you are peddling.”

    There was a poll (in the Herald I think) that argued that this was not correct this time. IIRC National issues had hit over 50% and constituency issues had dropped from 40s to low 20s in terms of what was shaping their vote.

    If correct it would explain why FF is languishing lower than many expected (even if you take account of FF voter reluctance) – simply the attempt to emphasise the constituency wasn’t going to reap the dividends for them that it could usually be expected to.

  • Greenflag

    FG are making overtures to Independents such as Sommerville and Ross and others in the hope that they can avoid having to coalesce with Labour . An FG minority Government supported by independents may not look like stability but it could have some merits over a traditional coalition (FG/Lab) which don’t seem to do too well in hindsight.Such a result could push Labour and SF closer together . Now where would that leave the FF ‘rump’ ? assuming there will be a rump ?

  • Mark

    Small local issues outweighing policy …….

    A family member who is in dispute with a neighbour over the neighbour’s extension to their home recently found out that one of the independants has a little pull with An Taisce . She rounded up a few neighbours who would have been affected by the building work etc and promised the independent candidate a few FPV’s ……her need for privacy and sun light for her roses far outweighed any idealogy she may have been feeling .

  • J Kelly

    “In Irish politics, the parish and the county still matter much more than whatever ideology you are peddling”. Seem like a complaint or maybe sour grapes. Even the title of the article makes my point “Beyond this election, we need to see a new party of the centre-right take to the stage, writes Michael McDowell” why not now.

    Com on mick the media has plenty of power and influence.

  • perseus

    just a wee aside for anoraks:
    why is the vote on a friday? is it always a fri?
    Do the counters go through the night?
    or stop at a certain fixed time and restart sat/mon?

    Also between Feb25th and March 9th who is in charge?

    say there was a national crisis like Bono deciding to pay his tax in Ireland ,
    who would be there to comment and give leadership to a stunned nation?

  • perseus

    ahh the 25th- 9th is for coalition dealing
    anyone have a reason why UK votes thurs and ROI fridays?

  • Mack

    I have a very strong premonition that we are weeks away from being told that we are in an economic emergency. The new government is going to take office metaphorically in a bunker. I cannot see any honeymoon. Nor do I see any extended period of novelty or freshness for the election victors.

    Oh f*&%!

  • “promised the independent candidate a few FPV’s”

    Mark, the Independent may have been flattered but would have known that such a promise would be worth didly squat 🙂

  • Mick Fealty

    @J Kelly

    I agree the media has power and influence, though with the exception folk like R Murdoch, not as much as many believe.

    The rest of us (and that includes the former Minister of Justice) don’t need a mandate to be able to speak and be heard.

    Peddling is what parties have to do,it’s just that under the Irish system, the ideology is not enough.

  • While not in any way being taken in by the partiality of the Sindo (dogs do return to their vomit), there is a good argument for an FG-only government.

    Let’s assume the polls are correct and FG are high in the 30 percentile range (those polls are only +/- 3%, mind). That’s not going to deliver an FG majority.

    I still feel Gilmore’s strategy, to be the FG side-car, is profoundly ill-conceived. I suspect, post-election, there’ll be many in the Labour Party pointing out just that.

    There is still (as Mick Fealty implies) an opportunity for the “opening to the left” (it sounds and feels better in Italian).

    Labour should aim to stay in opposition, even if sitting on their hands and tacitly offering enough “confidence and supply” to keep the ECB and IMF happy. Gilmore (or his successor) probably gets to be Leader of the Opposition rather than an Tánaiste: a far more honourable rôle. Unless the “recovery” starts delivering real benefits soon, any toxicity is still there. Meanwhile, it’s better to have the constitutional settlement, which is also coming, in public and not in a dirty back-stairs trade-off.

    That puts the FF rump, Labour, the socialists and SF in close proximity. Let them rub against each other and see if anything comes from it.

    Surely someone should be bright enough to notice what coalition does for the junior partner: PD, Greens, Cleggites …

  • J Kelly

    Mick I agree peddling is what you do and agree that ideology is at times not enough and fully agree that this is a blight on the Irish political system, but I have to say that its a bit rich coming from McDowell who hitched his wagon to Fianna Fail and if he was still elected he would still be at their side.

