Category Archives: Comment

Latest Government spin released – a country analysis

As we expected, the Government has reacted to today’s media coverage of FOI and gone on the offensive. Yesterday included an embarrassing incident between the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and internationally recognised experts on the rights to freedom of expression and access to information, ARTICLE 19. Morning Ireland discussed it this morning (listen… Read More »

Killing Freedom of Information in Ireland

We’ve had sight of new amendments to the FOI Bill 2013 proposed by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. We will be blunt: if passed, Freedom of Information is dead. will, in all likelihood, cease all FOI requests. And we will not seek funding from the public to support an immoral, cynical, unjustified… Read More »

Tracking is a pretty difficult website to navigate. As government-type websites go, it probably has more information than you might expect. There is lots of room for improvement though. Apparently, in line with guidance from the Data Protection Commissioner, blocks Google from indexing its website. This relates to the so-called “right to be forgotten”.… Read More »

1 Grand Canal Quay

This is 1 Grand Canal Quay, where Denis O’Brien’s Communicorp Ltd is headquartered. The building is owned by Mr O’Brien personally, with a registered address at 77 Wellington Road, Dublin 4. I walk by it every morning on the way to work so I was curious about it. A mortgage charge on the property was… Read More »

DPER publishes FOI Bill 2013

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform today published the FOI Bill 2013. We will be keeping a close eye on the passage of this legislation. Freedom of Info Bill 13 (PDF) Freedom of Info Bill 13 (Text)

The Anglo Tapes

Myself and Tom Lyons wrote yesterday in the Sunday Independent about new revelations from The Anglo Tapes, new audio of which is available over on This follows on from the trojan work of Paul Williams, Fionnan Sheahan, Dearbhail McDonald and Donal O’Donovan in the Irish Independent last week.

Oireachtas Committee

I am scheduled to appear in front of the Oireachtas Committee on Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform on February 6 at 11.30am to speak about the FOI draft bill. You can watch proceedings here from Committee Room 4. (unless they change rooms!) As ever we will be trying to represent the views of other… Read More »

That ECB bailout letter – an update

Back in August economist Karl Whelan pointed to an odd discrepancy in the dates referred to in my requests for information from the ECB in relation to Ireland’s baillout. Notwithstanding the ECB making a series of errors in their releases to me, and notwithstanding the ECB releasing several documents that the Irish Department of Finance… Read More »

Those ECB letters

It’s been an interesting week. There have been several articles about those ECB letters, and this blog has received a fair bit of traffic from various sources. So it’s worth going back over what has happened. To start chronologically, it’s worth mentioning that Ireland has not been the only country getting letters of this nature… Read More »

Denis O'Brien and Vincent Browne have posted recent correspondence between Denis O’Brien and journalist Vincent Browne. It makes for some interesting reading, especially in the context of correspondence between Dermot Desmond and INM and James Morrissey and Karl Brophy published on this blog.