If you wonder why we are paying for Water read this

April 24, 2014

Thanks to Broadsheet.ie for this 


This is long winded but provides ample reasons as to why this water tax is wrong on so many fronts.

Behold then: The ridiculously-long Irish Water/Siteserv/Denis/Phil timeline.

November 15, 2006: Construction services company Siteserv, which provides fencing and scaffolding, raises almost €10.5million from its flotation on Dublin’s IEX market and the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in London. Its share price jumped 36 per cent from 0.55c to close its first day of trading at 0.75c. The company’s market capitalisation was approximately €51 million. Siteserv was founded in 2004 by chief executive, Brian Harvey. It has also received backing from Niall McFadden of Boundary Capital. Siteserv acquired Donohue Scaffolding in early 2006. It also owns Rent-A-Fence which provides temporary fencing and barriers to the construction and event management sector.

December 1, 2006: Siteserv announces the acquisition of Holgate Fencing (Ireland) in a cash and shares deal worth up to €19million – its first acquisition as a listed company. Holgate is described as a leading supplier and installer of motorway/road crash barriers and environmental acoustic barriers to the Irish market.

December 6, 2006: Goodbody Stockbrokers names Siteserv as one of three small stocks which it predicts will be leading contenders to deliver value in 2007.

December 22, 2006: Siteserv buys formwork and scaffolding provider Easy Access for €20million.

January 5, 2007: Siteserv leads the Dublin market with shares in the scaffolding and fencing firm soaring almost 18pc in early deals.

January 12, 2007: Siteserv appoints Kevin Gallen as chief financial officer and company secretary.

January 22, 2007: Siteserv posts interim pre-tax profits that rose more than 500% to €2.55million for the six months to October, 31, 2006. It said its revenues grew more than 600% to €16.28million.

July 16, 2007: Siteserv posts pre-tax profits of €5.3million for the year ended April 30, 2007, up from €600,000 in 2006.

August 12, 2007: It emerges that Siteserv’s board has agreed that the resignation of Kevin Gallen, as chief financial officer and company secretary “should be accepted with immediate effect”. Siteserv’s share price drops back down to the flotation price of 0.58. It’s reported this is due to nervousness surrounding the construction sector.

September 6, 2007: Siteserv buys Sierra Communications, a provider of services to the power, telecommunications and civil engineering markets in Ireland, for €46million. It’s customers include NTL, ESB and Sky. Deal involves €41.4 in cash and €4.6 in shares.

September 7, 2007: It’s reported the acquisition will be financed mainly through additional borrowings of €42.9million. Siteserv also announces it had agreed banking facilities of €115million.

September 14, 2007: It emerges that former chief financial officer of Independent News and Media, Colm Nolan, is Siteserv’s new chief financial officer.

October 16, 2007: Competition Authority formally approves Siteserv’s purchase of Sierra.

November 27, 2007: Siteserv acquires Roankabin Holdings, which provides Portakabins to the education and healthcare sectors in Ireland. It’s reported Niall McFadden agreed to buy Roankabin for €4.9million in cash, plus €1million in shares, while another €2million will be paid to its owners over the next three years if financial targets are met.

December 7, 2007: Siteserv posts a 97% increase in operating profit to €6.3million for the six months to the end of October – reportedly due to its recent acquisitions. Revenue rose 118% to €35.5million.

February 5, 2008: Siteserv enters British building market by acquiring a leading UK construction support services group, called Deborah Services Ltd., in a €64million deal.

July 15, 2008: Siteserve ‘defies the downturn in construction to report a 131% rise in pre-tax profit for its latest year to April 30, 2008. The group made €12.25million before tax, compared with €5.3million the previous year.

November 11, 2008: Chair of Siteserv Hugh Cooney is appointed the new chair of Enterprise Ireland. It’s reported he donated €1,000 to Fianna Fáil’s former Taoiseach Brian Cowen’s campaign before the previous general election.

January 30, 2009: Sitserv’s revenue trebles to €128million, for the six months to the end of October, up from €35.5million for the same period last year. Operating profit rose from €6.3m to €13.2m.

July 24, 2009, Irish Independent: Siteserv’s full-year profits fell 24%, with pre-tax profits falling to €9.3million in the 12 months to April.

July 26, 2009: It’s reported Siteserv’s net debt is €149million.

October 2, 2009: It’s reported that Boundary Capital chair and majority shareholder Niall McFadden – who owns 6.7% of Siteserv – has quit Boundary, which he founded, as he battles to repay loans to State-owned Anglo Irish Bank. He still owns 45% of Boundary’s shares and is a guarantor of the company’s debt obligations to Anglo. Boundary’s €38.6m debt facility with Anglo Irish expired on June 30.

December 15, 2009: It’s reported that Siteserv subsidiary, Sierra Communications, has been chosen as the preferred bidder for a €50million, three-year Bord Gáis contract – to provide boiler installation and servicing services to Bord Gáis. RTÉ reports that Siteserv says Bord Gáis and Sierra will go into contract negotiations while a further announcement will be made in first three months of 2010.

December 17, 2009: Profits before tax dropped by 66% at Siteserv, for its first half, or six months to October 31, as its revenue fell by 36%.

January 12, 2010: A subsidiary of Siteserv, EventServ – which is a Dublin-based events services company – announces that it plans to double its existing staff from 50 to 100 over the next six months. EventServ is a supplier of staging, seating, crowd control, at festivals, exhibitions and events, including a Bank of Ireland extraordinary general meeting.

February 7, 2010: Sisk awards a €250,000 deal to Siteserv’s Roankabin to build project offices for the €130million Mater Hospital redevelopment in Dublin. The three-storey, 10,000sq ft building will accommodate the Sisk and Mater Campus Hospital Development teams for three years.

April 7, 2010: Subsidiary of Siteserv, Sierra Communications, announces new contract with Bord Gáis will result in up to 90 new jobs. It’s reported the contract – which will provide for the installation, maintenance and testing of domestic boilers – is worth €60 over three years.

July 22, 2010: Siteserv reports a sharp fall in profits for the year to the end of April in what it called ‘difficult market conditions’. The company said profits before tax and once-off items were €700,000, down from €9.3million a year earlier. Revenue slumped from €228.6million to €151.4million. Siteserv said it had reduced its net debt by EUR4.4million and negotiated a new banking agreement to provide it with greater flexibility.

December 3, 2010: As part of the EU-IMF bailout, in a letter of intent, Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies, and Technical Memorandum of Understanding, the then Fianna Fáil/Greens government says that by the fourth quarter of 2011, the government will carry out an “independent assessment of transfer of responsibility for water services provision from local authorities to a water utility, and prepare proposals for implementation, as appropriate with a view to start charging in 2012/2013.”

December 16, 2010: It’s reported that Siteserv’s net debt – as of the end of October – amounted to €148.8million, up from €144.5million at the same stage last year.

February 6, 2010: County Wicklow VEC awards a €500,000 contract to Siteserv subsidiary RoanKabin to build a two-storey building at Coláiste Bhríde secondary school in Carnew. The deal is the company’s third contract with the school in three years.

February, 2011: In Fine Gael’s election campaign manifesto, the party states: ‘As in Scotland we will establish a single state-owned commercial water company – Irish Water – to rationalise the water functions of 34 local authorities. Exchequer funding will gradually be replaced by new charges linked to water consumption above a “free allowance”.’ Fine Gael is subsequently elected into Government with Labour.

March 22, 2011: The final report of the Moriarty Tribunal is published. The Tribunal concluded that Denis O’Brien made payment to then Fine Gael Communications Minister Michael Lowry of £147,000 and £300,000 in the 1990s. It also found Mr O’Brien supported a loan for Mr Lowry which amounted to a benefit equivalent of £420,000 in December 1999. Mr O’Brien won the competition for the State’s second mobile phone licence in 1995 and the tribunal claimed Mr Lowry “secured the winning” of the licence for O’Brien.

While no adverse finding was made against the current Enviornment Minister Phil Hogan, two chapters in the report also show that the tribunal did not appear to accept the account given by Phil Hogan in relation to two events, namely the circumstances surrounding a donation for a Fine Gael golf event and a lunch meeting involving Denis O’Brien.

The tribunal found Mr O’Brien actively courted Fine Gael with a view to increasing his profile with the party and that Esat Digifone’s marketing director, who was also a Fine Gael supporter, Sarah Carey, was instrumental in proposing events Mr O’Brien sponsored, such as fundraising lunches in Carlow/Kilkenny, Dublin Central, Meath, Wicklow, Dublin West, Westmeath, Dublin South East, Dublin North Central, Dublin South West, Limerick East and Dublin Central and several golf classics. Mr O’Brien gave testimony that he never made a political donation for the purpose of securing the licence.

Mr O’Brien’s largest donation was IR£5,000 for the Wicklow by-election in June 1995, for which Mr Hogan was the director of elections.

In relation to this donation, Mr Hogan told the tribunal that it arose from an enquiry made to him by Ms Carey as to whether Mr O’Brien or Esat could be of assistance to the party – prompting Mr Hogan to mention to her the Wicklow by-election fundraising lunch.

