“Are you going to pay your water charges, Gerry?”

To pay or not to pay water charges was the question of the week for the southern wing of Sinn Féin.  In the north, things are completely different…  Under pressure from former MEP Paul Murphy of the Anti-Austerity Alliance, the party’s candidate in today’s by-election in Dublin South West, Cllr Cathal King, had majored heavily on his opposition to the charges during the campaign – telling potential voters that he won’t pay, and would fight his bill in the courts.

His party president, Gerry Adams, TD for Louth, however, began the week under the impression that the charge wouldn’t apply to him as he ordinarily resided “in the North”. [Partitionist! – Ed]  In the Irish Times, Miriam Lord related the relevant quotes from the interview on Shannonside Radio on Monday morning.

How a person living on just the average industrial wage and mere average industrial expenses could overlook such a wallop in the wallet is puzzling. So we listened back to this exchange between Gerry and Joe Finnegan on Shannonside Radio on Monday morning.

“Are you going to pay your water charges, Gerry?”

“Well, it doesn’t affect me in so far as, eh, I, in the North where my family home is, Sinn Féin stopped water charges…”

“So you won’t have to pay water charges here in the South?”

“No, not, not, not to my knowledge.” [added emphasis]

In fairness, Adams may have a well at his holiday bolthole in Donegal’s Gortahork, so he would be covered there, but where does that leave his Louth constituency abode in rural Ballymakellett, Ravensdale, on the lovely Cooley Peninsula?

If he’s paying up they both can’t have a well.

Before the 2011 general election Gerry had to go to court to declare that he now resides in Louth to have his name included on the election register. Even if he was only renting he would be liable for water charges. Very puzzling, forgetting such a big thing.

The party president’s faulty knowledge was subsequently corrected by a Sinn Féin party spokesman.

…when asked by the Irish Independent if Mr Adams would pay water charges for his holiday home in Donegal and his two constituency offices, a Sinn Fein spokesman said the party leader would be paying the charge in all instances.

However, he will not be paying water charges for the house in Louth where he is registered to vote.

“Gerry will pay the water charge on his house in Donegal and his constituency office,” he said. “The house in Co Louth in which he stays belongs to a friend, so this is not matter for Gerry,” he added.

As an interesting sidebar,  if Miriam Lord is correct on water charges liability for rentees, and if “The house in Louth” – where Gerry Adams “ordinarily resides” for electoral purposes – “is not a matter for Gerry”, that would suggest that he doesn’t pay rent to his “friend”.  So why isn’t that property listed in the Dáil register of members interests, along with his pension from the Northern Ireland Assembly?  In the interests of transparency…  The only property actually listed, in 2013 or any other year, is

Land (including property) … Tír na nÓg, Gort a’Choirc, Tír Chonaill (house): used exclusively by my family and is co-owned with my wife.

Which would cover his Donegal residence.  Where accommodation at the Louth residence, being rent-free, or a significant gift in the circumstances, might have been listed there is ‘nil’.

  1. Gifts ……………………… Nil
  2. Property supplied or lent or a Service supplied… Nil

ANYhoo… by the time of the party’s launch of its alternative budget submission Sinn Féin was, if not in crisis, in disarray.

Speaking at the launch of the party’s pre-budget submission in Dublin yesterday, senior Sinn Fein TDs Mary Lou McDonald, Pearse Doherty and Caoimhghin O Caolain said they will follow suit [and, like the party president, pay the water charge].

But the party’s housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis and Dublin South West by-election candidate Cathal King insisted they will fight the charges.

“I intend to fight it all the way,” Mr Ellis told the Irish Independent.

Sinn Fein TD Aengus O Snodaigh said he is “not inclined” to pay the bill on January 1 but he will consult his family before making a decision.

His party colleague Jonathan O’Brien said he has not decided yet if he will boycott the payment.

Adds  A thought on Miriam Lord’s reference to Gerry’s “constituency abode in rural Ballymakellett, Ravensdale, on the lovely Cooley Peninsula”. Could this be the [rent-free] Adams’ Louth residence in question in the 2013 Dáil register(1)?

Occupations Etc. ………….. (1) Writer: Baile Mhic Eileoid, Ravensdale, Co. Louth; (2) Pension: Northern Assembly.

