I've worked hard this week, while I have had my folks abroad on holidays, to provide everyone with as much informed debate as possible.... with a platform for their individual concerns and "hot topics". Now I have a personal request to make. I think I've earned it (though its slightly an abuse of my position I guess .... in my defense its not for me. )
As many will know I've been questioning the actions and the morality of the Irish Red Cross's governance as brought to light by Noel Wardick's selfless act of whistle-blowing on 1 Million euros worth of "financial irregularities".
Noel is one of the last honest Joe's standing. I've known him for years and I consider his integrity higher than even my own. He's been supported by every investigative journalist out there from Primetime to The Times.
I am given to understand that tomorrow Noel will be dismissed as head of their International Department for bringing the issue of "financial irregularity" and mal-governance to light.
This is someone who has put their job, of over a decade, on the line for what he felt was right. He's about to lose everything as a result. If anything, surely this is the sort of person we need in this country and 1000s more like him. Instead of a medal, he gets hung out to dry, a warning to everyone else to keep their mouths shut.
Well, I'm not someone to "keep my mouth shut" . But my voice cant be heard as clearly as yours. Will you consider the facts and consider tabling a motion or question or whatever you can do to raise this issue and not let an honest Joe get fried for having the integrity to say "this is wrong"?
I'm sorry to bring this up here, but its something I feel strongly about and god damn but we need more people with backbone and not less.
Just to add that the big changes in Ireland won't happen in the dail, but will happen in the smaller organisations in the country.
Until people like the above can stand up without fear of punishment, there is no hope for someone in the dail who objects to the way things are and wants to change.
But, if we can start to change as a society, and stop tolerating waste and corruption and nonsense, eventually that will find its way up to the top.
So if Deputy Gogarty wants to see real change in Irish politics, rather than the usual lipservice given to change, he would be well advised to start with a relatively small issue like this one.
I cannot comment on this case in relation to the above individual just in case it has legal or personal implications. But I have tabled the parliamentary questions below on your behalf which should be responded to next week. These deal with issues pertaining to the IRC of a general nature:
To ask the Minister for Defence to outline the background to the decision to appoint a new chairperson to the Irish Red Cross; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
To ask the Minister for Defence to outline what investigations if any have been ordered by the Government into the operations of the Irish Red Cross and/or the Government's interactions with the agency following revelations in the media covering the subject of alleged financial irregularities, including how bank accounts were operated; and if not, whether any such independent investigation will be instigated in the near future; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
To ask the Minister for Defence if the new Chairperson of the Irish red cross has been asked to examine and review practices within the Irish Red Cross, including the appointment of a permanent Secretary General; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
To ask the Minister for Defence if the new Chairperson of the Irish Red Cross will be asked to submit a new set of governance reform proposals given the issues raised by the media in recent months in relation to the running of the organisation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
It's not an area I cover for the Green Party by portfolio and therefore wouldn't normally raise it off my own bat. But because I was asked directly, I tabled the questions and hope that the responses are useful.
Thank you. I await the outcome with interest.
I wonder what will happen this week with Mr Wardick. Hopefully he won't lose his job.
The last SIndo had an article on this issue:
"Dash to save job of Red Cross mole : Demands for Killeen to 'grab issue by neck' and defend whistleblower"
But Kileen did his level best to avoid putting anything useful on the record in response to Gogarty's questions.
The record of the answers to the above questions is here :
There really is very little useful in the Dail answers... here's a sample question and answer...
It's just a shame really. Paul Gogarty goes to all the trouble to ask the questions.
Kileen's staff go to the trouble of finding out exactly what is going on with the situation.
They then have to brief him on the details and then craft an answer to the question that only includes the small bits of information that can be made public.
What a frustrating experience for everyone.
Still - it seems like this thread might have been the trigger for the questions, which then drew the statement from FG, which together composed the SIndo article, by its Chief Reporter no less.
So, with all of that going on, I would say it's fairly unlikely that the Red Cross would be stupid enough to fire Mr. Wardick or they would probably be walking themselves into court.
Here's hoping the new chairman respects Wardick enough to even give him a promotion, with some responsibility for internal auditing.