There have been a lot of angry voices (almost all of them Fianna Fail) on the air since the putative demise of John O’Donoghue. Now Harry McGee has seen a memo which throws some detailed light on Eamon Gilmore’s manoeuvring before opening the trapdoor under Mr O’Donoghue the other day… What’s remarkable about it is that this “internal memo prepared for Government” contains confidential details of what passed in two telephone conversations between the Ceann Comhairle and the Leader of the Labour Party. Here’s the guts of the memo from Harry’s article:
“He informed [Gilmore] that he had just then received in his office a notice from Sinn Féin of a motion calling on the Ceann Comhairle to resign.
The memo states that Gilmore said he would think about what O’Donoghue had said and would phone back. Shortly after that Gilmore did come back and said he had spoken with a number of people. According to the memo,“The Ceann Comhairle also assured Deputy Gilmore that the reports in the [ media] were in several respects inaccurate and misleading. He then requested that rather than do anything precipitous, that he would afford the Ceann Comhairle the opportunity of putting his case before the Oireachtas Commission the following evening.”The memo says O’Donoghue asked again for an opportunity to put his case to the commission. “he did not think that O’Donoghue would survive - that “it was not looking good”. States the memo: “The Ceann Comhairle reiterated, with greater emphasis, that the press coverage of his information released . . . was in many respects incorrect and misleading.”“He said that he was merely asking for natural justice and the right to be heard in his own defence.He pointed out that he was not asking for any special favour and was only asking for the same respect and rights as would be afforded to any citizen under the Constitution.
“Deputy Gilmore said that he would ‘chew on it’ and that he would ring back. The conversation then ended. There were no further telephone calls,” it concludes.
Labour yesterday confirmed that there had been two conversations, the first of which had been initiated by O’Donoghue. However, the party said the content of the conversations were private, other than letting it be known that Gilmore left him in no doubt about his views but did not go into tactics.
read the full piece Slugger O'Toole