And  To highlight the missing detail “in the North” from Gerry Adams’ entry in the Dáil register of members interests, here’s a reminder of his comments in 2010 after declaring his intention to stand as a candidate for Louth

GERRY Adams will reside in County Louth if elected to Dail Eireann in this constituency.  The Sinn Fein leader made the admission on a visit to The Dundalk Democrat on Monday.

Many people had questioned his decision to run in County Louth despite not being from the area but Mr Adams said he will happily relocate here in order to do the job to the best of his ability.

“My family home is in West Belfast and it will remain there but I will live here in order to do the job as best I can and go home then whenever the chance allows it.” [added emphasis]

And,

“I’m clearly going to stay in Louth, the same way that Bairbre goes to Strasbourg and Brussels but comes back and lives in West Belfast, so I will still be about the place,” [Gerry Adams] said. [Andersonstown News report]

“My church is here. My GAA club is here. This is Antrim and I’m an Antrim supporter.  All my connectiveness is here. I’ll work in Louth and I’ll stay there because you have to be available if they elect me, but I’ll be back here and I’ll still be very much a part of this community.  My family home is here and I’m going to stay here.” [added emphasis]

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  • Adds A thought on Miriam Lord’s reference to Gerry’s “constituency abode in rural Ballymakellett, Ravensdale, on the lovely Cooley Peninsula”. Could this be the [rent-free] Adams’ Louth residence in question in the 2013 Dáil register(1)?

    Occupations Etc. ………….. (1) Writer: Baile Mhic Eileoid, Ravensdale, Co. Louth; (2) Pension: Northern Assembly.

  • Michael Henry

    Miriam Lord started of with a bare faced lie- ” How a person living on just the average industrial wage and mere average industrial expensive’s ” – the typist Lord forgets that Adams is a Author also with Books to his name- unlike the lying Lord-

  • Bryan Magee

    How can Adams not know if he has to pay water charges?

  • And To highlight the missing detail “in the North” from Gerry Adams’ entry in the Dáil register of members interests, here’s a reminder of his comments in 2010 after declaring his intention to stand as a candidate for Louth

    GERRY Adams will reside in County Louth if elected to Dail Eireann in this constituency. The Sinn Fein leader made the admission on a visit to The Dundalk Democrat on Monday.

    Many people had questioned his decision to run in County Louth despite not being from the area but Mr Adams said he will happily relocate here in order to do the job to the best of his ability.

    “My family home is in West Belfast and it will remain there but I will live here in order to do the job as best I can and go home then whenever the chance allows it.” [added emphasis]

    And,

    “I’m clearly going to stay in Louth, the same way that Bairbre goes to Strasbourg and Brussels but comes back and lives in West Belfast, so I will still be about the place,” [Gerry Adams] said. [Andersonstown News report]

    “My church is here. My GAA club is here. This is Antrim and I’m an Antrim supporter. All my connectiveness is here. I’ll work in Louth and I’ll stay there because you have to be available if they elect me, but I’ll be back here and I’ll still be very much a part of this community. My family home is here and I’m going to stay here.” [added emphasis]

  • Mister_Joe

    When discussing what any individual is reported as saying, it is well to consider that person’s reputation for truthfulness.

  • Michael Henry

    Correct- as well as the Reporters reputation for Lying-and Lord knows that Miriam has lied through her teeth in this story –

  • NMS

    Looking at UK subject’s (Mr. Adams) Dáil declaration, he has failed to provide any detail regarding the property in Ravensdale. Does he own it? Does he have rent free use of it, but if so he should declare the value of the gift. He has also failed to declare any UK property. Is this a slip of his memory, similar to that of his good friend Slab Murphy? Or does he not own or occupy any property in Belfast?

    In relation to the “industrial wage” issue. Let us assume that he has a gross income of €150,000, (salary €90k, pension €30k and €30k other) He would need to hand over a lot of money to the Provos to bring himself down to an average wage, let us say the average Public Sector wage of €918.86 per week in Ireland. Yet he has not declared relevant contributions to SIPO to match the difference. Indeed considering his hairdressing bills, the constant highlights and lowlights etc to both beard and head, one wonders how he could live on €919 per week gross.

    However North & South the people want clowns.Bring them on

  • Jag

    On the average industrial wage business, the Shinners actually hand surprisingly little back to the party. If you earn 35k in the Republic which is the estimated average industrial wage, your tax, usc and social insurance (PRSI) is around 7k, so take home is 28k.