    Further McDowell the Journalist enjoys his position to have a go at “former” political opponents while promoting his views as an alternative after the election all I ask why doesn’t he have a go this time. I wonder who the high profile candidates he is speaking of, my view is that this guys political ego knows no bounds. The only good thing is that the good people of Dublin South and further afield have more sense to be taken in by him and the PDs.

  • [aside] better in Italian

    MR, Italian Socialism hasn’t been a roaring success either; Bob Cratchit sounds a bit like Bobo Craxi in Italian 🙂

  • Mick Fealty

    I’m a little less tough than some of the hyporcacy of professional politicians. We often rely on them to change their minds:

    Besides this is all about the man, not the ball (his article). Malcolm’s suggestion that Labour could cut this result up such that it becomes a dominant voice in the opposition is interesting, but unless they attend to their poor capacity problem in the rural west they are going to be forever at the shores of the Rubicon.

  • Munsterview

    Lets not forget when Mick the Mouth was Minister for Justice and pontificating on everything and anything in his own immodest way, he requested the Dep of Justice for copies of letters that the late Billy Flynn had written to the Dep. for clients complaining of various corruptions in the Donegall Gardai and the Administration of Justice up there.

    The Dep told him to take a hike!

    Mick had to come to Billy Flynns private home like a thief in the night to read the files and copy the various letters his own Dep officials would not show him. The street tiger was just an old moggy in the hands of his department of Injustice Officials and a very neutered one at that !

    It ill beholds an ineffectual blustering waster like Mick that was putty in the Departments hands and who presided over the disintegration and demise of his own political party to advise another political party on anything bar it’s liquidation.

    He has not to the best of my knowledge indulged himself in his usual ‘kick the Provos’ in this election so far but there is a couple of days to go yet.

    Then again Mick is not the only wilting violet around the Dep of Injustice. When Michael Martin was Lord Mayor of Cork, William O’Hara a front seat passenger in a stolen car, driven by his brother Joe was fatally injured when a group of gardai attempting to intercept the car bombarded it with rocks,rubbish and even dustbins. One head sized rock came through the windscreen rendering William catatonic.

    Joe was not charged with the theft of the car, nor was he called to the inquest. Neither was a single member of the Gardai. The Coroner had no evidence as to how William died. The following day Joe with his solicitor gave a press conference where he admitted to being the driver and gave full details as to how the Gardai fatally injured his brother. He then gave himself up to the Gardai.

    Joe was charged with a number of petty offenses, excluding the theft of the car that with his record, got him a few years. Weeks prior to his release he was charged with yet more crimes and convicted again. On release seven years later he was run out of the country. The Inquest was never reopened and the Gardai got away, at very least, with an unlawful killing and possibly murder.

    There was weeks of rioting in Williams area in the Cork Northside following his killing and funeral with a new outbreak following the Inquest verdict, The event also occupied days of local news paper headlines and local radio etc. However from the inquest cover up to date a full nineteen years later the coverup has continued together with the corruption of the Administration of Justice in Cork.

    This is but one corrupt event from Micheal Martins back yard, one given widespread publicity that Micheal cannot but have been aware of given all the publicity the killing, funeral, inquest and rioting got. This is the great new Leader of Fianna Fail : I do not know of any moves Michael made then or since to condemn the coverup of the unlawful killing of William O’Hara.

    Billy Flynn prior to his death was working on getting the inquest reopened. Thank goodness with Sinn Fein and Joe Higgins party in such a likely strong position in the incoming Dail and Fianna Fail complacency and collaboration of murder cover up removed from the Department of Justice, it may now be possible to have the matter canvassed in the Dail and the case re-opened.

    It was also Billy Flynn’s considered opinion that the Administration of Justice in Cork was far more corrupt in Cork than Donegall ever was and Micheal Martin as a senior Government minister had no trouble living with that.

    Fianna Fail Nua fe Micheal, mo thoin gruagach!

  • [aside]MV, Irisrollcall presents the McDowell account differently:

    “One unexpected visitor to his Enfield, Co Meath, home was the then Minister for Justice Michael McDowell, driving by in 2005 on his way to his holiday home. Mr McDowell had studied the letters that Mr Flynn had sent to Ms Owen. A few days later, Mr McDowell produced one of the letters on RTE’s ‘Questions And Answers’ to suggest that she had prior knowledge of garda corruption in Donegal.”

    This account would suggest, though the wording is ambiguous, that he may have seen the letters in the Department but that, for whatever reason, he wanted to use a Flynn copy.