But Ms Carey told the tribunal it was her understanding that Mr O’Brien had spoken to Mr Hogan himself and then agreed to make the donation.

The tribunal sided with Ms Carey’s account of events.

A second donation of IR£4,000 was made to the Fine Gael Golf Classic in October 1995. Mr Hogan was chair of the event’s organising committee.

Ms Carey told the tribunal Mr O’Brien specifically instructed there be ‘no advertising at the gold classic’. She wrote a letter to Mr Hogan saying: “I understand Denis has requested that there are no references made to his contribution at the event.”

The tribunal found that bank drafts used for the Wicklow and golf classic payments were “indicative of a desire for secrecy” over the donations.

Before the golf classic, auctioneer Mark FitzGerald, son of former Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald, said he got a phone call from Mr O’Brien asking him to come to a meeting at Lloyd’s Brasserie in Dublin.

Mr FitzGerald told the tribunal that he was surprised that, when he arrived, Mr O’Brien was sitting with the late TD Jim Mitchell and Mr Hogan. He has said that when he arrived he was asked by Mr O’Brien if he’d heard anything about the mobile phone licence competition, which was then nearing conclusion.
Before he died, the late Mr Jim Mitchell told his solicitor that he had no memory of any such meeting.

Mr Hogan told the tribunal the meeting, as described by Mr FitzGerald, did not take place and if it did, he couldn’t recall it. He said he had no recollection of any meeting.

The tribunal sided with Mr FitzGerald’s version of events, finding that it was “difficult in the extreme to conceive” of any reason why Mr FitzGerald would give false evidence.

June 1, 2011: Environment Minister Phil Hogan announces that water meters are to be rolled out to more than one million homes from early 2012 and that the new water services company will be called Irish Water. He said international experience and that of Irish group water schemes had shown metering and charges would reduce consumption an impact positively on the €1billion the State spends every year on water services.

July 19, 2011: It’s reported that a report on the setting up of Irish Water – carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers and McCann Fitzgerald – is to be delivered to the Department of the Environment in September. It’s also reported that Bord na Móna has expressed its ‘willingness and desire to take on the role of Irish Water’.

July 29, 2011: It’s reported Siteserv’s revenue grew by 11% and remained profitable in its 2011 financial year, despite difficult market conditions. It reported revenue of €168.5million in the year to April 30, 2011, up from €151.4million a year earlier.

September 8, 2011: Minister of State Fergus O’Dowd said an announcement on the establishment of the NewERA project (Economic Recovery Authority) is imminent. NewERA will have three areas of focus – broadband, energy and Irish Water. NewERA will be funded by €2billion raised from the sale of State assets, while it will also receive funding from the National Pension Fund.

December 16, 2011: It’s reported that Siteserv’s revenues to the six months to the end of October grew by 9% to €92million. It’s pre-tax profits rose to €1.1m, from €500,000, compared to the same period the previous year while operating profits rose by 4% to €4.8m from €4.6million. Key contracts agreed during the six months included a contract with RTÉ, AA Ireland and Bord Gáis. It also launched a big customer call centre for BSkyB, Bord Gáis and AA Ireland. But, the Irish Independent reports (on December 17, 2011) that Goodbody Stockbrokers analyst David O’Brien warned that until Siteserv’s €150million debt pile was reduced, investors were likely to ‘remain on the sidelines’.

January 15, 2012: It’s reported that Davy, the Dublin stockbroker, and KMPG are seeking a new owner for Siteserv and it will be sold at a ‘significant discount to its bank debt of €150millon’. A bidding process is understood to be under way and that hundreds of shareholders in the stock – which is now trading at almost zero – are unlikely to receive any payment from the sale.

January 16, 2012: Siteserv says it is exploring a number of strategic and corporate options for discussion with Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, formerly Anglo.

January 16, 2012: Phil Hogan says the roll out of water meters will created 2,000 new jobs during the three-year metering installation period. It’s also reported that PwC has argued against ‘embedding’ Irish Water into an existing semi-State agency, saying any ‘perceived or real cross-subsidisation could pose issues for the regulators’.

January 22, 2012: It’s reported that their are divisions between the Coalition partners about the setting up of Irish Water with senior Fine Gael members preferring the creation of a new company – as outlined by the PwC report – while a ‘growing number of Labour backbenchers and senior TDs would prefer to embed the new utility into an existing State agency, such as Bord Gáis, Bord na Móna, the ESB, or the National Roads Authority. It’s reported that the unease in Labour is prompted by concerns among representatives of the 3,600 staff working in the local authority water sector. It’s reported that ‘they feel that workers moving from 34 city and county councils into the new public utility would fare better if their terms and conditions were linked with those of a state agency’. It’s also reported that Phil Hogan announced a further six-week consultancy period.

January 24, 2012: Minister of State Fergus O’Dowd tells the Joint Committee on Environment, Transport, Culture and the Gaeltacht that nobody will be charged for water until the beginning of 2014. He said there will be a, as yet undetermined, free allowance of water for householders, and after that householders will be charged. He also said the Government will establish a regulator for the water sector.

February 24, 2012: It’s reported Bord Gáis has bid for the task of establishing Irish Water and claimed it can save €120m in start-up costs.

March 9, 2012: The Irish Times reports that Government sources have claimed that the Coalition is leaning more towards Bord na Móna.

March 11, 2012: It’s reported that a group, involving Denis O’Brien, is the front runner to buy Siteserv and that it tabled a bid of €50m for the company. It’s also reported that IBRC, former Anglo, is expected to write off some of the €150million that Siteserv owes Anglo. Several trade buyers and private equity groups have also shown an interest in Siteserv.

March 16, 2012: It’s reported Denis O’Brien has bought Siteserv for €45.4million in cash, with the Siteserv board agreeing to the sale of its business to Millington, an Isle-of-Man-based acquisition vehicle controlled by Mr O’Brien which was established in 2011. The deal is subject to shareholder approval. It’s reported that Siteserv’s directors say they consider the deal to be ‘fair and reasonable as far as shareholders are concerned’. Sitserv says as part of the disposal plan, IBRC has agreed to accept payment of an amount which is less that the full amount owed by Siteserv to it.

March 17, 2012: It’s reported that IBRC has agreed to write off €100m of the roughly €150m debt it is owed by Siteserv, and that the bulk of the €45.4m being paid by Mr O’Brien will be used to satisfy the outstanding debt obligation, leaving the business to be acquired on a debt-free basis. It’s also reported that Siteserv estimates that it will be left with just under €5million in cash which will be distributed to shareholders, with them expected to get €3.92c for every share they own in the group. The group’s chief executive, Brian Harvey, will remain with the business, as will group finance director Niall Devereux. Mr Harvey will receive nearly €800,000 for his 20.2 million shares.

March 17, 2012: It’s reported that the sale represents a 70% haircut on the €150m in outstanding debt IBRC is owed by Siteserv. Without this agreement, the proposed disposal would not be capable of implementation and it is likely that shareholders would not have realised any return on their investment, said Siteserv. Shareholders including chief executive Brian Harvey, Chris Neate and John Neal, will receive €4.96 million, or €3.92 per share, representing a premium of 96 per cent on the previous Thursday’s closing share price, or a premium of 26.9 per cent based on the average price of Siteserv over 12 months. This is surprising as it’s generally believed with insolvent companies, equity is normally wiped.

March 29, 2012: Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton warns her government colleagues ‘to review how they interact with businessman Denis O’Brien’, after he featured alongside Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the New York Stock Exchange.

April 1, 2012: It’s reported Australian hedge fund Anchorage Capital offered a higher price (€52m) for Siteserv than Denis O’Brien’s €45m but that ‘elements of the offer were considered less attractive then the O’Brien bid’. It’s reported that ten companies were involved in the initial bidding process with some underbidders unhappy with the sale process. It’s also reported that ‘the hedge fund would have required more extensive due diligence of the entire Siteserv group, which is made up of several companies’.

April 1, 2012: It’s reported that the government now believes that Bord Gáis Networks, rather than Bord na Mona or an independent new company, should run the new water infrastructure.

April 2, 2012: It’s reported French company Altrad claimed it was denied the opportunity to make an offer for Siteserv – saying it had been prepared to offer €60 million for the Irish firm but that it was ‘effectively denied the opportunity because its representative was told the Irish group was not for sale’. Ray Neilson, a senior manager with Altrad, told the Irish Times that he had emailed Mr Harvey four times between last year and shortly before the deal was agreed with Mr O’Brien but that he was told the firm was not for sale. Siteserv rejects the claims.

April 3, 2012: It’s reported that law firm Arthur Cox acted for Siteserv and Millington in the deal. The report states that the law firm referred the matter to an internal committee that deals with conflict of interest issues before it gave it the go-ahead to act for both sides.

April 15, 2012: It’s reported that Denis O’Brien owed Anglo Irish Bank €833.8million on foot of personal and corporate loans just after the lender was nationalised in 2009, making him its then sixth largest borrower. Between 2009 and 2012, he reduced his borrowings to under €500m. It’s reported his dealings with Anglo go back to when he founded 98FM and that his relationship with the bank continued as he bid for Ireland’s second mobile phone business.