    If your gross salary was, in your example, 150k, then tax, usc and PRSI would be 70k so your take home would be 80k. So, 52k would be handed back to the party, and GA (using your example) would take home 28k.

    The TDs who would earn 87k gross normally, would receive around 50k net, so they hand back around 22k to the party. Senators get 60k gross, around 40k net so they would hand back 12k.

    With 14 TDs in the south and 3 senators, they’re probably handing back around 250-300k EUR (or 170-230k GBP) to the party.

  • Jag

    Well Pete, why don’t you put your money where your mouth is and write to the standards in public office and communicate your concerns about GA’s Louth accommodation not being on the register.

    Here ya go..

    http://www.sipo.gov.ie/en/Contact/

  • Comrade Stalin

    SF have never defined what the average industrial wage is from their point of view.

    In the RoI there are legal limits on individual donations. AFAIR, a person cannot give 52K to a party.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Looking at UK subject’s (Mr. Adams) Dáil declaration

    There is no such thing as a “UK subject”, and Gerry Adams, and his unionist counterparts, are not “subjects” of any kind.

  • NMS

    They are of course subjects of their Queen. The UK is still a kingdom.

  • NMS

    But, if they are making contributions to the party, the party is obliged to declare the donations over a very low limit. You can check the level of declared donations yourself here http://www.sipo.gov.ie/ga/

  • Michael Henry

    Sinn Fein don’t swear allegiance to the Crown so they are not subjects- plus the people voted for Equality in the Good Friday Agreement- so you can catch yourself on with your subject rubbish if you don’t know the facts-( you can’t want Equality if your a subject )-

  • NMS

    Ireland is a republic, there is no such place as the Republic of Ireland. The term Republic of Ireland was originally invented for the purposes of soccer. The IFA, the original soccer body, was based in Belfast, with the splitters, the Provisionals you might say, in Dublin leaving and forming their own sporting body. This is why the FAI’s International team is so called because the IFA objected to it being called Ireland.

    It should be noted that all of the other bodies with their HQs in Dublin did not split. Dublin as such is the home of partionism, certainly as far as soccer is concerned.

  • NMS

    Out in Tallaght, the Trot is rapidly catching the Provo. After the fourth count he is just 558 votes behind with over nine thousand voted to transfer. The Trot will probably win by over a thousand. Gerry manages to pull defeat from the jaws of victory.

    Where is my icepick?

  • NMS

    The Trot is now just 501 votes behind. Adams has followed the old adage I Ran Away, in his case to the Roscommon count. Far away from his water problems. He pissed away a seat there!

  • NMS

    After the elimination of the FF candidate, not of course the most likely group of voters to transfer to a Trot, Paul Murphy is just 392 votes behind. There are a further 8,000 in the mixer….

  • Jag

    Apart from SF, most appear to be calling it now for Paul Murphy, which if correct, will be a bad defeat for SF. Six by-elections since Feb 2011 and nary a seat won? And for the next 18 months, the economy should be showing more signs of life, if not strongly recovering which gives the Government choices as well as allowing them to claim credit. And Labour should experience a bounce from that recovery which will challenge the SFers for the left-wing vote.

    So-so result for SFers in RSL (especially beating Labour), but DSW (assuming Paul Murphy does eventually take it) a nasty little setback.

    GA not very smiley today…

  • NMS

    The Irish CSO no longer provides a figure for an average industrial wage, as the term in meaningless in a modern service based economy.

    I also checked the Irish Revenue Commissioners list of those who claimed artistic exemption. The UK subject is not on it. Now as he clearly has UK domicile for tax purposes and whatever about his current residence position, I wonder has he declared his income from his scribbling to the Irish Revenue or to HMRC?

  • NMS

    @ Jag The difference is now just 292 with 7,293 votes to be transferred. Even with many of them not transferring, Paul Murphy will win comfortably. A middle class, well educated blow in beats a well prepared local Provo, certainly not good news.

    They face a similar problem in Dublin Central, where a local councillor Perry is likely to knock Mary Lou from her pedestal. Just wait for the pictures of her rather large detached house to be spread about. No wonder she opposes the Local Property Tax, her bill must be quite large.

  • Michael Henry

    The Labour bounce has been busted by the Voters in Dublin today and forever more- the Water tax party’s of Fine Gael Fianna Fáil and Labour have been given the boot by the Voters in DSW-The Two Anti-Water Tax party’s were given a massive boost by the people-

  • NMS

    Michael, They are happy to take the Queen’s shilling in salaries, expenses and jobs for former thugs as “community workers”. As UKs you are all subjects of the Crown whether you swear allegiance or otherwise.

