Oooops! I forgot about that construction company I half-own

Clerical error leads to TD forgetting about €1m investment

One of the largest property owners in Dail Eireann, Frank Fahey TD, is blaming a ‘clerical error’ for his failure to mention to the Dáil the 50% stake he owns in Sage Construction Ltd. Furthermore, the company owes his wife over €950,000 according to the most recent accounts filed. Neither were declared in the Register of Members interests in 2008 or 2009 and the Clerk of Dail Eireann, Kieran Coughlan, is considering complaints from members of the public alleging that these omissions are breaches of the 1995 Ethics in Public Office Act.

Deputy Fahey has had a history of controversial stories, such as the compensation scheme his department administered where two of his constituents received 75% of the total amount disbursed and one of his last actions as Minister whereby he granted the controversial foreshore license for Shell in Mayo, following in the footsteps of Ray Burke in accommodating the wishes of the oil company.

In response to this latest allegation, the Mail on Sunday reports that Deputy Fahey rushed to have the Register of Interests amended and issued a statement that the whole affair was due to a clerical error. Time will tell if this mistake will be excused or punished.

What’s most frustrating about this episode for me is that his constituents are unlikely to be overly perturbed by this, in the same way that they have not been bothered by other Fahey scandals.  I suspect that is so because in this nod and wink politics culture to which Fahey belongs, you actually want the guy to be doing favours for you and as such if he’s doing favours for other people, well that’s just part of politics and you have to accept it because you want the same thing done for you.

And there are probably enough people in his constituency grateful to Deputy Fahey to ensure that he is returned time and time again.

If you want to do something about this – you are free to complain to the Clerk of Dail Eireann (Kieran.Coughlan [at] that Faheys ommission may be a breach of Section 5 of the 1995 Ethics act.

The initial source of the story, for me –

2009 accounts for Sage Construction Ltd –

A long webpage with many other details about Deputy Fahey –