F4J Statement: Cork Pro Choice Allegations

A Father Is For Life Not Just Conception

Fathers4Justice (F4J) are concerned that a number of individuals in the ‘Repeal The 8th’ campaign are aggressively opposed to democratic debate around the 8th Amendment.

In particular, the organisation Cork Pro Choice has made a serious allegation concerning our advert, ‘A father is for life not just conception’, which will run on Bus Eireann in Cork for six weeks from 5th December 2016.

The advert features a picture of a father cradling an infant child and is part of our ‘Change The 8th’ campaign.

We believe the allegation by Cork Pro Choice is grossly defamatory.

For the record, our campaign promotes equal rights for fathers alongside men’s health issues, including male suicide. F4J is staffed by women, and a third of our supporters are women. They find the allegations by Cork Pro Choice deeply offensive and upsetting.

The objective of our campaign is to promote democratic debate around the 8th Amendment. Instead F4J has been subject to vicious online abuse and bullying.

Our campaign and consultation will continue until early 2017, when F4J will publish it’s policy and document and any proposed amendment to the 8th. In the event of a referendum, we expect this to include a question about fathers’ right, and we would legally challenge (Judicially Review) it’s exclusion.

In the meantime Brophy Solicitors in Dublin are instructed on this matter and we will not comment further until legal proceedings are resolved.

Posted in Bus Eireann, Change the 8th, Cork, Cork Pro Choice, Fathers 4 Justice, Fathers Rights, Fathers4Justice, Fathers4Justice Ireland, Matt O'Connor, Nadine O'Connor, Repeal the 8th, University College Cork | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beware of The Cambridges!

In the front windows of my house I have 3 signs. The first 2 read, “Beware of the Dogs” and “Dogs Loose – Do Not Enter”. They are the first things you see and read, before you get to the smaller sign that says “No Cold Calling, No Junk Mail, No Free Papers, etc.”.

I am not being rude, I am simply informing you, as I lawfully should, that my house is also home to a pack of dogs, this is their home, their space and you should be respectful of that.

I don’t expect people to love my dogs the way I do, but I do expect people to respect them in the same way I respect the public when they are around my dogs.

If you come into my home, announced, then it’s always a good idea to say hello to the dogs, they are after all my family and I would not ignore yours. It’s also advisable because that way they don’t spend the rest of your visit trying to say hello to you. If they know you well, worse-case scenario, you might get licked to death. Naturally if you enter the house unannounced and they sense you are not there with good intentions, well, you were warned.

You see dogs, just like people, know what they like and don’t like and sense right and wrong. No matter how well trained your dog is, they are still dogs and dogs have boundaries and they might not always react how you think they will react.

Jumping up and down on a dog is one of those boundaries and once again the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have showed just how ignorant and irresponsible they are with their children around dogs.

Their constant need to present their children as “cute and adorable” to win over the understandably ever increasing anti-monarchy public has resulted in them using “pets as props” rather than showing any real understanding or consideration for dogs.

And this from a family famous for their dogs. The Queen after all is famous for her love of Corgi’s. I doubt she lets any of her “excited” great-grandchildren bounce on any of her dogs.

In Canada yesterday, Princess Charlotte “giggled as she bounced up and down on the pooch”

There would not have been much giggling going on if  “patient Moose” turned round and bit her because her bouncing over stepped one of his boundaries.

“Patient Moose” would have been put down before he had a chance to fill in his pet insurance claim for a damaged spine, poodle-golden retriever cross’s would have been added to the dangerous dog list and dog owners would once again be under attack for not “keeping their dogs under control”.

I don’t care how “utterly charming” the 16-month old Princess is, or how desperate her parents are to PR this Canadian Tour to present a “perfect family unit”, “Moose” is a dog and it does not matter how well trained he is, no child should ever be allowed to “bounce up and down” on a dog, full stop!

Too many people think large breed dogs can be treated as circus acts/toys/bouncy castles or ridden “like horses”. I lost track of how many times people asked me if they could “ride” my Irish Wolfhound. They only ever made that “quip” once.

Large breed dogs, in particular, have very delicate spines because of the speed they grow and because of their size, but that aside, no dogs should ever be bounced on.

Much was made of “Moose” being a “therapy dog” as if that excused the child’s behaviour and it was ok. No, it’s still not ok.

