Maman Poulet | Clucking away crookedly through media, politics and life

Oireachtas Envelopes and Campaign Tactics

May 7th, 2009 · 6 Comments · Uncategorized

I received a letter last week in an Seanad Envelope.

Being one of the over privileged voters on the Dublin University Electoral Register I thought maybe on the the Senators – David, Shane or Ivana were communicating with me about something (haven’t heard a word from any of them since they were elected!)

However what I received was a letter from David Geary – Green party candidate in the forthcoming local elections and also candidate in the Dublin Central by-election.

At the top of the letter was a picture of David Geary – North Inner City Representative and a picture of Senator Deirdre de Búrca which also stated that she was the Dublin  European Parliament Candidate.

The letter is dated April 27th – this is important and I will return to it shortly!

Re: Management Companies for Apartment Blocks

Dear Suzy

My name is David Geary and I am you local Green Party representative.

I am currently lobbying the Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, to regulate management companies in order to ensure that management fees are set at a fair rate and that those paying them are informed exactly what the fees are being used for.

There is currently no legislation to ensure that Mangement Companies are regulated by the state or by Local Authorities. This situation must change.

Do not hesitate to contact me or Senator de Búrca if you would like any further information on the above or any other local issue.

Yours Sincerely,

David Geary

David’s address and contact details including his website

Now I have received letters in the past from people who are not TD’s or Senators where the letters have said that the post was compliments of someone in Leinster House.

However I have been reading a regular section of Miriam Lord’s column on Saturday in the Irish Times called Envelope Watch.  Since the beginning of April the Standards in Public Office have reminded members of the Oireachtas that they are not permitted to allow Oireachtas envelopes to be used in such a manner.

Now some TD’s and Senators have written letters of endorsement of local election candidates in order to try to get round the ruling from SIPO but in this case there was no such effort. Although there was a mention of the Senator but the letter was signed by and contained the contact address of the non Oireachtas member – David Geary.

The Code of Conduct for Office holders states

Section 2.2.3 of the Code refers to the fact that office holders “are provided with facilities at public expense in order that public business may be conducted effectively“. The section goes on to say that “use of these facilities should be in accordance with this principle“. Section 2.2.3 further states that “official facilities should be used only for official purposes” and that “office holders should ensure that their use of officially provided facilities are designed to give the public value for money and to avoid any abuse of the privileges which, undoubtedly, are attached to office“.

The letter I received was surely a breach?


As the Green Party are probably going to be reading this can I offer them another word of unasked for advice? Ignore Patricia McKenna, it’s not the only way Senator De Búrca is going to get coverage is it?

It unbecomes her to appear so patronising of another candidate no matter what the history is – it’s a tactic that members of your party engaged in when the councillors left in recent months – appearing catty, petty and demeaning is a poor reflection of the status of a party that’s in government.  We know there is no love lost between ye – you don’t need to keep demonstrating it! (You can hear the appearance of both candidates on The Last Word over on

There I was thinking it would be Deirdre versus Mary Lou or Caroline that the press would try to paint as the cat fight but I fear Senator De Búrca has walked herself right into it.   It’s not as if Patricia McKenna would have the organisation or resources to be a threat to the candidacy.  This debacle comes a week after the Mairead McGuinness press release. One wonders did someone study the Avril vs. Mairead campaign from 5 years ago and think it was time for a carbonish copy?  Pick on an opponent no matter where they are standing and go for her? There’s recycling for you!

Surely this in not WhatIStandfor is all about?



6 Comments so far