Kick the can

Kickstarter looks like a great idea. A business idea bypasses the venture capitalists and goes straight to the consumer, raising funds directly in return for a free copy of the finished product or other incentives. And because I’m a journalist, I’ve been playing recently with the idea of kickstarting a new magazine. Except, I’m really […]

The Public Interest

“Taking photographs of individuals in private places without their consent is not acceptable, unless justified by the public interest.” I’ve never been a huge fan of the Press Council. It was set up as the lesser of two evils, an industry-funded self-regulator, the greater evil being a state-sponsored regulator. Threats of new privacy laws, and […]

SIPO must follow the money

Following yesterday’s report in the Irish Independent about Sinn Féin’s use of expenses to pay for party workers, both SIPO and the Oireachtas Commission are looking at the party’s finances. Readers will recall I probed the issue on several occasions last Autumn, starting with the Average Wage Question. SIPO didn’t see any reason to act […]

Pearse Doherty and the Average Industrial Wage

Sitting in my inbox for a while now has been a letter from SIPO, along with various records of politicians’ expenses, all revolving around the issue of Sinn Fein and the “average industrial wage”. On Friday, Pearse Doherty published a set of accounts on the Donegal Daily website, which makes it time to revisit the […]

Below average

While I wait for Sinn Féin TDs and senators to get back to me, and consider my response to SIPO’s recent communications, a little something to tide you over if you’ve been following the “average wage” saga. Here’s a Sinn Féin press release about MPs’ expenses: “Sinn Féin MPs, like all party members who are […]

Letter to Sinn Féin TDs and senators

A chara, I am a freelance journalist, and recently I’ve been spending some time looking at the practice of Sinn Féin TDs and Senators where they “draw down” an average industrial wage, and the balance (less taxes) is spent on constituency services, which I understand to mean constituency office workers, based on my inquiries to […]

Irrational, unreasonable and perverse

During the lengthy wait between my first questions to Sinn Féin about the average wage and their reply, I wrote to SIPO. I asked the Standards Commission to look into inconsistencies between Sinn Féin statements and reporting requirements. “If a TD decides to spend part or all of his/her salary on the provision of constituency […]

Sinn Féin replies

On Monday 18 September, I addressed some questions to Sinn Féin about their “average industrial wage” claims, and the amounts their TDs donated to their party. In the three weeks since then, I’ve posted several times on the issue, and Sinn Féin’s compliance with SIPO regulations. This evening, I received the reply below from the […]

No records to display

Martin McGuinness published bank statements today, showing he only takes  £1605 from Sinn Féin each month. The accounts give some fascinating insights into his shopping behaviour. Who knew the deputy first minister was such a fan of Asda? And while his fondness for TK Maxx might be understandable, it’s difficult to picture him browsing through […]

Opening the books

A chara, In light of the statement by Martin McGuinness on Newstalk this morning regarding his income, that he is “willing to allow my bank account to be opened and I’m sure Sinn Fein are willing to allow their bank accounts to be opened to show that that is the case“, could I bring to […]