Willie’s Role in the O’Dea Downfall – One Massive Own Goal.

Willie O’Dea TD is a bright intelligent combative legally trained politician. His columns in the Sunday Independent convey his acute grasp of realities and recent history. He is a Fianna Fail attack hound but that is irrelevant other than in further demonstrating his exceptional agility in conceptual and verbal reasoning which is impressive. . That is the context in which I assess his claims in the Limerick Chronicle/Maurice Quinlivan sworn affidavit affair.

  • On March 10th 2009, the Limerick Chronicle published comments by Willie ’Dea following an interview by reporter Mike Dwane. Apparently, Mr O’Dea had six people doing constituency work for him paid out of the public purse. He did not like been reminded of that by anyone including Mr Quinlivan.
  • O’Dea was reported as saying “I suppose I am going a bit far when I say his, but I would like to ask Mr Quinlivan is the brothel still closed,”

Mr Quinlivan brought an action against Mr O’Dea and in an affidavit sworn on April 14th, Mr O’Dea stated that “I most categorically and emphatically deny that I said to Mr Dwane that the plaintiff was the owner of said apartment”

However Mr Dwane had a recording of the interview and in it Mr O’Dea said “Do you know the brothel they found in his name and in his brother’s name down in Clancy Strand? There was a house owned by him that was rented out and they found two ladies of the night operating in there in the last couple of weeks”.

  • When this recording was produced, Mr O’Dea withdrew the affidavit.

Minister O’Dea said “I was mistaken in my memory of the details in my original statement. It was a genuine omission based on my flawed recollection of an interview. This was accepted in the settlement between all sides agreed in court. All fair-minded people would have seen this as an end to the matter.”

From the Irish Times of 17th February 2010, Mr O’Dea told the Dáil he had made a “genuine and honest mistake” in failing to recall remarks he had made about Sinn Féin local election candidate Maurice Quinlivan. He later saw a transcript of the interview in which he had gone further than what had been quoted in a Limerick newspaper. “Having seen the transcript, I took the initiative. I went to my solicitor and immediately corrected my affidavit. I was not forced or pressed to do this. I did so of my own volition as I then knew that my original affidavit was wrong,” he said.

Bill’s comment – It is laughable that O’Dea claims some kind of credit for correcting his affidavit. When you are caught fully taped in a recording – denial may have lead to other changes being proffered. In these circumstances, a five week gap from interview to Affidavit is quite small and the emphatic nature of the wording in his sworn statement does not leave a lot of room for doubt.

A motion of confidence in Mr O’Dea was approved by 80 to 69 in Dail Eireann. Shameful! The party of CJ Haughey, Liam Lawlor, Bertie Ahern, Ray Burke, Class Act Flynn is unchanged. The only new event is their assimilation of the Green Party TDs. At least Senator Dan Boyle retains his dignity by demurring.

Question- Is Mr Willie O’Dea a fit person to be in a ministerial position in these circumstances. Answer – No