“Moose” is a therapy dog for cancer patients and yes therapy dogs are made a fuss of by their patients, but I’m pretty sure their patients are not encouraged to “bounce” on them.

Just because a dog is a “therapy dog” that is not a label to say “this dog will put up with anything”. They are expertly trained, and are trained to tolerate and interact with many things in a certain way, but they are still dogs, and “working dogs” at that, so should be given greater respect.

Princess Charlotte’s parents should know better and should have stopped her, but there enlies the rub, her parents don’t know better.

This is not the first time this couple have shown a dangerous lack of respect and understanding of dogs.

In July this year, animal welfare campaigners, rightfully, criticised the Royal couple of staging a photo shoot that showed Prince George feeding ice cream and chocolate to their Cocker Spaniel.

Dogs are allergic to dairy products, which can cause digestive problems, and that chocolate is highly toxic to canines.

I urge Canada’s SPCA to issue a public statement criticising Princess Charlotte’s actions and advising all parents to take greater responsibility and educate their children about the dangers of invading a dog’s space and never doing anything that could harm a dog.

As members of the British Royal Family they seek publicity on their overseas tours and as such set an example to others, whether they intend to or not – this was a dangerous, irresponsible and selfish example to set and shows an alarming lack of understanding towards dogs, something they risk passing on to their children.

It has been claimed by some people commenting on various newspaper articles that the Duchess of Cambridge immediately took her daughter to oneside after this incident and scolded her. If this is true what a shame then that this was not witnessed on the video, or indeed reported in the newspaper as this would send an important message to other parents and children that this is not how you treat a dog. The video footage available, shows the Duchess crouched down beside her daughter, holding her hand and laughing while she bounced on the dog. It is also worth noting that the video footage available changed during the day on the 30th September. Originally you could see clearly the child bouncing on the dog from a more direct angle, later the video footage was from a different angle and was less clear as a man walks in front of the child blocking the view of what is happening. On neither this, nor the icecream and chocolate incident, hav the Cambridges ever issued a statement reassuring the public they understand dogs should be treated with respect and not fed potentially dangerous foods.

Posted in Beware of The Dog, Canada, Dangerous Dogs Act, Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, Moose the Therapy Dog, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Royal Family | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Time to Prune the Rose of Tralee before Green Fly Sets In

As the PR disasters go this week has been off the scale for the Rose of Tralee.

In the usual course of events following the announcement of the winner on Tuesday night The Rose of Tralee and RTE expects front pages, staged photos and headline stories on all the countries media outlets.

Irish Broadcaster RTE

They are RTE after all and they expect the rest of the media to tow-the-line. But the show, and its media team, has become complacent and sloppy – they say the show has been modernised but clearly not modern enough to be “street-wise” about the modern social media times we live in.

A show, that for years has been slammed as an outdated beauty pageant, should have run a tighter ship to counter its critics, but it has committed so many PR sins it needs to block book itself in for confession.

Fathers4Justice Protest

1. A protestor made it on stage, walking straight past “security” – nothing to see here says the shows management we are happy with our security.

2. The protestor continues to steal the limelight and media airwaves 5 days after the event drowning out any coverage of the eventual winner.

3. The Show came under attack for allowing political comments on stage.

4. Mixed Messages – the Head Judge and Show Organiser reveal a deeply divided team that fails to communicate internally and stay “on message” as they both give separate interviews with opposing views following a political statement made on stage by Sydney Rose Brianna Parkins.

Sidney Rose Brianna Parkins

5. The Show let “journalist” Brianna Parkins become a contestant on the show – well that was only going to end one way guys as clearly no one on the highly paid media team had ever heard of the words “exposé” or “under-cover”. While I am not saying this was Ms Parkins intention on entering the competition, but she is clearly a bright capable young woman, older and more streetwise than most taking part and once she noticed not all was as it seems behind the scenes her journalists instinct kicked in.

2016 Co Down Rose, Fainche McCormack

6. Co Down Rose, Fainche McCormack reveals the truth about the way contestants are treated and the mask of the Rose of Tralee didn’t just slip it fell right off to reveal a dark reality that should make every parent of those girls who took part sick to their stomach, and those who never made the final 65 say “there but for the grace of god”.