April 17, 2012: It emerges that Irish Water is to be a part of Bord Gáis with the installation of water meters beginning in October and that Phil Hogan expects the programme to install water meters in more than one million Irish households would be 90-95 per cent complete by the end of 2014.

April 17, 2012: Phil Hogan insists Irish Water will not be sold off to the private sector. It’s also reported that the Government will first finance the installation of water meters with a €450million loan from the National Pension Reserve Fund.

April 18, 2012: It’s reported that Bord Gáis chief executive John Mullins is to quit the company in December. Mr Mullins is reported to have close links with Fine Gael and was ‘one of many’ businessmen to accompany Enda Kenny on a recent trip to China. In relation to the decision to award the tender for Irish Water to Bord Gáis rather than Bord na Móna, Phil Hogan said that ‘the outside assessors, PricewaterhouseCoopers, had made the decision based on a long list of criteria’. It’s also reported that he said 150-200 contracts would be awarded around the country to carry out installation of water meters for bundles of 5,000 to 6,000 households.

April 22, 2012: It’s reported that Environment Minister Phil Hogan snubbed an offer by Siemens to finance water meters that could have saved over €350m.According to the Sunday Independent Siemens offered to foot the €810m-plus cost of installing meters in 1.3 million Irish homes back in 2010, but Mr Hogan didn’t pursue the option when he took over at the Department of the Environment. It’s reported that Siemens proposed funding the fitting of water meters”through an investment to be paid back through savings made in the multibillion-euro cost of providing water services once the meters were installed. It’s reported that Mr Kruckow made the offer publicly in 2010 and sought discussions with the then Finance Minister, the late Brian Lenihan. It’s reported that Phil Hogan’s predecessor John Gormley was “enthusiastic” about the Siemens offer at the time but it wasn’t progressed once Mr Hogan became Environment Minister. The Sunday Independent reported that, when asked why it hadn’t pursued the Siemens offer, the Department of the Environment didn’t supply an explanation, but said it ‘had chosen the Irish Water option after 12 months of discussions with stakeholders as “the optimal organisational form for water services delivery in Ireland”‘.

May 23, 2012: It’s reported the Competition Authority approves the sale of Siteserv to Denis O’Brien’s company Millington, with Siteserv saying the proposed disposal was “classified by the Irish Competition Authority as a media merger”.

June 22, 2012: “It’s reported that Bord Gáis has hired former government press secretary Eoghan Ó Neachtain to be public affairs manager with Bord Gáis. Mr Ó Neachtain previously served as spokesman for Bertie Ahern, Brian Cowen and Enda Kenny. He is also a former ESB corporate affairs manager.

July 29, 2012: Michael McNicholas, of NTR, says the water company Celtic Anglian Water (CAW) – which NTR has a shareholding – is interested in installing water meters to Irish households. (Mr McNicholas is later appointed CEO of Bord Gáis Éireann and becomes a board member of Irish Water).

September 24, 2012: Irish Water says it will take two and half to three years to fully install water meters in Ireland. Earlier in 2012, Phil Hogan said work would be complete by the end of 2014.

September 25, 2012: It’s reported that Bord Gáis has yet to seek tenders for the provision of meters or for their installation. John Mullins told RTÉ radio the procurement notice for the water meters would go out to European tender next month.

October 6, 2012: Siteserv’s Chief Financial Officer Niall Deverux leaves Sitserv to become the chief financial officer of Topaz. Devereux had been appointed CFO of Siteserv in May 2009.

October 18, 2012: Siteserv hires AIB’s managing director of corporate finance Alan Doherty to be the company’s chief financial officer.

October 21, 2012: It’s reported that it will be another four years before water meters are fully installed in Ireland, according to a 900-page blueprint which maps out Irish Water’s plans and which was seen by the Sunday Independent. This means it will be late 2016 before water meters are installed in every home with a public water supply – at least two years later than the Environment Minister Phil Hogan originally said it would take. It’s also reported that Bord Gais will advertise for senior management positions, including managing director and human resources director, in Irish Water next month.

October 28, 2012: It’s reported that the new head of Irish Water will be appointed directly by the board of Bord Gáis rather than by ministerial appointment.

January 11, 2013: The Government publishes the Water Services Bill 2013 which will allow for the introduction of water charges from January 1, 2014.

January 29, 2013: Bord Gáis announces that Dublin City Manager John Tierney, from Terryglass, Co. Tipperary, is to be the managing director of Irish Water, starting in April. It’s reported that, over his 35 years in local government, he’s worked in nine different local authorities across the country, including Galway County Council, Kilkenny County Council, Limerick City Council, Limerick County Council, South Tipperary County Council and North Tipperary County Council. His full salary is to be €200,000 with no bonuses or allowances on top of this, Irish Water said.

February 25, 2013: It’s reported that 400 jobs installing water meters will be given to graduates, the unemployed or staff of small businesses. It’s also reported that Irish Water is tendering for companies to provide 1.05 million meters and boundary boxes (which house the meters), along with contractors to run the metering programme and a customer call centre. The contracts are expected to be awarded in May.

March 17, 2013: It’s reported that former AIB chief Colm Doherty is a director of Siteserv.

April 18, 2013: It’s announced that NTR’s Michael McNicholas is to become Bord Gáis’s new group chief executive.

May 12, 2013: It’s reported that Siteserv is one of nine bidders on the shortlist for the contract to roll-out water meters in Ireland, and that they’ve until May 27 to make their final offer.

May 24, 2013: It’s reported Cork-based Abtran wins Irish Water’s call centre contract, creating 400 jobs. It’s reported that Abtran has been operating Revenue’s property tax helpline and that earlier in May it had to suspend a worker suspected of attempting credit card fraud. Abtran’s other clients include insurer Aviva, energy company, Electric Ireland, and TV and broadband provider Sky. It also has State contracts with the National Transport Authority, the Revenue Commissioners and Eflow, the National Roads Authority’s electronic tolling service.

June 7, 2013: Managing director of Water John Tierney says the first domestic water meters will be installed next month with a national roll-out beginning in September. He said the new semi-State body hoped to have 100,000 water meters installed by the end of the year.

July 17, 2013: It’s reported that assistant secretary for water at the Department of the Environment Mark Griffin – the official behind the establishment of Irish Water, has been named as the new secretary general at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. He’ll take up the new position in September.

July 24, 2013: Irish Water announces that it will have eight regional offices – in Dublin, Mullingar, Castlebar, Cavan town, Donegal town, Kilkenny city, Limerick city and Mallow.

July 27, 2013: The three regional contractors appointed to manage the installation of meters across six regions are GMC/Sierra Ltd, J Murphy & Sons Ltd, and Coffey Northumbrian Ltd.

August 2, 2013: It’s reported that Irish Water said that each contractor – GMC/Sierra, Coffey Northumbrian and J Murphy & Sons – would be responsible for hiring local staff and would receive meters in batches of 5,000. Not until the 5,000 meters were installed in line with the contract would a further batch be issued. The three regional contractors will install between 125,000 and 375,000 meters each over a three-year period. Each meter costs €500 to install, meaning contracts are worth at least €62m each. The total cost of the metering contract is €539m, excluding VAT. The country has been divided into eight regions or 125,000 households each, and six of the eight regional contracts have already been awarded. GMC/Sierra won three in the north west, Dublin City and Midlands; Coffey Northumbrian will install the meters in the north east; while J Murphy & Sons will work in the west and south west. It’s reported the final two contracts will be awarded in the next two weeks.

August 9, 2013: The first water meter is installed at a home in Rockfield Grove, Maynooth, Co. Kildare.

November 7, 2013: Siteserv’s Sierra is close to securing $30m worth of state contracts in Papua New Guinea, where Mr O’Brien’s Digicel is the largest mobile operator.

November 13, 2013: It’s reported that Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin has promised to include Irish Water under the Freedom of Information Act.

January 3, 2014: It’s reported over half of the senior management team in Irish Water has been drawn from local authorities and government departments. Just four of the nine-strong team were externally recruited. Some 203 staff have been recruited, of which half are from local authorities, Bord Gais and the Department of the Environment. At senior management level, four of the nine posts have been appointed from local authorities, one from the Department of the Environment, one from Bord Gáis Éireann, two from consultants firm RPS and one who has worked for a number of civil engineering contractors.

January 9, 2014: John Tierney tells Seán O’Rourke on RTE that Irish Water has spent €50m on consultants last year.

January 10, 2014: Irish Water defends how it recruited senior staff. John Tierney said two former executives with consultancy firm RPS – which advised Dublin City Council on the Poolbeg incinerator project when he was Dublin City Manager – had left RPS by the time Irish Water employed them, and he said they were employed following an ‘open recruitment’ process. Irish Water’s head of asset management Jerry Grant was the managing director of RPS until August 2012. Elizabeth Arnett was head of project communications at RPS until December 2012. She’s now head of communications and corporate services in Irish Water. It’s reported Grant resigned from RPS in August 2012, while Arnett resigned in December 2012. They both worked for the Irish Water Programme, the project that was put in place to set up Irish Water. Poolbeg has so far cost the State almost €100million with more than €30million to RPS, even though the original contract was for €8.3million. The EU found the contract between Dublin City Council did not conform with EU law. It is to be terminated at the end of January 2014.

