Independent Media Centre Ireland

Travel arrangements for members of the Green Party who may be travelling abroad on government duty

category galway | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Thursday March 11, 2010 11:26author by don mac namara - self

Troublesome response to a FOI request- interesting in light of Ms O Reilly's comment on Government grown too big to be accountable to electorate

A request to Green Party re travel arrangements for members has met with obfuscation and obscurantinism. Is this the party who espoused transparency , eschewed cronyism etc

I have been endeavoring to determine the travel arrangements for members of the Green Party who may be travelling abroad on government duty for St Patricks Day. I am interested to determine if any unnecessary travel is undertaken by that party's members, spouses, personal trainers or other ancillary staff.

I have tried local Govt. Information Services from whom I recd. a one line reply advising me to try the Green Party by was of FOI request
I have written a FOI request to
Senators Boyle , and O Brolochan and to Minister RYan and Mr Gormley. I have also written to the party HQ .
This last was the only one to reply who advised me that the Party HQ do not usually know which members are travelling where and that this is the prerogative of the relevant ministers. Again this was a throwaway way comment and treated as a nuisance .

Needless to say , I have indicated that I will pay in full for the costs of the verifiable expenses incurred in persuit oof a FOI request.Moreover I have suggested a variety means whereby I will make these funds available asaaap- Bank Draft, cheque , credit transfer etc.

I believe I am being subjected to that odious fallback position of totalarian regeimens ie ; that of stonewalling by obduracy , obfuscation and frank denial.

Ms O Reilly the Information Commissioner only in recent days has spoken of the abuse of power and the parliamentary system as it obtains in a parliamentary PARTICIPATORY democracy.

I am being denied this information ; information which might enable me to scrutinize the probity in government parties in the executing of their necessary duties with all due propriety .
We have seen many infractions of this abuse whereby a minister or agent of government has brought along his spouse or personal publicity manager or another at the taxpayer's expense .

Where can one find out about travel arrangements for all Green party members and their agents for St Patrick's day , where they are on government duty at the taxpayers expense .

Letter 1. to The Green Party;


29 Cois Cuain
Lower Salthill



For Attention of Liaison officer FOI requests Green Party Ireland

A Chara ,

I am writing to you for a second time regarding travel arrangements for Green party members on St Patrick’s day

I wish to determine by way of a FOI how many Green Party members , associates , secretaries, assistants ,managers and family members who will be travelling overseas ( anywhere abroad) for the conducting of official government duties for St Patrick’s day and any days connected with St Patrick day functions albeit these not occurring on St Patrick day.

I also wish to know what these duties will be and how much they will cost and precisely how they will benefit the state .Where a member of the travelling party is not elected by the general electorate, ( not a member of Seanad Eireann selected and elected by arrangement between parties,or a nominee of an Taoiseach ) be he /she acting in any capacity at any cost to the State I request to know who that party is , what function he /she carries out and how this function benifits the State .

I ask this of the Green party who sought to bring openness and transparency and an end to Gombeen politics and in this regard I would expect that the cost of retrieving this information should be proffered spontaneously and with minimum obfuscation ,and that the cost of the FOI request would be commensurately costed.

I will furnish any valid and verifiable costs ASAP. I will send these at the earliest opportunity by bank transfer, draft or cheque , which ever is the most expedient.

Please advise how I might most speedily pay these costs to you as time is of pressing importance as you choose to ignore my previous requests in this matter.

Le Meas

D. Mac Namara MB.. Bch B.A.O . Comdt - ( retd)

To which I recd the following reply

A Chara,

The Green Party head office has no involvement in the travel arrangements related to official Government duties. That is a matter for the Government Departments. Details of Ministerial visits are widely publicized every year. I you wish to get information by way of FoI, you will need to send such requests to the relevant Departments.


Colm Ó Caomhánaigh

General Secretary

Green Party / Comhaontas Glas

I have simply requested information regarding the travel arrangements for all Green party members and their agents for St Patrick's day , where they are on government duty at the taxpayers expense .
I have agreed to pay all costs under the FOI guidelines
I have been stonewalled , and subjected to obfuscation and obscurantism redolent of a totalitarian regimen.
This is a little too rich coming as it does from a party who espoused probity , and promised to extirpate cronyism in Irish politics.

Is this what the Green Party have really become - an add on to a hubristic Fianna Fail Party, intoxicated with untrammeled power.

What do the Green Party stand for at all. Were they in this game for the seats and cars and pensions they so reviled when others had them; the expenses ? the adulation?
Or simply the naked lust for power at all costs and at who ever's expense. They were elected by a democracy but have distained the practice of democracy in power.
Do they have any relevance whatever in Irish politics now.

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