Revelations include bullying, manipulation, sleep deprivations, being held in rooms against their will, lack of food and water and being asked by TV staff what colour under-wear they were wearing!

For Christs sake what kind of sick pervert asks young women what colour their underwear is thinking that sort of thing is a) appropriate and b) makes good TV?

Those who have suggested that the protestor upset the Cavan Rose may need to re-think their allegations in light of these revelations as I would suspect the Cavan Rose, like all the other Roses, was already in a fragile state as a result of her treatment by the TV and Media Teams!

I don’t doubt there are more gruesome details to come. As I type, the Rose of Tralee team will probably be frantically trying to place positive articles in the media to counter the devastating revelations about the shows reality. High on their list will be an interview with the actual winner in a glossy magazine and on the next available chat show, who will be briefed to within an inch of her life to say she saw nothing of this kind of treatment and how wonderfully she was cared for.

The Rose of Tralee’s days are, I think, numbered. I would scrap the entire management committee, judging panel and media team, use years 58 and 59 to quietly scale down the annual event back to its roots so that in year 60 it can go out on a dignified note.

Possible New Rose of Tralee Host Maria Walsh?

I would also get Maria Walsh in to “host” the final 3 years, after all it’s about time the “Host” was a woman and she has shown she is more than competent in front of the camera plus she has already put in the media everything about herself so there will be no surprises there for RTE.

As for Daithi O’Se, who as remained rather quiet while all this has been going on this week, well if I was him I would have already told my agent “I’m A TV Presenter Get Me Out Of Here”.

He has presented the show since 2010, he has done a reasonable stint and it would allow him to leave without stereotyping himself anymore. While he is not responsible for the current debacle he was the host during its worst ever year. Over the last 6 years when ratings have fallen through the floor, this year ratings hit an all time low, and no one wants to be associated with that kind of mess.

Beauty Pageants in General Make Me Feel Uncomfortable

Beauty pageants of any kind make me fee uncomfortable, surely the days of women parading around like this are long gone, let alone it being an acceptable form of entertainment on TV.

Yes I know there are worse kinds of pageants – The child beauty pageants we have here in the States make me particularly uncomfortable.

There is something decidedly odd about a parent who wants parade their 4 year old daughter around tarted up to look like a 24 year old on a night out.

If we want to celebrate women, and their cultures, Irish or otherwise, and work to preserve and continue those cultures around the world there must be a better way of doing it than resorting to trashy TV and degrading these women in the process.

Trump v Clinton November 2016

Wow this Rose has turned out to be one thorny issue, I will be glad to get back to the sanity that is the US Presidential Election, roll on November.

Rose of Tralee contestants were ‘manipulated, bullied and mistreated’ – participant sensationally claims

‘You let me down’: Sydney Rose Brianna Parkins opens up about her Rose of Tralee experience

‘Like animals in a circus’ – Rose of Tralee contestant slams ‘cruel and disgusting’ festival treatment

Inside the Rose of Tralee: It’s like a ‘Kate Middleton impersonation competition’

Rose of Tralee bosses respond to scathing attack from pageant reject

RTÉ ‘regrets’ anger of Roses at ‘circus animal’ treatment

Posted in Cavan Rose Lisa Reilly, Chicago Rose, Maggie McEldowney, Co Down Rose, Fainche McCormack, Dáithí Ó Sé, Equality, Fathers 4 Justice, Fathers4Justice, Fathers4Justice International, Fathers4Justice Ireland, Lisa Reilly, Maria Walsh, Matt O'Connor, RTE, Rose of Tralee, Sidney Rose Brianna Parkins | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

F4J Rose of Tralee Protest Was Bang on Target!

I do love the press!

In the Irish Independent today there is an excellent comment piece by Lorraine Courtney entitled “Men will only get equality in custody cases when women face some hard truths”.

Lisa Reilly laughing her way through the protest

Her opening gambit says the F4J protest was “misguided” – yet 4 days after the protest:

  • she and other newspapers are still writing articles about the protest and the issue of fathers rights
  • radio stations are still calling to do interviews about the protest and are running phone-ins for dads wanting help
  • TV stations are still calling wanting permission to use F4J’s campaign films
  • emails coming into the F4J office are unabated.

