Friday 17 November 2017

Coalition needs to cut through red tape and appoint charity tsar

Bertie Ahern
Bertie Ahern
Ivan Yates

Ivan Yates

If a controversy lasts longer than 10 days, expect heads to roll. From reading memoirs of former British prime ministers, this was the survival dictum of Bernard Ingham and Alastair Campbell (respective press officers of three-term prime ministers Maggie Thatcher and Tony Blair). Ministers in the firing line could survive nine days. Beyond that, casualties were jettisoned to prevent contagion spreading to the boss.

The CRC controversy has raged for more than two months. The media feeding frenzy isn't over. Tragically for the charity sector, their CEOs and board members went to the Bertie Ahern school of PR, rather than Ben Dunne institute of 'fessing up.

Reminiscent of Ahern's evidence to the Mahon tribunal about cash obtained from winnings on horses and dig-outs from pals, he eventually had to resign less than a month after his former secretary Grainne Carruth's evidence that sterling lodgments could not have come from his salary. Denial, obfuscation and downright concealment proved to be the downfall of both Bertie and the CRC board. Paul Kiely and Jim Nugent were part of Bertie's cabal in Dublin Central, with well-known connections through CERT, Great Southern Hotels, CIE and electioneering.

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