January 10, 2014: It emerges that among the consultants who were paid €50m in consultancy fees included IBM, Accenture, Ernst and Young, and Oracle.

January 11, 2014: A spokesman for Irish Water it was unlikely to to give a detailed account of which consultants were paid and how much would ever be disclosed because of “commercial sensitivities”. He said that situation would not change, “even if we were subject to Freedom of Information”.

January 11, 2014: John Tierney tells Newstalk Radio that up to €2.2billion would be saved between now and 2021 by more efficient water services. In relation to the €50m spend on consultants, Phil Hogan tells KCLR radio in Kilkenny: “These particular costs have been openly tendered for and they have been verified by the regulator. This is going to be a very cost-effective and lean operation.”

January 12, 2014: It’s reported that Tensions are mounting within the Coalition over the latest revelations, with questions being raised about a lack of transparency and the extent of Mr Hogan’s knowledge. Mr Hogan took ministerial responsibility for Irish Water away from junior minister Fergus O’Dowd after the legislation to set it up had been completed. It’s also reported that sources close to Mr Hogan insist the minister was unaware of the spending on consultancy. While he was aware that €100m was being spent establishing the agency, he was not informed that €50m of this was being spent on outside consultants. It’s reported Mr O’Dowd first heard about the cost when he heard Mr Tierney being interviewed by Seán O’Rourke on RTE.

January 12, 2014: A confidential 20-page report drawn up in September 2012, and obtained by RTE, shows the Government expected Irish Water would be established using Bord Gáis’ “existing operational capacity” in the areas of IT, asset management, customer billing systems, and other functions. The report sets out how Irish Water would be implemented over the following five years as a subsidiary of the Bord Gáis Group but it makes no reference to any use of external consultants to create or operate key IT or other systems.

January 13, 2014: Junior environment minister Fergus O’Dowd says Irish Water will be subject to Freedom of Information, retrospectively, but not until it is fully established.

January 14, 2014: The Department of the Environment issues a statement saying Mr Hogan was aware of the overall set up costs of Irish water. But, the statement states, arrangements were put in place to monitor the costs by the Department of the Environment and Irish Water. It adds that the minister had asked the energy regulator to review these costs. Irish Water managing director John Tierney tells the Environment Committee he has never spoken to Mr Hogan or Mr O’Dowd about the agency’s budget. Mr Tierney also defended consultancy costs including legal services of €85m to the committee, saying since the outset, Bord Gáis had been clear that they were always going to need them to set up Irish Water.

The Committee was told that they had submitted a budget for the setting up of Irish Water to the Department of Environment in September 2012. That budget was for €150m with a further contingency of €30m. In their submission they also outlined correspondence with the department on expenditure since then.

Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen and Sinn Féin’s Brian Stanley asked if there was ministerial approval for their budget. John Tierney said he had never spoken to Ministers Hogan or O’Dowd about the budget, adding the department would answer about their internal processes.

The committee is told Irish Water will spend €85m on external special service providers or consultants, including
legal services, by April 2015.

IBM will receive €44.8m, Accenture will receive €17.2m, Ernst & Young will get €4.6m, while KPMG and Financial Panel Works will be paid €2.2m. Two legal firms will receive €3.87m, while €13.3m will be paid to another 18 contractors.

It’s reported that the Government will bring Irish Water under Freedom of Information legislation – for a period. It’s also reported that it’s likely to be withdrawn from FOI once it’s an independent entity and has built up a track record of accessing funding itself, which is planned to happen in 2017, similar to how Bord Gáis is excluded.

A series of parliamentary questions reveals that €9.7m was paid to consultant to carry out a range of reports on policy issues for ministers. Environment Minister Phil Hogan had the highest bill, spending €3.4m on 31 reports since Mar 2011 – including €179,584 paid to PricewaterhouseCoopers for “consultancy services” on the establishment of Irish Water. A further €51,789 was paid to the Economic and Social Research Institute for a report on “the affordability aspects of the provision of water services in Ireland”.

It’s reported Irish Water awarded four major contracts without putting them out to public competition. Irish Water used exemptions in EU procurement rules to award contracts for computer services to four suppliers already working for parent company Bord Gáis, including CORE Software based in Mitchelstown in Cork, IBM in Dublin, and two UK-based companies, Syclo International Limited from Surrey and ClickSoftware Europe Ltd with an address at Burnham Bucks. The reason they were not open to competition was because Bord Gais said the contracts would not be delivered on time due to the technical challenges involved.

January 15, 2014: John Tierney tells the Public Accounts Committee almost 300 workers at Irish Water may get performance-based bonuses, worth an average €7,000 each – just hours after Taoiseach Enda Kenny rules out any bonuses for Irish Water staff. The committee also hears Irish Water had a County Managers’ Group to oversee the transition of services from local authorities to Irish Water, and this cost €5.7m.

January 16, 2014: Mr Kenny says Irish Water will be fully transparent and accountable to the Dáil and will be “subject to the full rigours” of the Freedom of Information Act from the company’s inception. “It will be a national flagship of high quality and integrity. As leader of the Government, I say that Uisce ireann will be wide open in terms of transparency, accountability and justification of expenditure. Every deputy on all sides and none and Oireachtas committees will have the opportunity to see that this happens. It is in all our interests that this be so,” he said.

It’s reported that Irish Water never received questions submitted by politicians about its spending – because they were not passed on by officials at the Department of Environment. The startling admission was made by a senior civil servant, who cited “workload issues” as the reason.

January 17, 2014: It’s reported that Irish Water spent €20,000 on the Irish Water logo.

January 19, 2014: €6,000 was spent on Irish Water staff to attend a laughter yoga workshop for team-building in Croke Park in 2013.

January 21, 2014: Phil Hogan tells the Dáil Environment Committee his department spent almost €16m last year in relation to the changeover of responsibility for water services from the 34 local authorities to Irish Water – separate to the company’s budget of €180m, of which €85m will be spent on external service consultants. The figure includes the €5.7m spent on water services transition office in each local authority and a national office; €7m on a survey of where the meters should be located; €628,000 on programme management office in the department; €760,000 on the regulator; €328,000 on staff engineering services and €321,000 on additional staff; and €179,000 on a PricewaterhouseCoopers report.

January 21, 2014: Taoiseach Enda Kenny says John Tierney is the right man to head Irish Water, saying: “We have to have consistency and a very high standard and Mr Tierney is heading up the utility called Irish Water to deliver that. I have every confidence that he will do his job as expected.”

January 22, 2014: The Taoiseach declined to respond to a claim by Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin that former local authority employees with pensions had joined Irish Water at a senior level and were in line for bonuses.

January 23, 2014: It emerges that more than one third of the Irish Water staff recruited so far worked in local authorities and 29 staff are earning over €100,000. It’s also revealed that almost 100 staff could earn future performance-related bonuses of between 14% and 15%.

January 26, 2014: Confidential documents obtained by RTÉ’s This Week reveal that local authorities indicated their co-operation with the establishment of the State’s new public utility, Irish Water, may be linked to assurances over jobs, pensions and the duration of service-level agreements. The unpublished, 40-page document, dated 5 December 2012, was prepared by the Irish Water steering group.

January 27, 2014: Professor John FitzGerald of the Economic and Social Research Institute [a brother of Mark Fitzgerald (see above)] says Irish Water could incur extra costs of between €1.5bn and €2bn, through the employment of over 2,000 staff that it does not need.

January 29, 2014: Phil Hogan writes, in the Irish Independent, how Prof FitzGerald’s ‘wild assertions have no basis’.


April 5, 2014

After a considerable period of reflection and debate I have decided to stand as an independent republican Socialist Candidate in the Dublin Inner City Ward in next May’s local election.

We are living though a period in which there have been consistent attacks on the living standards of ordinary working people. We have had the Household tax, Property Tax and next year we will have Water Taxes. The Political establishment have brought these in without any wide scale opposition.

The Household Tax campaign which was successful in that it mobilised thousands of people onto the streets and ended with a substantial number of homeowners refusing to pay, The State agencies learned from this and brought in the Storm troopers from the Revenue Commissioners to implement the Property Tax thus leading to the defeat of the campaign before it started.

It was disappointing to note that in the Inner City where there was a huge groundswell of opposition to these taxes not one of the elected or self appointed Councillors or TD’s opposed the implementation of these attacks on homeowners. It is also disappointing that half of those who now sit in the Council on behalf of the people of the Inner City never stood in an election and war eco-opted by their political masters to represent our people. One seat having changed hand 3 times and another two replaced by people who had never been heard of previously. There is something profoundly anti democratic about a system which allows that.

I have been involved and active in politics all my life and now have to really question the value of electoral politics, on issue after issue those we elect refuse to stand by the demands of the people in their areas.

During last year’s introduction of abortion an issue which most commentators agree divides the Nation none of our elected representatives sided with the pro-life side, they either supported the introduction of abortion or remained silent.

Likewise the same position occurred during the Children’s referendum.

It seems to me that what is required are candidate of conviction who have a political viewpoint which goes beyond getting re-elected.

I have decided to stand because I believe that the Council should represent the views of the Electorate and that politicians should be true to the positions they set out while seeking election.