This I can assure you is unheard of in Ireland because of the concerted effort by the Government and twitchy curtain syndrome to sweep this issue under the carpet for years.

Added to this, dads are regularly threatened with and sent prison if they speak out about the injustices they face, while mums can flout court orders without the fear of any such reprisals.

Yep hypocrisy and double standards are alive and well in Ireland.

Rather than “misguided” I would say the protest was bang on target.

Lorraine ends are article saying “If you deprive children of their father, bitch about him, ignore him, that’s long-term emotional abuse. It is criminal behaviour and we need to get tough on it. Until we seek legal reform, transparency, and a user-centred legal system that actually punishes women who don’t comply, we’re all guilty of that abuse”.

I could not have written it better myself and to that point I have set out the entire article below as it is worth reading whatever country you happen to be living in – abuse is abuse the world over!

Irish Independent Newspaper

Men will only get equality in custody cases when women face some hard truths, by Lorraine Courtney – Irish Independent

The gatecrashing of the Rose of Tralee by a Fathers4Justice protester was a misguided way to go about making a point. That is not to say there are not real issues around fathers’ rights.

Unmarried and divorcing dads get a very bad deal in Ireland when it comes to traditional custody arrangements. Fathers go to court with the idea that their cases will be dealt with fairly but often find a legal system they claim doesn’t want them to be too involved in looking after their children. As a result, they too often come away with limited access rights.

We know this thanks to Dr Roisin O’Shea. The family law researcher observed 493 judicial separation and divorce cases in 2010, which are ordinarily held in private. But she couldn’t find a single case where the wife was ordered to pay maintenance for children or a spouse, and had only seen the courts order joint custody in two cases.

We know that in most cases after divorce, child custody is given to the mother. We know that even though men are given access rights, some exes flout these visiting rights, and the father goes back to court time after time. We also know that some fathers can’t afford to keep on fighting expensive legal battles and eventually become another sad statistic: one of the 40pc of fathers pushed out of their children’s lives .

Dr O’Shea is currently running the means-tested Family Mediation Project with Dr Sinead Conneely, a Waterford Institute of Technology law lecturer. It’s aimed at District Court level disputes between parents, and most of the cases that come to the project are active court cases in the South East region.

“In relation to unmarried fathers, the societal presumptions are still reflected in most court orders – that is, that the mother should be the primary carer and the father ends up with reasonably limited access to the child or children. An ‘every second weekend and one evening a week’ access order is still common,” she says.

The Child & Family Relationship Act 2015 was supposed to solve unilateral cessations of access and enforcement. “I am not seeing great awareness of the provisions of the Act. The primary reason fathers engaged in mediation in our pilot project was because they had little or no access to their children.

“This is a very old District Court dance of cross applications, money and parenting, all heard together – where I believe that parenting and the best interests of the child should be a standalone issue. The Convention of the Rights of a Child states that where a child wishes their views to be heard, the court, or indeed the mediator, is obliged to do so. Children should be able to speak directly to a judge, and again international research shows that where this happens it impacts on the outcomes. However, we currently have no mechanism for children to have those views heard in our courts.”

Fathers’ rights are a very important feminist issue. Getting men more involved in parenting is essential if women are to achieve full equality. As Gloria Steinem said: “Women are not going to be equal outside the home until men are equal in it.”

Women need to remember this when they break off relationships with their co-parent and stop him seeing his child.

If there is an unfair bias in our legal system towards female carers, it probably comes from stereotypes about women being family-oriented and men not being nurturing or caregiving enough. Tackling this stereotype would be good for everybody.

We still have a fairly ‘patriarchal’ judiciary. The number of female judges has almost tripled in the past two decades here but women still only make up 33pc. What nobody asks is what percentage of male judges have personal experience of sharing the responsibility of parenting.

Where a relationship breaks down because something horrible happened, it might be okay to try to shut off the father.

When you break up because your marriage has simply broken down the worst thing you can do to your child is to take their father away from them.

Our legal system doesn’t stop mothers behaving badly. While judges have the power to impose a prison sentence on mothers who persist in breaches of the orders they’ve imposed, judges know that it probably isn’t in the interests of the children to send the mother to prison for any time at all. So there just isn’t any incentive there for women to properly comply with court orders.