  • Munsterview

    Nevin : Billy was a good friend and also a professional colleague. I was invited to family weddings and I took charge of his office when he and his family went on holidays after he had broken Donegall Garda Corruption scandal wide open.

    I knew the bulk and content of these files and letters. I gave six months up in Donegall working directly with Billy on the corruption scandal up there. I was present when some of the complaints were made and when some were written.

    It also should be noted that in regard to Donegall that only the Garda corruption and the myth of the ‘few rotten apples’ were dealt with. There was no investigation regarding the part that the courts played rubber stamping corrupt convictions at Lower Court or Superior courts levels. Neither was there any investigation as to how the DPP office that is supposed to be independent, was totally compromised.

    Whatever spin McDowell may wish to put on the event at this remove, he came very specifically to get a first hand briefing and he read the entire collection of files and made copious notes. He was in Billy’s for three and a half to four hours and spend most of that time alone with the files save when he was given tea or coffee or when he wanted some aspect clarified.

    Although Billy is dead RIP, anything else I learned regarding that visit was given under privileged circumstances and all I am prepared to say generally is what I claimed initially, that Mc Dowell came specifically to look at the entire contents of the files and get background details.

    Neither is it any coincidence that it was McDowell’s social companion and news paper reporter Sam Smith that broke the story… not all of it but sufficient to get Nora Owen and other senior officials in the Dep of justice and the Garda Siochana under the spotlight where to then McDowell was under pressure alone.

    Ms Owen faired no better than Mack regarding access to the files in the Dep of Justice, had she known she would have been very foolish indeed to have given so many hostages to fortune in her exchanges with Mc Dowell post leaving office and prior to Sam breaking the story.

    When Harry Wheelan was Attorney General I discussed a case with him regarding a paedophile who was a police informer and a serial child abuser. I had two personal meetings and three phone calls with Harry on behalf of the child’s mother before The AG’s office handler intervened and cut my contact with Harry as ‘inappropriate’.

    I had also discussed the case with Albert Reynolds, he designated an official in the Taoiseach’s office to deal with it, this individual went to ground and could not be found within days. When Harry’s appointment as President of the High Court was first mooted I used every back channel I could to tell Albert that if he persisted then I would take Harry down and after that the cards could fall where they would.

    I got a garda special branch car before and behind everywhere I went for the next couple of weeks, most media did not want to know, the Tribune took it as Harry was appointed, the documentation that I supplied on the mothers behalf including High Court cases and records stacked up.

    When Harry was confronted with the story he resigned. The Tribune was in mega litigation ground but with Harry gone they ran a ‘bare Bones story’ with some of the more contentious claims removed but sufficient for those with ‘eyes to see’ to know what went down.

    When Willie O’Dea was made Minister For State at the Department of Justice I attended Willies Limerick clinic with the child’s mother and Willie was given the paedophile story and documentation. Willie did not want to take it but as a lawyer he knew the implications if the fact that he refused came up in court.

    Within days the mother received an official letter on headed notepaper form Willie to say that he had passes on the details to Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell who did not even bother contacting the victims mother. Because it involved a high grade IRSP informer State concerns got priority over the victim and the mothers representations were ignored.

    Two years ago the mother travelled to Louth and went to the town office of Dermot Ahern, Minister for Justice, his personal constituency secretary was given a a document with all the abuse details in my presence. The mother got a two paragraph letter from Dermot Ahern advising the mother to contact the Gardai, the very organization that she was accusing of colluding with a paedophile informer.

    Take it from me Nevin little is as it seems in this Republic, in my experience it is corrupt to the core and with few honorable exceptions, the well salaried judges coming from the same gene pool as the other corrupt segments do little other than protect their cronies and rubber stamp corruption.

  • MV, with regard to your final paragraph I came to much the same conclusion when I lifted a few stones in the course of research for NALIL stories. There’s some stuff I haven’t even gone close too because of the risk to others. As a friend once said, “Who can you trust nowadays?”.

  • Munsterview

    The remarkable thing is that despite the widespread corruption there are still individuals in all institutions and in all walks of life, some senior establishment insider figures that keep coming forward with details of corruption that could cost them their careers but who are still willing to share this information with people like me on nothing more than a handshake because they just cannot stay silent any longer.