During all of my life I have always stood by my principals often at great cost, I have never avoided taking an unpopular stance regardless of the outcome. If elected by the voters of the inner City I will continue to be a voice of Principle and Conscience.

If you wish to assist in my campaign please contact me or follow me on Facebook.


05/04/2014 Malachy Steenson

My speech at the Anti Internment Rally Dublin November 9th 2013

November 9, 2013




Firstly I want to thank all of you who have come here today to express your opposition to the re-introduction of Internment on this island.  Many of you will recall the last occasion when Internment was introduced, in 1971, fewer among you will recall it in the 40’s and 50’s.

For the younger people here there recollection will come from ballads like the Men Behind the Wire, with the song and the introduction setting out the events on Monday the 9th of August 1971 as they unfolded, it talks of how fathers and sons were dragged from their beds at 5.30 am and brought to Long Kesh were they were held without charge or without trial for a number of years, the National & international response was instant and the British Government was condemned around the world. The response on the streets was instant and Republican activists engaged in heavy military conflict with Crown forces,

The British State’s response was brutal no more so than on the 31st January 1972 when an anti internment march in Derry was attacked by Crown Forces who shot 13 civilians dead.

Unlike many Irish men, the British Government learns from history and does not repeat the same mistakes again, this time round they are acting more subtly they are picking people up one by one and locking them up. There is no major public concern no public outcry and the process continues. It saddens me and I’m sure all of you that some of those who were interned themselves in 1971 now hold the keys to the cells of Martin Corey and others.

Let me also state here today that internment is not confined to the North of Ireland in the South we have Internment by remand, there is an increasing number of men being charged with membership offences and held without bail and when the trial comes around the charges are withdraw.

Why have they brought in internment, what is it that they fear, why is it that a complicate media will tell us those interned are dissidents bent on returning to war. Nothing could be further from the truth, they are interned because they are able to and continue to articulate a Republican message.

Let them call us that they will, as I look around this very street, this sacred ground, this battlefield site, that the establishment wants to turn into a shopping centre, this ground were this Nation declared its independence, were the Republic was brought into being by the blood sacrifice of Pearse and Connolly the Dissidents of their day, I look across to the statute of another dissident the great Jim Larkin, who proclaimed

“The Great only appear Great because we are on our Knees, Let us Arise”

At the other end of the Street I see a massive statue to Parnell, who proclaimed “that no man should put a stop to the march of an Nation.

Wolfe Tone, Robert Emmet, Henry Joy were all dissidents in their day, to be cast into such company is an honour, it also foists upon us a responsibility to continue the work they begun and to bring it to its conclusion.

It is because men like Martin Corey and others are prepared to continue to argue like those great dissidents that they must be removed.

Let us also be clear the use of internment is but only one weapon in their arsenal, the establishment class in this County and in England are prepared to attack every aspect of our identity and culture, we are under attack from a form of cultural imperialism. We have saw how they have used the GAA to drive home their message firstly by allowing Crown Forces to join, then welcoming the Commander of the Brit’s Army to Croke Park and now demanding that our clubs are not named after Irish Martyrs, no doubt the GAA will sell out again the Sam Maguire will no doubt be called the O2 cup and Casement Park called after some insurance company, while many of us may disagree with Joe Brolly particularly when he is talking about the current All Ireland Champions he gave them their answer in relation to his own club in Dungiven called after Kevin Lynch who played for the club and who died on Hunger Strike for political status in 1981.

Let us recall those dark days of 1980 and 1981, which followed on from the blanket and dirty protest begun by Kieran Nugent, who was to die a number of years ago a man broken and abandoned, the 1980 hunger strike which was led by the late Brendan Hughes ended with a deal in place which was reneged on by the British Government, the subsequent hunger strike led to the deaths of ten brave men who gave their lives for political status. They gave their lives to proclaim that they were not criminals and that the cause for Irish Freedom was not criminalised. Little did they know at the time that not alone was Thatcher prepared to let them die but elements of their own leadership conspired to prolong the strike in order to push their political careers and ego’s. Most particularly led by the person who proclaims that he is the leader of Irish Republicanism, will he speaks at dinners in the US where a table costs €2,500.

Martina Anderson a Provisional Sinn Fein MEP recently said during meetings I discussed the plight of the nearly 5000 prisoners in gaols. Many Political activists are rounded up, arrested and held indefinitely on what the Government refers to as  “Administrative Detention” and held for years, she called for the release of such prisoners and is campaigning in the EU Parliament to generate support for their cases within and across the EU.”

Of course she was talking about Palestinian Prisoners being held by the Israeli Government and not those Irish men and women being held by the Stormont assembly.

In the 1940’s during the second World War Republicans were interned in the South in case they might use Britain’s distraction to continue the War of Independence in this Country, during the Border campaign in the  1950’s men were interned in the Curragh, and then in the 1970 in the North.

These men were detained not because of anything they had done but because of what the might do. Likewise today does the British Government believe that Marin Corey now in his 60’s in going to go on active service lying in fields to ambush crown forces, No they are afraid of his views, they are afraid that if he is freed that he will influence other young men to complete the task that he spent most of his life in jail for. They are afraid of the influence that he might have, just as they were afraid of the voice of Marian Price, and we are glad to have welcomed her home. But let us be also clear they did not willingly release her release came about after a massive campaign and also because of her ill health.

The removal of the long fought for rights as prisoners won by the hunger strikers  to be classified as Special Category or Prisoners of War, was removed by the Provisional’s in the Good Friday Agreement, the forced strip searching of prisoners continues, whilst this is difficult for men it is more so for women prisoners like Sharon Rafferty. This is a breach of their civil and human rights, let their is silence from the so called women’s rights campaigners, no doubt if it was happening in China of Syria they would have plenty to say, but not when it’s done to Irish women in British jails.

Let us be very clear about who is holding these men and women in prison, let us be clear on who removed political status, and let us also be clear who has the power to end interment of Irish men and women and that is The Provisional Alliance, Provisional Sinn Féin sits in Stormont administering British rule in the North of Ireland. They encourage Nationalists to join the Crown forces, they are prepared to light up City Hall in Belfast in red to commemorate those who have waged war on the Irish people for centuries but yet they are not prepared to stand up and say stop. This is even more saddening for many of us in light of the fact that many of them are former prisoners themselves.

Let me also say to those of you here who may be members of the Provisional’s or are considering voting for them in the next elections, raise this issue with them, don’t listen to their lies or denials, and remember that during the Hunger Strike some naive republicans believe that the Taoiseach in power at the time Charles Haughey would not let Bobby Sands die, but he died, so have no more fate in the current leader of new Fianna Fail Mr. Adams.

This State and the Provisional’s fear genuine Republicans and the message they have for the people of this country, they fear the risen people they fear a people versed in their own history that is why they have removed History from being a compulsory subject at Junior Cert level, they fear a people confident and able to speak their own language that is why they have taught Irish in schools in such way that students coming through the educational system would be unable to use the language on a day to day basis, they fear a people confident to play their own games that is why they seek to destroy the ethos of the GAA and promote soccer and rugby. They are afraid of a proud and confident people loyal to the Nation, loyal to the Republic declared at this holy spot, they seek to replace the Nation with the State, they are afraid of young people that is why the are exporting them around the world in their tens of thousands, that is why they have cut their welfare and introduced slave labour through internships where the wage is €3.75 per hour.

The blood red poppy the symbol of British Imperialism is now worn openly on these streets and this State has given it a higher status than the Easter lily, they will rush to commemorations to tomorrow to remember those who butchered men, women and children in this country and also continue to do so around the world

It is because people like Martin Corey are prepared to say there is a better way that they are interned.

What can we do to stop this injustice, it’s not sufficient to come here today and then go off about your business and forget about it. We must all act.

In the words of Bobby Sands “We all have our part to play, no one’s part is bigger or more important than anyone else’s”

You must arm yourself with the facts, you must educate you friend and relations, and you must expose the hypocrisy of others. You must stand up and be counted, you must seek every opportunity to get the message that internment must end across to people.

When you raise this issue with people they will generally respond that they thought internment was gone you must tell them the truth. It’s not enough to sing of Joe Mc Donnell and others in the pubs at night, and then sit back and do nothing while Martin Corey lies in a cold prison cell.

You must use the media particularly the radio chat shows to highlight this issue, if you are not confident to go on these programmes yourself you should text them, in today’s day and age we are continually reminded of the power of social media, those of you with twitter accounts should be assisting in trending  *releasemartincorey on you phones now. Use your Facebook accounts to highlight this issue

In the words of hunger striker Terence Mc Sweeney

 “If but few are faithful found, they must be all the more steadfast for being a few.”

We are that few we must be resolute in our determination we must be active on a daily basis to bring the injustice of internment to an end.

I want to finish with a quote from Martin Niemöller who was a prominent Protestant pastor who was an opponent Adolf Hitler and the Nazi and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

Thank you all for listening lets now do our bit to End Internment


September 11, 2013

LOCK OUT  1913                        WYNNS HOTEL 27/08/2013


Firstly I want to thank RSF for holding this event and asking me to speak at it, it’s important as we go through one of the most intense periods of historical revision that we continue to place a correct historical narrative on the events of the last century. This will become more vital as we move towards 2016. We have recently seen attempts to treat William Martin Murphy as a hero in his native Cork.