If you deprive children of their father, bitch about him, ignore him, that’s long-term emotional abuse. It is criminal behaviour and we need to get tough on it. Until we seek legal reform, transparency, and a user-centred legal system that actually punishes women who don’t comply, we’re all guilty of that abuse.


Posted in Campaigning, Cavan Rose Lisa Reilly, Child Abuse, Contact Denial, Equality, False Allegations, Family Breakdown, Family Courts, Family Law, Fathers 4 Justice, Fathers Rights, Fathers4Justice, Fathers4Justice International, Fathers4Justice Ireland, Matt O'Connor, Rose of Tralee, Secret Courts, Shared Parenting | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lisa Reilly and the Hypocrisy of the Rose Tralee

The Rose of Tralee International Festival

It is unlikely that unless you live in Ireland, or your overseas “Irish Mammy” has been brainwashing you from a young age that you could win the Rose of Tralee you will have no idea of what I am writing.

According to the publicity blurb “The Rose of Tralee International Festival is an event which is celebrated among Irish communities all over the world. The Festival, takes its inspiration from a 19th century ballard of the same name about a woman called Mary, who because of her beauty was called “The Rose of Tralee”. A story circulated in connection with the festival claims that the song was written by William Pembroke Mulchinock, out of love for Mary O’Connor, a poor catholic maid in service to his parents”.

The Statue in Tralee of William Pembroke Mulchinock and Mary O'Connor

According to the Rose of Tralee website http://www.roseoftralee.ie “The Rose of Tralee International Festival is one of Ireland’s largest and longest running festivals, celebrating 57 years in 2016. The heart of the festival is the selection of the Rose of Tralee which brings young women of Irish descent from around the world to County Kerry, Ireland for a global celebration of Irish culture.”

To many observers it’s nothing short of an outdated, sexist beauty pageant that is now simply a cash cow for RTE as the 2nd biggest TV programme of the year behind the RTE Toy Show.

This year, they claim, the Rose of Tralee was dragged into the modern era. Gone were many of the woe-is-me life stories as contestants tried to out-bid each other with family tragedies, as were the painful poetry recitals that made you want to reach for your stolen Aerlingus in-flight sick bag, IN were X-Factor style eliminations.

So how does the “competition/festival” work? Well that depends on who you speak to.

The Rose of Tralee are keen to stress that young women are selected from around the world and the winner is “the woman deemed to best match the attributes relayed in the Rose of Tralee song: “lovely and fair”. The winner is selected based on her personality and should be a good role model for the festival and for Ireland during her travels around the world.”

Nor is it a “beauty pageant”, there is no swimwear section for example, although personally I would have paid good money to see Rose TV “Host” Dáithí Ó Sé present in his budgie smugglers as it would have given the show kudos and intellect.

The festival bills itself as “celebration of the aspirations, ambitions, intellect, social responsibility and Irish heritage of modern young women” a claim that does not sit comfortably alongside the dumbed down entertainment style of the 2 live-broadcasts where the contestants “star turns” should really be kept to private family Christmas gatherings.

So on who’s shoulders does the weighty decision of choosing the “Winner” sit?

That decision is down to a panel of Judges who between them look like the they have the combined personality of an Irish family dinner table where the black sheep of the family has just walked in.

If the Rose of Tralee was so “modern” then why not use “modern” technology and let the public decide the winner? They do after all allow people to vote on the Eurovision Song Contest – what could possibly go wrong?

Lots actually – The public don’t get a vote because the Rose of Tralee is rigged. The “Winner” cannot possibly be left to the unsuspecting public, after all there is too much money and political capital at stake.

Yep, sadly, even the most innocent of ideas and “festivals” are nothing more than a politically stage managed event by the Governments mouthpiece RTE.

Rose of Tralee Contestants

As you sit in the Rose of Tralee “Dome” on Finals Night (it’s not a “Dome” BTW it is a big marquee) under a canopy of sparkling fairy lights designed to distract you from the scarily over-made up women who look straight out of central casting for “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” you wonder where all the innocence from the original song words has gone and what makes clearly educated, independent women fall for all this.

I spoke to one Rose’s Mother earlier who told me her daughter was taken aback by how seriously some of the girls took the contest and how some were beyond hysterical when they were not selected for the finals night. She said, “my daughter has not taken it too seriously and has just come along to meet new people and have a great experience”.