    Yes there are some very bad, dangerous bastards out there : last week I spoke to a former garda, he burst dealers at street level and continued to follow the chain upwards. Once he got to a certain level he was warned off….. by his own Garda Colleagues for all sorts of reasons. He persisted and was under tremendous pressure and strain.

    He came home to his own area to attend the wedding of a friends son. On his way home from the village the regional traffic core had a road check…….except he was the only one checked and of course did not pass the test. Admittedly he should have known better than to drink and drive even if he was just over the limit.

    However he was prosecuted and asked for his resignation. One over zealous experienced guard just over the limit gone from the force and the whole network of dealers are back on his beat selling merrily away. Meanwhile the usual suspects will continue to do the usual bulls*** pr for the force on the Sundays news of the screws or whatever.

    The hope for me is for everyone prepared to take a stand against corruption there are another ten or twenty of their associates who want no part of it but yet are so concerned about their wages and promotion that they are passive in the face of institutionalized corruption. All it would take is a change of ethos at the top and things may change big time.

    Fianna Fail were too long in power all power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. We may have a new government but in the weeks leading up to the election Fianna Fail having been stuffing State boards with deadbeat medoricies in dozens and twenties. How long is it going to take to get rid of them ? How long to get around all the senior appointments where people were appointed well above their levels of competence?

    I cannot see any great changes bar PR and Spin. Kenny is not even in and already we have media control and handling : he gave a newstalk interview to-day but it was conditional of he not being asked about his pension. The radio station accepted the condition but the reporter broke ranks. Kenny denied the story !

    And so it begins and the man is not even elected to office yet : some chance of change there !

  • Mick Fealty


    I really am going to start creaming people for going so far off topic on threads. The piece above, and most of the conversation afterwards had nothing to do with “Mick the Mouth”.

    I don’t actually mind a little bit of rough and tumble. But only when it is in pursuit of a point that’s relevant to the conversation.

  • Mick, MV’s comments are way off topic but they do pose a question for later: “Does changing the head make a lot of difference if the body is rotten at the core?”. Let’s leave it for now.

  • Munsterview

    Mick : In usual circumstances you are quite right and my posts on this thread are indeed on the face of it, far off topic.

    However this is not an usual circumstance we are about to see the back of a government that was a by-word for corruption and as result the demise of the FF party as a dominant force in Irish Politics for the immediate future, not because of any great scandal, at least not by Irish standards but by a thousand scandals from Harneys hairdo at public expense to Donoghue using the government jet to go to the jacks.

    All the things that I have outlined here, some within my own personal experience give insights into that corruption and the point that I made to Nevin on the last post was that this corruption is ingrained in what the late ( and great) John Healy referred to as the Permanent Government.

    There is not too much hope for change if the elected government and in particular a dogmatic, forceful and combative Minister like Mcdowell was powerless in his own department. Perhaps not done in a progressive linear development but I was attempting to convey something of the totality of the corruption brown stuff we are in at all levels. In this context the attitudes of Martin, O’Dea, Ahern Harry Wheelan and co in addition to McDowell I would argue are very relevant indeed.

  • Munsterview

    Nevin : just see your last comment after posting; great minds…?

  • Drumlins Rock

    MV, actually it is good to be reminded that the problems go far beyond finances and planning etc. from far away observations the election is merely a first step, hopefully wiping out FF and the hold they had on the country, but there i a long way to go yet its only starting.
    Btw SFso far as I can see are merely FF wanna bes, all this harking back to 1916 and the like it fantasyland.

  • Munsterview

    Earlier to-day I posted some site locations and other details of Counterinsurgency procedures especially by British Authorities. Almost immediately my Broad band connection ‘was terminated from a remote site’

    Since this posting around noon to-day I have had this ‘remote termination’ happen twenty to thirty times, and this from a connection that is usually totally stable and running in the ‘broadband on mode’ for weeks at the time uninterrupted. The remote disconnect problems only seems to follow certain types of critical or disclosure postings.

    I would like to know if anyone else has the same experience following similar type postings ?

  • Greenflag


    Even if off topic your ‘revelations ‘ of the particular will be an aid to understanding why FF are going to be hammered in this election and why SF will do better than many expect.
    Your comments on the ‘alternative’ in waiting will soon enough show true post the election .

    As to

    ‘Fianna Fail Nua fe Micheal, mo thoin gruagach!’

    I can only add

    Fine Gael fe Enda , mo thoin gruagach aris .

    For those without the Gaeilge or the Irish’ mo thoin gruagach’ can be translated as ‘my hairy rear end ‘
    with much stronger connotations than Father Ted’s ‘fluffy bottom’

    It’s the upgraded modern version of the more old fashioned Irish ‘mar dhea ‘ pronounced -mawr yah which when pinned on to the end of a sentence or remark suggests that what appears to be the case is’nt – and don’t we know it 😉

    In this election the ‘mar dhea’ could be added on after every political party’s policies and that would be adding ‘credibility’ to them ;)?

  • Secret Squirrel

    What was the final outcome with reference to the connection being terminated by the remote site ? Did you persist in reposting or did you give up ?



    10 minutes ago, I downloaded SF’s election manifesto. Within 2 seconds of downloading it, my connection went off. I had to reboot. I have noticed this a few times in my excursions into the weird and wonderful online word of eirigi , IRSP to name a few.

    I wonder if we’re all just mice, pretending to be free while the cat watches us, hidden but all-seeing in the shadows

  • Munsterview

    Secret Squirrel / Orwellspen.

    Just back! I persisted with posting and once the warning come request went out there was an immediate back off…. these people do not like having attention drawn to their activities. So far I have had a sixty hour uninterrupted connection.

    However such live monitoring can have its uses too as when I concentrated on unmasking as pseudo poster some months back who could have been a genuine contrarian or your common or garden crank! When I set about exposing this pseudo poster and started to get the better of the game as with showing how the posts were constructed along a systematic Counterinsurgency systematic propaganda format, all hell broke loose!

    This immediately provoked a round of attempted virus attacks and ‘remote site terminations’ : conformation that suggested that somebody out there in ‘spook-world’ see the unmasked one as at very least, an asset worth protecting. All the traffic but confirmed the interest of the spooks on the unmasked one

    It is in everyones interest ( well almost everyones) to be aware of this : these ‘hearts and mind’ games are played against Republicans and Loyalists alike and the the detriment of both. It is not as if they are very subtle about covering up this : when a ‘hearts and minds’ International Academic is advertised and signposted with several top British Army serving and former officers featuring specially because of their Northern Ireland experience in manipulating public opinion, a subject that they address the conference on, just how much more transparent can this activity be to those who know where to look for it ?

    In the Sunday Times culture section two weeks back carried a review of a book on how former SAS and spooks operated in an officially denied operation for some years in Middle East. It also included serving SAS who were on authorized absence from their battalions and regiment. Update that activity by a decade and you have Northern Ireland as the main theater and training ground for these operations.

    What should be of concern to Mick and others involved in the Civil Rights, Civil Liberties area, is that there appears a live monitoring of posts on this site. That means that some computers, this trusty old apple among them have live live feed with words coming up on their screens as typed just the same as on our own !

    Last year I had a blog reposted dozens of times and translated in to many different languages. It brought some very good reactions but also a spate of attempted virus attacks. This is an ongoing ‘open information’ war with slugger type disclosures at the bottom end and bottom feeders lake the ‘unmasked one’ right through to Wikkie leaks and Julian & C0.

    The lawfulness or otherwise of this activity is not the real issue here : the capacity to do such monitoring almost undetected have existed for some years now. In ordinary police enforcement a good detective with a mobile cell of an unlisted number of a criminal of interest to him can either go the legal route with applying for authorizations etc or they can go to a backstreet street cloner and in five minutes they can listen to every in coming and outgoing call made from that number.

    What route will the average bust police detective take ? This is the reality of the world we live in !

    Again this a two way street ‘hall of mirrors stuff’ a phone call can be made to a phone source that will result in the compromise of a ‘clean number’ If the information passed on has enough ‘meat on the bone’, this ‘clean number’ is then added to the ‘live monitoring’ category and can then be used to sell the ‘other side’ mis and dis information to put the ass of somebody on their side in a sling.

    Look at WW2 and how pre-Normandy Invasion ‘signal traffic’ was generated for General Pattons phantom army to fool the Germans. That was the then the apex of all such activity and is since regarded as the starting point of such deception signal activity with armed forces and spooks in the modern era.

  • EdgarDavids

    It is my belief that when voters right across Ireland look through their local list of candidates on the ballot paper on Friday morning they will find that, regardless of the media hype or spin, what they will see is a bunch of candidates names and that those representing the Fianna Fail party will be those who most closely hold the same values as themselves.