In my talk I want to concentrate on local issues and events which occurred within walking distance of where we now sit. I will talk about the Schoolboy Strike in East Wall in 1911, The riots in this general area and and some rioting in Finglas. 

 Just over a century ago, September 13th 1911, teachers arriving at the East Wall Wharf National School found a message chalked on the door

 “Any boy cot going into school and not following other schoolboys examples will be killed by order Strike Strike Strike”.

The school boys strike had begun, with the demands set out as shorter hours, cheaper books and no canings. For at least three days this Junior Industrial unrest continued, with pupils attempting to enter the school being branded as scabs and pelted with stones and vegetable waste. Unfortunately, history records the strikers as being unsuccessful in achieving their demands.

Of course, new ideas of trade union radicalism were spreading like wildfire in the City at that time, “Larkinism” was about the town and a number of important strikes had already taken place that year. This militancy would no doubt have seeped down to the children of Dublin workers, no more so than in the Docks, and particularly in area like East Wall where much of the workforce was engaged in Dock related work, with its confluence of labourers, carters, railwaymen etc.

 In his report on the strike, the school inspector added a PS

“A good many men have been out on strike for some time in the neighbourhood of this school, the boys are hearing about strikes from morning till night, and the contagion has reached the type specified by the Principal as ringleaders.”

 This was also the opinion of the school manager/ parish priest Father Brady –

“Strikes were in the air at the time, and the residential quarters of the general strikers were all around the school”.

 When an Evening Telegraph journalist conducts “An interview with the kids” he asks the boys to speak “one at a time”, they oblige and recount their motivation in an orderly fashion.

Their knowledge of events not only in Dublin but also in England is clear – a series of school boy strikes had recently occurred in Wales and the East Wall boys demands were framed in very similar terms. They were able to point out that while their parents have to pay for school books these were free across the water. Indeed we still see at this time of the year much debate about the price of school books.

And their organisation ability was worth noting. While press reports of “secret meetings held in fields at the dead of night” may be fanciful, they are just as likely to be true. The reports also claim that the boys had organised pickets in the vicinity of the school to turn back children on their way in. Parents trying to force their way through with children were forced back by the striking boys. The school attendance officer was greeted with boos and cheers when he arrived.

The Freemans Journal recorded how “A strike took place on yesterday morning of the boys attending the East Wall National Schools. A large number of the boys assembled in the vicinity of the schools about 9.30 a.m. and paraded the district, carrying flags in which were shown their demands. The strikers sent out “scouts” in all directions to prevent any pupils entering the schools. The police arrived on the scene and were busily engaged watching the boys, who kept parading for a considerable time.”

The traditional working class hatred of scabs was evident too. A newspaper report two days into the strike quotes a striking boy:


 “If we don’t get our rights we won’t go back, and we will bring out all the boys tomorrow and nail the boys who are at school in the evening”. Fighting talk indeed, and backed up by actions as the blacklegs were pelted with stones and cabbage stalks.


 The reporter was invited to “Come down, mister, at 3 o’clock and see their ould ones (their mothers) bringing them home under their aprons.”

Books in general in those days were expensive and schoolbooks were no exception. Parents would have found it difficult to buy school books for six or seven of their children, when a man’s wages in 1911 would be between sixteen shillings and one pound a week. This small sum would have been the wages of a man for twelve hours work a day for six days a week. Schoolbooks would have strained the resources of many families to the limit, indeed the cost of school books are still a strain on family resources. In the England of 1911 children at National school got their schoolbooks free and Mothers in East Wall wanted cheaper books for their children. As one woman put it to a reporter “We want cheaper books, eight shillings and sixpence for books out of my husband’s pound a week wages is more than any poor person should be expected to pay.”

An attempt to hold a similar protest at City Quay. The boys here were less successful, with the mothers beating them back and getting all the children into their lessons.

There are also  a number of similar instances at around the same in the West of Ireland, There were strikes of schoolboys from a working class background in Sligo (Sligo Champion, 23 September 1911) and in Loughrea (Connacht Tribune 30 September 1911)



There were some thirty strikes from January to August 1913. Many of the workers in the Dublin Tramway Company went on strike on the 26th August 1913, but the company hired additional staff and remained operative.

The Dublin Metropolitan Police and Royal Irish Constabulary provided a guard for each tram because of attacks on trams and tram drivers. As tensions increased in the weeks that followed, riots broke out sporadically all over the city, The Government appointed a Commission on 19 December 1913 to inquire into the rioting and to investigate allegations of “the use of excessive and unnecessary force” by police on these occasions.

The Inquiry lasted 18 days, The Commissioners concluded that the police were not guilty of starting the riot in Sackville Street [now O’ Connell Street] on 31 August or of gross brutality during it. The riot started because of an error of judgment on the part of the police. The Commissioners praised the courage and patience of the police, in particular, when provoked or threatened by people they described as a ‘desperate criminal band’.




East Wall along with other dockland communities were at the centre of the events .Dublin Port was a key battle ground, with many local firms and employers becoming involved, locking out their workers who refused to sign a pledge denouncing the ITGWU. Men at many shipping companies refused to handle ‘tainted’ goods from locked out companies, and these in turn were sacked and locked out. This included the Merchants warehousing Company, T and C Martins, Brooks Thomas; Heitons coal merchants, the Port and Docks Board, the London and North Western Railway Company (LNWR) and the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company


East Wall and Dockland workers were amongst the 20,000 involved in the Lockout. The men and their families now faced even more extreme poverty, and there were other tensions and threats to concern them.  Timber merchants T and C Martins were the first employer in Dublin City to bring in strike breakers from overseas (politely referred to as “free labourers”) and other local firms followed their lead. The so called “free labourers” were often allowed to carry fire arms, and both police and military escorts were common along the Quays.  Eviction was an ever present threat for many, particularly those in company owned dwellings. In a single day shortly before Christmas sixty two East Wall families were evicted.




On the 30th August a baton charge occurred and at Eden Quay, a man called James Nolan, of 8, Spring Garden Street, North Strand, was originally from 17 Upper Gloucester Street and was married with 5 children,  sustained a fracture of the skull, which resulted in his death at Jervis Street Hospital on the morning of Sunday, the 31st. The jury at the inquest found that death was caused by fracture of the skull, and compression of the brain. They also found that the injuries were caused by the blow of a baton, but that the evidence was too conflicting to say by whom the blow was administered.

On the same night a labourer named John Byrne, residing at 4, Lower Gloucester Place, was treated at Jervis Street Hospital for a wound on his head. He died on the 4th September, his inquest found that he died from fracture of the skull and haemorrhage but surprise surprise they  found that they had no evidence to show how he received his injuries.

Both Byrne and Nolan are likely to have known each other coming from the same street originally.

According to the Commissioners report a baton charge had taken place at Burgh Quay on Saturday night, and that the crowd against which this charge was directed was very disorderly and violent, and that that they had little doubt that in the course of this charge Byrne received the injury which led to his death. They were also of the opinion that in the case of both Nolan & Byrne the crowds their conduct towards the police clearly showed to any peaceable persons the danger that they ran by remaining members of them in other words it was their own fault.

Later on  the same night  crowds assembled in Marlborough Street, Talbot Street, and Earl Street, They gathered at the corners of streets, and when charged by the police rushed away, to re–assemble later on and again indulge in stone–throwing. In fact during the greater part of the night continuous disturbances existed in this area, and the Police were kept busy in dispersing crowds.



The immediate cause of the riot in Sackville Street on Sunday afternoon, the 31st August, 1913, was the appearance of James Larkin outside the Imperial Hotel in Sackville Street, for the purpose of addressing a public meeting, which had been proclaimed by the Chief Magistrate of the City of Dublin. Larkin was arrested, and committed for trial on the 28th August, 1913, and was admitted to bail on the same day. After his admission to bail Larkin publicly expressed his intention of holding a public meeting in Sackville Street on Sunday, the 31st of August.

On the 29th of August a Proclamation, which was extensively posted and circulated in the city, was issued by the Chief Magistrate, prohibiting this meeting.

On the evening of the 29th of August, Larkin burned a copy of this Proclamation at a meeting in Beresford Place, and again expressed his intention of holding a meeting in Sackville Street on Sunday, the 31st of August. In these circumstances a warrant was issued for the rearrest of Larkin, and it became necessary for the police authorities to take steps for the purpose of preventing and dispersing the meeting if an attempt were made to hold it in Sackville Street, on the Sunday.



Many people fleeing the baton charges in O’ Connell Street sought refuge in the nearby  balconies of the Corporation Buildings, in Foley Street and they, assisted by many of the occupants, made an attack on  police, who proceeded to enter the buildings for the purpose of inflicting further casualties on the strikers. With this object they ascended to the balconies, and when there entered a large number of dwellings—some thirty—forcibly.

In many of the dwellings damage was caused by the force used on entering, but in some cases after the entry was made and when no rioters were found inside, the Police destroyed the property of the tenants. Glass was broken, delph, lamps, and pictures. In some instances furniture and other articles were damaged, and, considering the means of the occupants, substantial damage was inflicted on them. The windows in some houses were also broken.

In the case of a man named Michael Whelan, living in No 28 D,  he, his wife, and a number of visitors were violently assaulted by Police batons, they had not been involved in any earlier disturbances and were not even strikers.

This disturbance was spread over the entire district, and the serious feature of it was the readiness of the occupants of the various tenement houses to shelter escaping rioters, and to join with them in attacking the police from the upper stories of many houses. Some baton charges were made, but as a rule these were useless, as the crowds fled before the police and took refuge in houses which were open to receive them.

There were further disturbances in



Finglas in 1913


 During the Dublin Lockout Finglas briefly became a flash point in the farm labourers’ dispute.  This event is not generally well-remembered today with only an occasional paragraph devoted to it in the books and articles on the Dublin Lockout and the farm labourers’ strike in County Dublin.

In 1913 Finglas was a rural village with a population of about 900 people a few miles north of Dublin. The main sources of employment were dairying and agriculture. In the era before widespread mechanisation agriculture required a substantial workforce. It was this group of farm labourers who became the focus of a movement to improve their pay and conditions.

Throughout June 1913 mass meetings in County Dublin led to large numbers of farm and transport workers joining the ITGWU and by the end of July, around 1000 labourers were on strike.


Rather than see their crops rot in the fields, the County Dublin Farmers Association agreed to the demands of the workers.  The conditions the farm labourers had won were; a six-day week,  a 12 hour day with 2 hours for meal breaks and a half day on Saturday. Their wages were set at 17s per week plus the usual perquisites, or 4s per day for casual labourers.


However, it was to be a short lived victory for the ITGWU. By the end of the same week newspaper articles appeared suggesting that the agreement wouldn’t survive long, as both the labourers and farmers were dissatisfied with it. Many expected that they would soon be on strike again.


On September 3, William Murphy persuaded 400 of Dublin’s leading employers to support him in action against the ITGWU. They agreed not to employ any person who was a member of the union, sacking any who refused to give up their membership followed quickly by the Dublin Building Trades Employers Federation and the Dublin Master Builders Association


The Co. Dublin Farmers Association decided to join the ‘lockout’  and dismiss any farm labourer who chose to remain a member of the ITGWU.  As a result, the labourers walked off the farms and went on strike. This was the catalyst which led to the riot in Finglas a few days later on Tuesday 16thSeptember.


The riot had a prequel in an attack on the farm of John Butterly, resident of Newpark, Finglas.  Some of the labourers on Butterly’s farm had refused to join the strike and in retaliation strikers destroyed a field of Butterly’s cabbages and threw his agricultural tools and machinery into a drain.


The situation in Finglas began to escalate when it became known that a “scab” had been served drink in one of the local pubs. A farm labourer by the name of Patrick Perry, from Finglas,  was served drink in the public house in the main street of Finglas (now the Drake Inn).  Perry was “…one of the few workmen in the district who had not joined the strike,…”.


An estimated 300 to 350 people had gathered in the street outside the pub, many of whom were boys;“The youngsters were very demonstrative…calling offensive names and shouting.”


In an attempt to protect the pub the Police stationed themselves outside it.  Some reports suggested that members of the crowd were armed with “sticks and other weapons”


 Speeches were made by members of the crowd;

Joseph Mackey spoke, saying that “Murphy was already beaten” and Owen Keane said to “stand by Larkin, that he was the man who would get them more wages, and if he were dead there would be others to take his place.”  James Brady made a speech denouncing the police, that “…the police in the city had murdered women and children.”The police were later to allege that Brady’s speech contributed most to the subsequent events, that it was inflammatory and “calculated to stir up the crowd to acts of violence against the police” . 


The police stepped out to confront the crowd and ordered them to disperse, warning that they would open fire. When the crowd continued to advance Constable Barry dropped to one knee and instead of firing over their heads, fired to one side, towards the other side of the street. Barry had fired four shots by the time Sergeant Brennan ordered him to cease fire, by which time the crowd had fled out of sight up the old North Road.

As the crowd fled  17 year old Patrick Daly was seen to stumble and fall. he had been shot in the back. Another member of the crowd, a boy named Cummins, saw him fall and “…helped Daly over to where the police were standing, and pointed out to them that the youth had been shot. The policemen is alleged to have stated that only blank cartridge was used, and this Cummins answered by showing the hole in the boy’s clothing, about the middle of the back, through which the blood was oozing.”


Despite their having shot the young man, both police returned to the barracks for their rifles before taking Daly to seek medical assistance. The two policemen were later to claim that they only found Daly after they returned from their barracks.


That same evening in Dublin, James Larkin took up the cause of young Patrick Daly. Addressing a crowd outside Liberty Hall, Larkin advised those present to be peaceable and quiet, that:

The police were already responsible for the murder of their comrades, Byrne and Nolan, and only a few hours ago they shot down young Daly, at Finglas, like a dog. The people should not give any chance to the police who are thirsting to continue their murderous assaults.”


However, even though the men of Finglas had mostly returned to work the authorities had not forgotten about them. Ten men were summoned to appear at Drumcondra Courthouse on 7thNovember 1913 charged with riot, unlawful assembly and assaulting the police.


The Magistrate who heard the inquest into the police shooting in Finglas commended the police officers for their actions, saying “…he had never come in contact with a set of circumstances that justified the police more in using deadly weapons..”  the “…young officer had performed his duty in a most humane manner.


The more things change the more they stay the same.
Thank you for listening to what I hope was an informative talk on a few small aspects of 1913.



ACRA Magazine

May 29, 2013

ACRA Magazine.

39th Anniversary of the Dublin Monagan Bombings

May 20, 2013

Last Friday the 17th of May marked 39 years since 33 people were murdered in no-warning bomb attacks in Dublin and Monaghan, in order to mark this occasion a black flag vigil took place from 5:00PM till 6:00PM at the memorial on Talbot Street, all were welcome but with no party-political material!

My speech follows:-




MALACHY STEENSON   – 17/05/2013

Thank you Chairman

At 5.28 pm during rush hour on Friday, 17 May 1974, three no-warning car bombs ripped through the heart of Dublin.

Parnell Street, Talbot Street and South Leinster Street were devastated.

Twenty-six people (including a French and Italian citizen) and an unborn baby lost their lives, including in Parnell Street an entire young family- The O’Brien’s from Lower Gardiner Street a young father and mother and their two baby daughters.

Ninety minutes later, a fourth car bomb exploded in Monaghan town where a further seven people died.

This has been the greatest loss of life in a single day of the latest phase of conflict beginning in 1969.

The bombings occurred during the Ulster Workers’ Council strike, which brought down the power-sharing executive at Stormont established by the Sunningdale Agreement. The arrangement collapsed on 28 May – 11 days after the bombings.

In response to the bombings, the Blueshirt Taoiseach, Liam Cosgrave, the leader of the Law & Order Government of Fine Gael & Labour sought to lay the blame at the door Republicans.


Subsequent speeches by Ministers Cooney; Conor Cruise O’Brien; Tully; Fianna Fail Leader Lynch and the Attorney General, Declan Costello, all gave this message loud and clear, they claimed that any Irish citizen who had even entertained the thought of supporting the continuation of the war in defence of the Republic was every bit as guilty of the slaughter of the victims of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings as were those who had, cold-bloodedly and without any warning, planned and carried out the atrocity.

There was no National day of mourning as there had been for Bloody Sunday. A decision was even taken, but quickly reversed, that the National Flag should not be flown at half-mast.

Constantly this attack is compared to other events like Omagh, Enniskillen etc., there is no comparison what happened on these streets was that a foreign power sent its agents to this city to kill and main innocent people, it was an attack by one State against another. It was an act of war and should have been dealt with as such. The targeting of civilians in indiscriminate bombings is a War Crime under the Geneva Convention, the then Prime Minister of Britain Harold Wilson should have been tried as a war criminal.

As we stand in this part of Dublin ravaged for decades by unemployment, drug addiction and poverty,

You may wonder why 39 years later we are still here remembering that fateful evening, they will tell us – forget about it, it’s in the past.

Until those who were responsible for ordering this attack are brought to Justice it’s not over. We are not naive enough to think that the current Blueshirt Government care, we know their history, we know where their loyalty lies……and it’s not to the Irish Republic.

Let us also be clear this attack did not happen in isolation Between 26 November 1972 and 20 January 1973, there were four British bombings in the centre of Dublin. Three civilians were killed and 185 people were injured

We are told that there was collusion between British Intelligence and Loyalists, let us be very clear this was a war crime carried out against a civilian population by British Intelligence services directed by the British Government, There have been numerous enquiries over the years but none have confronted that basic fact.

The actual group or organisation that carried out the attack is irrelevant, they were ordinary Working Class men sent out to do the dirty deeds of a higher power by those who had a very clear agenda, just as on the Republican side men were sent out to kill or die by a leadership who had a different agenda.

Let us remember that the murder of innocent civilians by the British Government is not confined to Ireland or to the past. In the past number of years they along with their American Allies and their proxies have murdered tens of thousands innocent men women & children in Iraq, Afganistan, Syria and many other places.