Rose of Tralee 2016 Winner

So to the actual “2016 Winner”. On Tuesday, Chicago Rose, Maggie McEldowney, was crowned the 2016 Rose of Tralee.

There is no need to remember this fact or her name, because as lovely as she is, no one ever remembers the names of the Winners of the Rose of Tralee. They certainly never remember the names of those who took part and lost.

The 2 nights of live “entertainment” on RTE, where the finalists parade is copycat nude heeled shoes and “Stars on Sunday” dresses to compete for the Crown is as fake as the nails and suntans on display.

The Winner you see has already been selected prior to the live shows so anyone who thinks the “performances” of the girls on these 2 night’s matter, is a fool.

The Winner is careful chosen for political, advertising and PR reasons. The bottom line is the show needs to generate money throughout the year and they need the right person to do that job.

It’s political because for Ireland this is also about ensuring the right “image” around the world and as we know, in Ireland it’s all about image and what the neighbours think.

In 2013 this farce was exposed when the Winners name was spotted already engraved on the silverware ahead of the live “finals”. RTE and the Rose Festival tried to claim this was a coincidence http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/tv-radio/thorny-issue-as-rose-of-tralees-name-appears-on-prize-two-days-before-final-29517172.html.

Maria Walsh 2014 Rose of Tralee

In 2014 Maria Walsh, the first openly LGBT Rose Candidate, who already had experience of working for RTE http://www.nkmanagement.ie/maria-walsh—biography.html, was crowned the Rose of Tralee. Sceptics pointed out how convenient it was that in the 12 months running up to Ireland’s Same Sex Marriage Referendum the Rose of Tralee was openly gay. Maria was wheeled out for the “Yes” Campaign and openly voiced her political views during her reigning year.

Sidney Rose Brianna Parkins

In 2016 the Sidney Rose Brianna Parkins used her 5 minutes of fame on the live TV show to say she wanted “to see a referendum on the Eighth coming up soon”.

The Chair of the Rose of Tralee judging panel Mary Kennedy was critical of the Sidney Rose, saying in the Independent that the festival was no place for political statements and that the Roses were A-Political.

Unfortunately, it appears the Head Judge had not received the “memo” from the Head of the Rose of Tralee Anthony O’Gara who said he was “delighted” that the Sidney Rose expressed this opinion. What a shame he was not so welcoming of other political view points as show organisers tried to censor the internet following to protest that ensued.

Head of the Rose of Tralee Anthony O’Gara

It would seem that the Rose of Tralee has lost its way over the years as a result of its conflicting political and TV allegiances and that the over-riding quality they are now promoting is “hypocrisy”.


So it seems only fitting then that this year’s Rose of Tralee saw the first ever “stage invasion” in the form of a traditional style protest by Fathers4Justice Founder Matt O’Connor to mark the launch of the Fathers4Justice campaign in Ireland.

Matt O'Connor with Poster before Rose of Tralee protest

If O’Connor had been campaigning for “Gay Fathers4Justice” you could be sure after his unscheduled appearance he would be the darling of RTE’s chat show circuit, but he was not so he won’t be. He was campaigning for regular dads and as such RTE’s political agenda has no room for people like him.

In fact, in the hours after he was savagely attacked on stage by RTE’s security staff, postings on YouTube showing this were removed, social media posts sanitised and “Roses” were clearly instructed to remove their own tweets and uploads.

So what of the people on stage that night with O’Connor?

Rose of Tralee Host Dáithí Ó Sé

Dáithí Ó Sé - family man, husband of former Rose of Tralee contestant, darling of day time TV fluff. He made a half-hearted attempt to push O’Connor but thought better of it given his carefully managed PR profile, or maybe he was just thinking about how long it was till he could get back home to the comfort of his own bed.

Surely the watchable, charming Dáithí, with his hypnotic Kerry accent and soft Irish twinkle yearns for a career with more intellectual weight?

The Late Terry Wogan was a former Rose of Tralee Host and his career was unquestionably one of the most successful in TV history and in many ways Dáithí has many of Wogan’s qualities, so how many times does this seemingly intelligent man have to set his hands on fire, jive, jig and painfully grin his way through another “star-turn” in the name of entertainment?