    Let us hope for the sake of our country that those voters vote for Fianna Fail – The Republican Party.

  • Munsterview

    Edgar & others : here is the real McCoy, Micheal Martin’s last appeal to the troops !


    We’re right up against the last few hours of the campaign. The debates and arguments are nearly over, but there’s still time for you to make an important difference to the outcome of this election by calling family and friends and letting them know why you’re voting Fianna Fáil.

    Some polls estimate that up to 20% of voters are still undecided about how they’ll cast their vote tomorrow. Making calls in these last few hours is a great way to have people hear about our plan for a better future for the country, just as they are making up their minds ahead of tomorrow’s vote.

    Make five calls to family members, friends, colleagues and people you know in the community to convince them to vote #1, or their highest preference, for their local Fianna Fáil candidates. We’ve made it easy, by explaining the simple points you can make to help persuade them:

    In the final few hours of this campaign, you can make a difference. Call the people who trust and listen to you and help make sure they understand the weakness of the Fine Gael and Labour agenda and the reasons they should vote Fianna Fáil tomorrow.

    Five calls – just five minutes on the phone – can change five minds.

    Thank you for your support these last few weeks. I’ll be in touch tomorrow.

    Úachtarán Fianna Fáil

    P.S. If you’re on Twitter or Facebook, you can tweet, share or email your support by using the same page.

  • Munsterview

    Brat Glas : “Fine Gael fe Enda , mo thoin gruagach aris ….”

    Ceann eile as croi Muamhan do an sceal seo politiacht ag teacht : ‘ Bod brisleacht air’

  • Secret Squirrel

    Thanks Munsterview for that feedback. I was wondering where you’d got to. Are you saying that you were getting ‘remote site terminations’ from more than one site over a very short period of time ?
    ( sorry for the off topic stuff everyone.)

  • EdgarDavids

    It’s a pity the campaign wasn’t for another couple of weeks. I really think Enda Kenny is beginning to be found out and people are getting to know Micheal Martin as leader and liking what they see and hear!


  • Secret Squirrel

    It’s a pity the campaign wasn’t for another couple of weeks.

    It’s a pity you don’t read the threads that you ‘contribute’ to.
    Be a Good Fella and answer the simple question regarding the pizza escapade.

  • Greenflag


    So how’s the weather in Alaska or whichever planet you dwell on . On Planet Ireland FF are about to be launched into a geocentric orbit from which they may or may not ever return to earth . The rentry odds should be debateable come Saturday evening/Sunday midday given the time consuming PR voting mechanism.

    Mr Martin has not impressed but then he has’nt been given the best timing .

  • Greenflag

    MV ,

    Interesting post above – Info that I always suspected but never really gave a monkey’s etc to .So are the spooks trying to educate us or is it vice versa . Winning hearts and minds is of course the main object of all propaganda . POlitical marketing has come a long way since Herr Goebbels introduced the world to mass marketing techniques but even they could ‘nt save his ‘truth’ from being seen as the lie it always was eh;)

    Anyway keep us all posted on your struggles with the nasty little shits lurking in the undergrowth -no names or addresses please -no point in embarassing the gutless feckers ;)?

  • Munsterview

    Secret Squirrel : always delighted to share knowledge and alert the non informed to this activity !

    Our North American bloggers and posters are much more aware regarding the net ‘dirty tricks’ and there are dozens of site from hard left through to center civil rightists through to extreme right who all expose State ‘ Big Brother’ activities.

    While North America is very much aware we have still some way to go in this neck of the woods. This is particularly so given that from the early seventies and for the next quarter century the Brits were at the cutting edge of these ‘mis-information and dis-information’ aspects of State spin and propaganda developed as part of the Counter Insurgency Conflict/War propaganda in the struggle for ‘Hearts and Minds’ of the local populace.

    The Brits are credited and rightly so as the experts in this field : they did infiltrate and control several Southern Security agencies; at the very start of the campaign British Security had control of the Irish Garda ( Police) Information collator who dealt with intelligence information coming from all sources. The Brits were got all he collected and they then decided as to what information Jack Lynch as Prime Minister and his Government should get and what should be held back. Neat or what ?

    There is also convincing evidence, some would say compelling that several quite senior Garda were also in Brit State pay and these included several GHQ officers and at at least one commissioner. At the end of the Mainstream IRA campaign it also emerged that they also had the head of the IRA internal security working for them and operating under their control. Donolson that lived in Gerry’s briefcase is another example of superb enemy agent placement!

