Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Ireland Minister brags about wooing his brother's client to create jobs in his constituency

3/6 Update: "When what’s left of Labour sit around a very small table they must ask themselves how a party of conscience became a political condom," Irish Mirror columnist Pat Flanagan writes. "After being reduced to just seven seats they might also ponder how they allowed 104 years of working-class history be washed away by the monster they created, namely Irish Water." Flanagan also claims that former Labour Environment Minister Alan Kelly "barely keeping" his seat in the other week's election is viewed as a "catastrophe" - since he was the public face behind the privatization of water and it's "on the way out" - and that "a high-ranking party official" called him as "toxic as plutonium."

2/28 Ireland Election Update: "Labour Party's deputy leader has narrowly retained his seat in Tipperary"; "Labour deputy leader Alan Kelly was the gift that kept on giving for the Twitterati as they gleefully mocked his very, very vigorous election victory celebration"; "While he was clearly happy in the extreme, one Twitter user, Veronica Walsh, noticed a striking similarity between Mr Kelly's face and the character 'Anger' from the 'Inside Out' Pixar movie"; "With veins protruding from his neck, and his face bright red, he stabbed the air ferociously with his fists." (Editor's Note: I couldn't resist having a little fun, since Kelly reminded me of Marvel Comics character Red Hulk, so I added some silly pictures to my Twitter profile at @ronbryn.)

In a few days, Labour Environment Minister Alan Kelly will find out if the privatization of Irish water, his brother, and his own "braggadacio" will stop his meteoric rise in Ireland politics.

An Irish journalist overheard Alan Kelly tell his "spin doctor" that the characters on the hit Netflix show, "House of Cards" (Season 4 is set to air a week after the Ireland elections) "have nothing on the pair." On the streaming show, Emmy winner Kevin Spacey's Frank Underwood commits murder twice after getting spurned by the US president despite helping to get him elected. Clearly drawing from Shakespeare's Macbeth, Underwood often delivers soliloquies to the audience and plots with his wife to get his revenge on political enemies in order to sneak his way into the presidency.

In response to the article, a few weeks ago, a Reddit contributor jokingly wrote, "Alan Kelly has a new election poster.......", and linked to a photo-shopped mash-up picture of Minister Kelly's face on Kevin Spacey's body, as shown above.

According to Mark Kelly of The Irish Times, "There is a new economic bubble forming, and it appears to be morphing into Alan Kelly’s head. The Minister for the Environment, who could teach Italians a thing or two about braggadocio, released an especially vainglorious email on Wednesday after First Data announced 300 new jobs for Nenagh, in his electoral heartland. You see, it was Alan wot won it."

"The jobs are undoubtedly hugely welcome in Nenagh and Kelly clearly played an important role," Mark Kelly added. "Interestingly, First Data is a client of Teneo, the consultancy founded by Kelly’s brother, Declan."

Donal O'Donovan and Niall O'Connor reported for Ireland's Independent on January 21, 2016 - in an article titled "300 jobs created in Nenagh after lobbying from Kelly" - that "[t]he new R&D centre in Nenagh will be the company's first Irish location outside of Dublin. Hiring will start later this year ahead of the facility's opening in 2017."
"However, it has emerged that the company had initially considered increasing its investment in Dublin, where the company is already based, but opted for Tipperary following a meeting with Environment Minister Alan Kelly last year.

Following discussions with Mr Kelly, the company decided to locate its new research centre in the minister's constituency.

It is understood Mr Kelly personally flew to New York on three occasions to meet company executives.

The decision to openly lobby the company to set-up in Tipperary will further add to claims that the Labour Party deputy leader prioritises his own constituency above his ministerial role.
In its press release, First Data quoted Alan Kelly: "I’m absolutely thrilled that First Data are establishing a research and development centre in Nenagh. This is a huge endorsement of the local area and local economy by a major multi-national. I first met with First Data in January of last year in New York and having made the connection with IDA, accompanied them on their many inspections of the facilities in Nenagh and met with them in both New York and Nenagh. I am delighted, having worked with both the IDA and indeed Tipperary County Council, that they have decided to establish a new facility and bring 300 jobs to Nenagh. As the local Minister, I have worked night and day over the last twelve months to ensure that First Data chose both Nenagh and Tipperary as the place to establish their research centre.”