On the Rose of Tralee, Dáithí is more “dancing dog act” than “Ring Master” as the poor man suffers at the hands of ever contestant making a play for him, wiping invisible dust off his jacket, straightening his tie or asking him to wave to some elderly relative haplessly grinning in the audience.

Apart from the fact he married a former Rose Contestant his “Rose Career” has been safe and well managed. After this though he will go down in history as being the Rose of Tralee Host who came face to face with its first ever protestor in 57 years and I have no doubt he will dine out on that for many, many, years to come.

Cavan Rose Lisa Reilly

Which brings me to Cavan Rose Lisa Reilly - Lisa Reilly was the Contestant on stage talking to Dáithí at the time of the protest. With all due respect she had nothing profoundly ground-breaking to say to the audience save her boyfriend was an Army Cadet and he spent a lot of time away training – yep that’s the way it goes being a Forces Wife, get used to it.

Like most of the Roses in the competition, Lisa is a teacher. The festival conveniently takes place during the staggeringly long school holidays in Ireland which means begging your boss for time off is not a problem for most of its contestants.

Some have said it was unfair to have interrupted her “performance” on the night, but Lisa was never going to win, and unless she was suddenly about to exhibit her knife throwing skills on an unsuspecting Dáithí she would have left the stage blending in to obscurity with all the others.

Which brings me back to the official Winner, Chicago Rose, Maggie McEldowney.

As I said there is no need to remember her name. After the 12 months of Rose duties she too will fade into obscurity.

Lisa Reilly laughing her way through the protest

Lisa Reilly though will always be remembered as she laughed her way through the protest and carried on composed and clearly not upset. She said so to the press immediately after the event.

That was until the RTE and Rose of Tralee Press Office got hold of her and her messaged changed to that of victim status. Shame really as she was coming across so well prior to that.

The following day O’Connor sent Lisa a dozen pink roses to wish her luck ahead of the 2nd night of the competition. If the public were allowed to have a say, Lisa would have been the Rose of Tralee Winner that night, out of sympathy if nothing else.

Handled properly Lisa Reilly will out-star every single Rose of Tralee Winner from the last 57 years and in years to come because she was the girl on stage at the time of the protest and everyone will remember her and her name.

As publicity and exposure goes Lisa Reilly was without out doubt this year’s Rose of Tralee Winner – who needs a tiara, cut-glass crystal bowl and cutlery set when you have that kind of legacy to rise above the hypocrisy of it all.

Posted in Anthony O’Gara, Cavan Rose Lisa Reilly, Chicago Rose, Maggie McEldowney, Dáithí Ó Sé, Equality, Fathers 4 Justice, Fathers Rights, Fathers4Justice, Fathers4Justice Ireland, Lisa Reilly, Maria Walsh, Mary Kennedy, Matt O'Connor, RTE, Rose of Tralee, Sidney Rose Brianna Parkins, Terry Wogan, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Operation Scribe to investigate former Hants Chief Constable for Criminal Offences – what is the implication of this for others in Hampshire?

Former Hampshire Police Chief Constable Andy Marsh, now Chief Constable of Avon & Somerset

Last month the IPCC upheld an appeal into a complaint against former Chief Constable for Hampshire Constabulary, Andy Marsh. Andy Marsh is now the Chief Constable of Avon & Somerset Constabulary.

I understand from a Westminster contact, linked to the police investigation, that contrary to the claim by the Avon & Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner, the complaint was not suitable for local resolution. This was because the complaint was so serious, it could constitute criminal behaviour by the Chief Constable.

The IPCC instructed the PCC to record the complaint and ensure that a local investigation be carried out into the complaint by a separate police force. Put simply, the PCC for Avon & Somerset, Sue Mountstevens, was required to appoint a police officer to investigate the complaint, who was not under the direction or control of Chief Constable Andy Marsh.

I can reveal that the investigation into Andy Marsh is to be conducted by Essex Police and is called Operation Scribe.

Stanbridge Earls School the site of child abuse allegation

I have also had sight of an outline of the complaint and it includes the allegation that Chief Constable Andy Marsh set up Operation Flamborough to protect Hampshire Constabulary’s reputation along with other safeguarding agencies involved with Stanbridge Earls School and ‘the people of Romsey’. It is unclear why this highly irregular and unusual request was specified but may relate to the MP for Romsey and Southampton North, Caroline Nokes.