  • Dixie Elliott

    They paid the price for paying!!

  • Jag

    Hah!

    SF blaming the media (Independent again and IT and RTE), electorate which voted FG whose 2nd preference was for Paul Murphy, and pointing out that Paul only won by 600 votes (it’s not exactly Florida circa 2000, is it). At least it’s a step-up in specificity from blaming the “dark side”

    Bad day for SF overall (dreadful in DSW and okay in RSL, coming in after FG)

  • Michael Henry

    Sinn Fein get Euros in the Dail and the Queen is Quite happy to take our tax’s -I voted yes for Equality in the Good Friday agreement which is why the crown oath is no longer used in the Assembly here-( unlike the Assembly’s in Scotland and Wales )-The Queen lays down wreaths for IRA dead in Dublin and signs the OTR cards- but we would not accept her to bow down to us as everyone should be Equal-

  • Croiteir

    You will find, if you care to check, that at worst he is a citizen, not a subject, of the United Kingdom. So also I the usurper Queen. In fact she pays taxes as a good citizen should

  • Comrade Stalin

    The concept of “British Subject” was almost entirely abolished by the 1981 British Nationality Act.

  • Comrade Stalin

    If I can nitpick to the point of encouraging irritation, the Queen does not strictly pay taxes; she makes voluntary contributions to the exchequer to take the heat off her tax-free status.

  • Comrade Stalin
  • Comrade Stalin

    Adams didn’t know the rate of VAT. Which I knew, even though I’m not running for elected office there and haven’t lived there since 2001.

    I think this is probably because (seriously) Adams have vassals to do all his shopping and take care of where he lives and what bills are paid.

  • Croiteir

    Why not report your concern a any good citizen should?

  • Comrade Stalin

    The lying Lord – would that be the former Baron of Northstead ?

  • tmitch57

    The UK is a constitutional monarchy with the monarch having approximately the same functions as a president in a continental European parliamentary republic. And as the UK’s main unit, Britain, has a three-party system, choosing which party will form the government following an election is a pretty straight-forward task with little room for discretion. And in the other unit, Northern Ireland, the formation of the Executive is even more rigidly fixed by law. The IRA recognized the largely ceremonial nature of the monarch when 30 years ago it attempted to assassinate Thatcher rather than the queen.

  • Jag

    Fascinating interview with GA on Morning Ireland this
    morning, available here

    http://www.rte.ie/radio1/morning-ireland/

    (scroll down to SF/by election)

    GA says “we won’t be calling on people not to pay..we want
    to be responsible, these parties jump up and call on people not to pay the bin
    charges, the family home tax and then the poor punter has to pick up the bill
    at the end of all that”

    And then, RTE asks

    “are you going to pay on your houses” to which the bould GA
    responds

    “Well I don’t like the way you use the term “houses””

    “Well, you have more than one, correct?”

    “Well, no I don’t have one. I have a house in Belfast
    belonging to my family and my family has a holiday home in Donegal”

    “And you have a house in Louth?”

    “No, I don’t have a house in Louth, I’ve never had a house
    in Louth [indistinct] media. And by the way, it’s all irrelevant”

    “Sorry, whether it’s two or three, it doesn’t matter, are
    you going to pay”

    “Well, it isn’t true Cathal and you shouldn’t be –“

    “Sorry, what’s not true”

    “I don’t have a house in Louth”

    “I didn’t say you had, I simply asked the question”

    “Will you be paying?”

    “Yes, I will be paying but but we have left party members if
    they pay or not let’s not be distracted by the real focus here [and then GA goes on to distract from the focus of the RTE question]”

    So, there you have it. Gerry doesn’t even have one house,
    but he’ll still be paying the water charges. Pretty confused, huh?

  • mickfealty

    Correct, but then as Gerard Cunningham has noted, no one is actually following the money: http://goo.gl/qD8w1I. [Has Ireland learning nothing from the Tiger years?? – Ed]

  • Comrade Stalin

    Gerard’s article is very interesting.

    Strictly speaking, there is nothing to stop any person using their own salary to employ any number of other persons (provided it is lawful in terms of employment law, tax etc). The question would be whether the courts would view such a thing as a backdoor political donation.