    It was not all one way: the IRA in the early seventies compromised and tapped into the General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland secure landlines and they had the ability to listen in to every conversation the GOC and his staff received or made from whatever source. Even more embarrassing for the Brits the IRA operation and Intel intercept was only discovered by accident !

    The Real IRA thought all their Christmases had come together when an American well heeled sympathizer arrived out of the blue and quickly made contact with the inner circles. He discussed their need for ‘secure communications’ and supplied them with ‘state of the art’ encrypted laptop computers. He was an FBI agent and the computers were on a twenty four /seven transmission to MI5 and other British Intel organizations.

    This is funny to the the point of hilarity but the laughter stops right here : this also meant that the Brits knew all about Omaha before during and after the event but yet allowed the operation to go ahead to achieve the very result it did. They were not concerned with the massive numbers killed and injured, but only how to use the resulting shock and horror in these Islands to close down the whole physical force campaign.

    To return to your query : the reaction varies most sites dealing with the Counter Insurgency/ security and Information Technology Industry openly advertise and list their wares. Those in the know also use tweaked applications that allow for ‘hot links’ with other computers with these applications.

    Without this application the links are often not ‘hot’. This in fact is the first site defense : the average Joe Soap will not be arsed with cutting and pasting the information into a search engine and when they do, second defense, very often these have embedded codes that disrupt google and Microsoft ( not that doing the latter is any great achievement). The third is that such embedded codes also trigger a rake of tantalizing sex ads, free porn etc
    What will your average Joe Soap next click? You can bet your bottom dollar that the sex lines are ‘hot’ and react with google.

    Going straight in frightens the horses : first accessing a respectable academic site and through that site moving on to another and another etc until the real target site is accessed activate different embedded codes and the assumption is that the search is coming from an safe academic insider rather than somebody accessing to repost on sites such as slugger.

    Remote site termination has two purposes first it causes too much inconvenience for the average person and they simply avoid accessing that site that cause the needs for reboots. The other function is like Micks cards, an expression of disapproval ‘we are watching you baby’ ! Nothing frightening in that for the politically literate but a bit unnerving for your usual nerd.

    When keyboarding live on a post and certain matters are referred to that the spooks do not want discussed, it is not unusual to find a sunshade ‘smiley face’ popping up at the end of that section form whoever to say ‘ noted : we are watching you’

    However as recent events in the Arab World have shown, the net can be a powerful tool for liberty and to coordinate social unrest. That is why the Pentagon and the Obama Administration are considering serious moves to restrict the free flow of information on the net. It is one thing for the Yankee / Brit nexus to use it for regime change in Third World countries, it is quite another to continue allow a situation where it could also be used to organize a mass march on London or Washington to overthrow home regimes.

    This is a subject that deserves a thread of it’s own and a much deeper exploration. Perhaps when the dust settles after the election and the next Southern Government is formed, Mick may set the parameters for a thread discussion on the matter.

  • Munsterview

    Another remote server disconnect on first attempt to post the above @ 1.20 am!

  • Secret Squirrel

    This is a subject that deserves a thread of it’s own

    Yep. I don’t want to annoy anyone with what might be regarded as off topic stuff.
    I had read somewhere about the chaps obtaining the feed into the ‘secure’ telephone exchange. It was in Lisburn if I remember correctly ? And I think a documentary I’ve seen gives insight into some of the goings on prior to Omagh. ( The Brick is in the Wall.)
    The RUC claimed that they had the impression that the mobile fones were being monitored live, whereas it allegedly transpired that the conversations were merely being recorded but not monitored.

    I suspected you were using a Mac when I googled the error report you supplied. I’d never encountered it before; I know nothing about Macs. But at least we all use common protocols while utilizing the Web.
    As to how exactly you can counter (if at all) those disconnections
    is another story for another day. There’s no doubt more than one way to skin a mad cat. 🙂
    Thanks for taking the time to reply.

    (sorry again folks for the off topic content)

  • Greenflag

    ‘ MV,

    ‘the Brits knew all about Omaha before during and after the event but yet allowed the operation to go ahead to achieve the very result it did.

    Omagh –

    ‘it is quite another to continue allow a situation where it could also be used to organize a mass march on London or Washington to overthrow home regimes.’

    Or even Dublin .