Let us also remember that collusion is not confined to The British, we have seen in this Bankrupt Corrupt Banana Republic the collusion between the State Police and Criminal elements particularly Drug Gangs.

This no more clearly evident than in the Kieran Boylan Case where Gardai under the direction and control of the current Garda Commissioner were controlling and importing huge quantities of heroin & cocaine which was sold to young people in working class communities like this one and others around this State, yet we see almost complete silence from the political and media class about something that should rock this state to the core.

Let us compare that to the demonization of Republicans when they stand up against those who ply death on our Streets.

So corrupt is this State that it will allow its own agents to be killed, it is now widely believed that those who killed Garda Adrian Donohoue last January were and are allowed carry out their drug dealing and other criminal activities as they are valuable assets to both the British & Irish Intelligence services.


Only this week we see further evidence of corruption in the removal of penalty points from those in the know including those of that well know Garda mouthpiece and peddler of lies the so called  Crime Journalist.

Remember it’s the very same parties in Government now as in 1974,

As we begin the decade of centenaries we will see an increase revisionism and rewriting of history, a new version will show that we the Irish people were the quilty ones, and that those who carried out attacks against the Republic and attacks like the one we remember today were the good quys.

During the visit of Elizabeth Windsor exactly two years ago why was she not brought to this spot in the centre of our city and asked to explain why her agents murdered 26 innocent men women and children, 39 years ago today.

Earlier today the families of the victims held a wreath laying ceremony at this spot, also present with them was the current Fine Gael Lord Mayor whose party stood by and covered up a war crime committed in this street, he and others attended on this spot as hypocritical as usual, having welcomed the war criminal commander in chief of those who carried out this attack to this city two years ago. They don’t appear see any contradiction in their quisling position

They fail to see that by their activities and those of their predecessors that they are just as guilty as those who directed this operation, by their silence they are culpable.

They think that they can stand here and remember the dead and ignore their own role, but then we know that those in power in Ireland only care about themselves. By their presence here they are adding further insult onto the bereaved.

It is important those of us here today particularly our young people learn our history and study these events and are then in a position to counteract this new revisionism. They must educate themselves and ignore what they read in the establishment media.

It is up to us all here today to keep the truth alive and to spread it as widely as possible, our revenge on those who carried out this attack will be the re-establishment of the Irish Republic coupled with the implementation of the Proclamation and of the democratic programme of Dáil Éireann, it is then that we can say that the innocents taken on this day 39 years ago did not die in vain.

Go raibh maith agat.





November 8, 2012


 Thursday, 8 November  2012  

Immediate Release




“Today’s decision of the Supreme Court must be respected by The Government, Saturdays Referendum must be called off”  according to  Malachy Steenson, Solicitor and Criminologist .

Speaking following the successful challenge by Mark Mc Crystal to the governments referendum campaign.

He said  “This Referendum is to change the basic law – The Constitution of this Country, The Constitution was enacted in order to protect the people from the Acts of the Government, The Supreme Court is the final decider of whether the Government is acting unconstitutionally today they decided that they were acting unconstitutionally, if the Supreme Court is to mean anything then it must be respected , and this Referendum called off”.

Adding “Minister Shatter is now prepared to ignore the Supreme Court, he has created a  Constitutional crisis, the Irish People are justified in asking if he is prepared to do that how can we have any confidence that Judges will be permitted to make decisions in respect of children which may go against government policy”.

In the event that this Government ignores the Supreme Court then The Chief Justice  Susan Denham must ask the Government what is her role and role of her Judges if their decisions are to be ignored. She must then advise them if they have no role then they will have to resign.

concluded Malachy Steenson

215 Words  Ends  – Comment or clarification:  Malachy Steenson 086 6024239 – malachysteenson78@gmail.com

Note to editors:-  Malachy Steenson is a Practising Solicitor and a Criminologist living and working in the North Inner City of Dublin. He is a well known left wing community activist and is a regular contributor to broadcast and print media in relation to matters of social justice, crime and the economy.

“Democratic Deficit exposed in Childrens Referendum Campaign”

November 7, 2012


 Wednesday, 7 November  2012   Buswells Hotel 11am

Embargo 11.00 am


“Democratic Deficit exposed in Referendum Campaign”


“The Referendum on the 31st Amendment to the Constitution shows clearly the unbalanced nature of this State the entire political establishment backed up by so called Civil Society groups have come together to alter the fundamental law of this State”  according to  Malachy Steenson, Solicitor and Criminologist .

Speaking at the final Press Conference of the “NO” campaign  he said

This Referendum has shown clearly the unbalanced nature of this State, the entire political establishment backed up by so called Civil Society groups have come together to alter the fundamental law of this State” he also said the role of the Media particularly the role State Broadcaster must be challenged in respect of future referendums, where a proposal to alter the Constitution is put before the people it is up to the people to make their decision free from the overt pressure of the State and it supporters a full and frank debate of the issues must be facilitate by the State broadcaster, in this Referendum they have failed to live up to their public service remit”  

He noted that “much more coverage is being given to the US Presidential election, which is of little relevance to the vast majority of people in this country than is being given to this proposal which will have real repercussions for families”.

At meetings all around the Country huge concerns have been expressed by citizens about the real intention behind this Amendment, those concerns have been ignored by Government Spokespersons  continually” 

He noted “ Those who have had experience of the Care System as it currently operates were very clear in their opposition to handing over more power to the State, a State which since its foundation failed to look after the children of this nation a failure which continues to this day”

He added “we have continued to hear the YES side use cases like Killkenny, Mayo, Roscommon etc., being used to push this Amendment, however in all of these cases the HSE was involved and aware of what was going on for years yet they failed to act, it was not the lack of a specific constitutional protection for children which allowed these cases to continue but the inaction of a dysfunctional un accountable care system which is more concerned about budgets, careers and protecting itself than it is about children, it is also clear that there are likely to be similar cases today “. Why would anyone in all sanity give them more power ” he asked.

Commenting on the climate in which this Referendum is being held he added

“ This Amendment must be considered in the context of the times in which we now live, as we approach the December budget it is clear that the living stands of families throughout this country will be slashed yet again, driving more and more families into poverty, where they will be unable to put food on the table for or keep a roof over the heads of their children, showing quite clearly that this State has no real concern for the conditions that many children are forced to endure. In the eyes of the State poverty will again be a reason for children being put into care.

The current slash and burn policies of austerity which include removing Special Needs teachers in schools, cutting CE schemes which provide community crèche facilities show the real agenda of this government”.  


He went on to say “the key question for citizens to ask themselves before they vote is, knowing all you now know about how this State is run and for whose benefit do you believe that they have the best interest of families and children as a real concern, if the answer is NO then why would you trust them to look after your children?”


concluded Malachy Steenson

639 Words

Ends  – Comment or clarification:  Malachy Steenson 086 6024239



Note to editors:-  Malachy Steenson is a Practising Solicitor and a Criminologist living and working in the North Inner City of Dublin. He is a well known left wing community activist and is a regular contributor to broadcast and print media in relation to matters of social justice, crime and the economy.


June 20, 2012


Reblogged on my blog

Originally posted on Ireland after NAMA:

The Department of Environment persists in stating that 1.6m households are liable for the household charge.  This is patently not the case.  It is houses that are liable for the tax not households.  If a person owns two houses – one they live in, one a holiday home, they pay twice.  They wouldn’t do that if it was a tax purely on households.  The household charge is a tax on property.  There are 1.994m habitable housing units in the state – they are all liable for the tax with some exemptions.   Here is some useful data compiled by the Campaign Against Household & Water Taxes from official statistics and Dail questions.  It gives a much more thorough picture of the liabilities relating to the household charge than the governments line, and that is the case whether you are for or against the charge.

1    Housing units in state    

View original 424 more words

Statement on Household Tax

June 5, 2012

Press statement 5 June 2012

Campaign Against Household & Water Taxes (CAHWT)

Threat to home tax boycotters will re-ignite campaign
The Campaign Against Household & Water Taxes (CAHWT) has pledged to fight any threats to householders taking part in the boycott of the household tax. Responding to an article in the Irish Independent yesterday, Gregor Kerr of the CAHWT said:

“Threatening letters will serve to re-ignite the campaign against the household tax — the most successful boycott campaign seen in this country in over a century, ” said Mr Kerr. “The vast majority of ordinary home-owners have refused to pay this unjust tax. Over 900,000 households have not registered – representing approximately 2 million adults. The government should take note of the fact that while only 955,091 votes were cast in favour of the fiscal compact treaty in last week’s referendum, approximately twice that number continue to boycott the household tax. It’s clear there is no mandate for this tax so threats will not be successful in bullying people into paying.”

“The media should not cooperate with government lies about non-registration figures. More than 1.8 million must register for the tax, not 1.6 million. A recent Dail question further underlined that, when 90,123 multiple properties are excluded, the vast majority of one-home owners are with the campaign.”
” The CAHWT will respond with public meetings, pickets on TD clinics and protests in any area where householders receive warning letters from councils,” said Mr Kerr, ” We are also planning a national protest to the Dail to bring home the message that the household tax has no mandate and should be scrapped.”



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