That Hampshire Police force allegedly used taxpayer’s money to protect its reputation rather than investigate allegations of rape is a matter of deep concern and public interest.

Caroline Nokes MP shared confidential information with Andy Marsh without consent of victims

It has been confirmed that Hampshire Constabulary shared highly sensitive and confidential information about victims and alleged abusers, with Caroline Nokes MP, without the consent of the victims.

It also appears Operation Oregon, or the IPCC, did not have sight of the confirmed terms of reference for Operation Flamborough,

This is a staggering allegation.

That the Chief Constable for Hampshire Police deliberately misled the investigating police force by providing a false and misleading terms of reference, suggests that the findings of Operation Oregon are now legally unsafe.

If it is proven that Essex Police were misled over the Operation Flamborough terms of reference, then it follows that Andy Marsh must have been fully aware that Operation Oregon’s findings were manifestly untrue.

Post Hillsborough, when the public have lost so much faith in the police, this is a troubling revelation. For those of us who have been on the receiving end of Hampshire Constabulary’s political policing however, these revelations simply confirm long-held suspicions about endemic corrupt practices at Hants Police and their links to senior political figures in Hampshire.

Simon Hayes - Former Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Was former Hampshire PCC Simon Hayes aware that his Chief Constable was misleading both the press and public along with another police force? Representatives of Simon Hayes sat on the Operation Flamborough Gold Team and Hayes publicly attacked those who dared to question the actions of Hampshire Constabulary in relation to Stanbridge Earls School. He may have lost his job earlier this year, but he is not immune from questioning or prosecution.

Likewise, Caroline Nokes MP. She held private briefings with Andy Marsh over Stanbridge Earls School and was tipped off by Hampshire Constabulary in order to brief the press against those campaigners trying to get to the truth.

Ms Nokes, whose role is at the epicentre of this scandal must also face a full investigation. Was the MP aware that Andy Marsh was misleading the public, press and Essex Police

Cllr Roy Perry, Leader of Hampshire County Council

Her father and leader of Hampshire County Council, Cllr Roy Perry, had officers sitting on the Gold Group along with the DfE, including notorious Hampshire Chief Exec (and former head of Children’s Services at the time of the child sex abuse scandal at Stanbridge Earls) John Coughlan.

These individuals must have been complicit in misleading Essex Police in an attempt to protect the reputation of both the police and Hampshire County Council.

The revelations also support long held allegations of an establishment cover-up at Stanbridge Earls school.

After the findings of Operation Oregon were published, Andy Marsh issued a press release criticising families of sex abuse victims for making a complaint against him. If he had willfully misled Operation Oregon, then this statement attacking those parents was not only a lie, but is morally reprehensible.

Such is the seriousness of the complaints against Andy Marsh, I understand from my Westminster source that Essex Police have been instructed to identify whether Andy Marsh has committed a criminal offence, and if so, they are to inform the Crown Prosecution Service immediately.

Ian Liddell-Grainger MP

It is astonishing given these revelations, that the Avon & Somerset PCC, Sue Mountstevens has not suspended her newly appointed Chief Constable, pending the outcome of what is now thought to become a criminal investigation. This call was made by Ian Liddell-Grainger MP in Parliament last week.

Perhaps Ms Mountstevens realises her own position is now untenable, having lost five Chief Constables during her tenure. It’s clear she appointed Andy Marsh without conducting any basic due diligence and disregarding entirely the fact his wife is the Assistant Chief Constable.

Despite the best endeavours of the ruling elite to cover up this nasty child abuse scandal, the tenacity of the victims and campaigners will ensure that those responsible will face justice, either now, or in the future.

Posted in Avon & Somerset Chief Constable, Avon & Somerset Constabulary, Caroline Nokes, Caroline Nokes MP, Chief Constable Andy Marsh, Child Abuse, Child Protection, Children's Services, Cllr Roy Perry, Conservative Party, False Allegations, Hampshire, Hampshire Constabulary, Hampshire County Council, Hampshire PCC Simon Hayes, Hampshire Safeguarding Children's Board, John Coughlan, Police & Crime Commissioner, Romsey, Romsey & Southampton North, Romsey Conservatives, Romsey Extra, Stanbridge Earls School | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments