Monday 15 October 2018

Eoghan Harris: Fine Gael must stop its blustering on Denis O'Brien

Enda Kenny has been making eyes at Denis O'Brien. That's the public perception. That is why the Taoiseach's high polls and buttery boosting from his fair-weather media friends will eventually melt away unless he distances himself from Denis O'Brien and blocks the latter's ambition to become, in Joan Burton's phrase, an Irish Berlusconi.

O'Brien is wealthy beyond belief. But his fortune is founded on the €317m he made from the moral morass drained by the Moriarty tribunal. He does not pay tax in Ireland on the bulk of his substantial income. He is not fit company for the leader of Fine Gael.

We are entitled to ask whether, as a media mogul, O'Brien is already having an inhibiting influence on the media he owns. Last Friday, Brendan Howlin was interviewed at length on Newstalk's Breakfast Show. He was not asked about his Dail reservations on Denis O'Brien.

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