Monday, August 03, 2009

But he still sings the rebel songs

Further revelations about the endless junketing of Ireland's then Minister for Tourism John O'Donoghue in 2006. Last week had seen the entire expense report express only one bit of reservation about cost -- the tips given to bag carriers in India. Now comes the details on how he ran up 33,000 euro in travel costs in a week due to trying to combine "official" engagements as Minister with parish pump politics in his home base of Kerry --

Between May 18th and May 24th, 2006, Mr O’Donoghue, who is now Ceann Comhairle (Speaker), used the jet to travel for six journeys between Dublin, Cannes, Kerry, Cardiff, Cannes (for a second time), Northolt (London) and Dublin, the Sunday Tribune reported yesterday.

It's a bit odd for the Irish media to be referring to that final stop as "Northolt" because it is in fact RAF Northolt (crest above), conveniently located near west London. When the ex-Minister is shouting and roaring with the best of them about the glories of Ireland's independence struggle, does he mention his stops at the Saxon airforce base? Note also that one leg of the Cannes trip was to see Ken Loach's The Wind That Shakes the Barley. Thus like his then boss Bertie Ahern, this film seems to have functioned as a man of the people credential for Ireland's ruling class. Loach needs to do an update.

UPDATE: Our loyal republican was a serial user of RAF bases.

Crest RAF via Wikipedia subject to Crown Copyright

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