At his blog, Kelly added an additional "I'm absolutely thrilled this day has come," to the press release blurb then added, "I want to thank the IDA, Joe MacGrath, Marcus O'Connor, Brian Beck & all those involved with Tipperary Co Co, all the locals who met First Data on the many occasions they visited Nenagh with me. I want to thank all my own staff for working on this project. They can all now finally talk about it with everyone! Finally I want to thank Dermot Gleeson who has worked with me on this from day one and without whose support, time & work I wouldn't have been able to deliver this."

"Delivering jobs like this in First Data and the Silvemines Hydro Project is the reason I entered politics," he hyperventilated in his conclusion. "Thrilled"

Kelly made no mention of his brother, but Teneo's headquarters are in New York, so it's possible that some of the meetings might have taken place there. There doesn't seem to be any pictures on the Internet showing the Kelly brothers posing together (Editor's Note: Any readers who have found one, please send it to me).

In a somewhat bizarre interview comparing himself to the fictional, corrupt, murdering US President Frank Underwood, portrayed by Emmy winner Kevin Spacey, on the Netflix show based on a UK miniseries "House of Cards", Kelly told The Independent's Niamh Horan, in a story published on January 26: "Anybody who says that power isn’t attractive is telling you a lie. Of course it is. It’s obviously a drug. It’s attractive. It’s something you thrive on. It suits some people. It doesn’t suit others. I think it suits me."

"Before we sit down I hear Kelly joke with his spin doctor that the show’s characters have nothing on the pair," Horan reported, who adds that he's referred to as "Labour’s secret weapon —nicknamed the 'AK47'."

Alan Kelly has drawn a lot of heat from Irish Water protesters, and some suggest that Teneo may somehow be linked to the controversy. Billionaire Denis O'Brien, who is friends with both former President Bill Clinton and Declan Kelly, has also been blasted for owning a related firm called Siteserv, that controls the water meters.

Even though many activists may disagree, "Labour Environment Minister Alan Kelly has said water charges are not a major issue with the voting public, and claimed people were far more concerned with employment," Ireland's Breaking News reported earlier this month. "The Environment Minister dismissed calls for Irish Water to be disbanded and the function returned to local councils."

On May 30, 2015, Michael Kelly in Ireland's Village Magazine, reported that Allen Kelly's "campaigns were slick and well-funded, infused with energy and resources from his high-flying US-politico-PR consultant older brother, Declan, who donated a total of €7,500 in 2010, personally and through companies."

The Irish Examiner reported on July 5, 2014, "Declan, and a company co-owned by him, donated a total of €7,500 in 2010 to help elect the north Tipperary politician to Dáil Éireann. This included a declaration from Mr Kelly that his brother, from his address in New York, donated €2,480. A company jointly owned by Mr Kelly, Stone Park Taverns, also gave the new TD €2,500. Accounts for the same company show that, on top of that, it made a €2,500 payment to “North Tipperary Labour Party”."

Another Teneo co-founder and Hillary Clinton bundler, Paul Keary, also donated €2,500 to Alan Kelly, that year.

In 2014, Declan Kelly gave €1,000, each, to his brother and Labour Party Tipperary from his address in Castletown, Portroe, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary.

Months before he was officially tapped by Hillary Clinton to his envoy position, Declan Kelly and Paul Keary were guest speakers at "a major think tank conference", that was "arranged by Alan Kelly on March 25, 2009: "Senator Kelly has managed to secure of some of Ireland’s leading business and sporting brains to speak about stimulating jobs growth and business in the Mid-West."

"Do you remember when a million dollars used to be a lot of money?" multi-millionaire Declan Kelly rhetorically asked at the News Ideas conference, then said the same about $10 million, $100 million, billions, and trillions referring to money spent by Irish businesses. Kelly bragged, later, that he was "fortunate enough to be invited to the White House" by President Barack Obama, a week earlier. He said "shame on us" if they don't "take advantage" of the economic opportunities presented by the close relationship Ireland had with the United States.

A video of Paul Keary speaking at the same conference can be viewed at this link.

There's not much time left for Alan Kelly to throw any reporters in front of a train, like the ruthless lead character in "House of Cards" did in the startling first episode of season two.

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