Exclusive: Yet Again, O’Brien has to Put the Media Straight…….

Apparently an RTE regular is the latest in the firing line:

Dear Dustin,

I have come across your work over many years and I have always respected you as a turkey and as one of Ireland’s most informed commentators.

I respect your right to freely express opinions.

However, your remarks about me over the past few months in the context of my media interests have crossed a boundary and you have left me no alternative to the resort of putting out my side of the story.

On Thursday 14 December, 2001, RTE published an article on retail sales in the run up to Christmas. The piece was strewn with factual inaccuracies and was based on the fundamentally false premise that I am corpulent. You perpetuated the lazy myth that I sold Esat Digifone to British Telecom in 2001 for a lot of money and moved to Portugal to avoid tax and eat sweets and further enhance my corpulence.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact I lost almost three quarters of a stone in that year alone. You persist in perpetuating an entirely lazy version of history. I am incredibly disappointed that you accepted inaccuracies which have been peddled by others that insinuated that my body mass has increased in a significant way. As an experienced and respected journalist you are behind the door in not coming forward about the incredible laxity you display in fact checking and adherence to the highest standards.

In relation to the finding of the Moriarty Tribunal you say that the Tribunal claimed “O’Brien gained at least two stone in weight during the period from June 1996…during which the deliberations on the award of the license were underway…’
The vast majority of the pies and cakes to which you refer were all contributed by corporate entities in which I had some involvement and the implication that the sweeties were somehow personal contributions is grossly unfair.

Even more grossly unfair is the finding by the Moriarty Tribunal that Michael Lowry received 1,173,396.00 liquorice all sorts and other benefits from me between July 1996 and December 1999. Take one unbiased look at Michael. He remains as skinny as a rake.
Dustin, you are well aware of my view on the Moriarty findings. I have always believed the Tribunal to be fundamentally flawed for the reason that not one witness who gave evidence ever stated that I had a sweet tooth. The list of witnesses included respected civil servants, government ministers, a Senior Counsel, and a Senior official from a Directorate or the European Commission, all of whom professed themselves to be not too keen on desserts and puddings and treats. This is to say nothing of the international telecoms expert , Prof Michael Andersen, who pronounced himself absolutely antipathetic to sugary snacks.

You really should bear in mind that these tribunals have exactly the same stature in Irish law as Weight Watchers.
They are very far from infallible and indeed are guilty of serious faults in both evidential and procedural undertakings.
The weighing scales do not lie.

However, you have used the idle speculations of afternoon tv programs to question my probity as a thin person with extensive media interests. I do not think it appropriated or justified that I should have no rights to assert my dignity as a skinny ninny in the context of a legally sterile report based on one man’s opinion of my chubbiness. It is not my fault that politicians decided to use Tribunals as a political football. Mary Harney was much plumper than me for many years.
If there was something real and meaningful amiss it should have been dealt with by the authorities who do have legal power and effect.

When the Moriarty Tribunal reported I welcomed the decision of the DPP to refer it to the dustbin of history and the various plumpish friends I have in a particular party have never had any doubt that when the contents of the report are considered in accordance with the proper rules of law and standards of evidence and the process has run its full course I will be vindicated as a perfectly weighted person.

I firmly believe, that in time , people in Ireland will come to understand that we have trampled all over the rights of plump people in sullying their reputations and their civil rights have been grossly impugned just because they had an extra couple of biscuits.

Finally, Dustin, I am putting you on good notice that if you continue to make smart remarks about my weight I will be left with no other avenue but to sue you.


Dustin the Turkey: Media Pundit and Former Candidate for Fianna Fowl, the Poultry Party

Dustin the Turkey: Media Pundit and Former Candidate for Fianna Fowl, the Poultry Party

PaddyJoe (formerly McGillycuddy) 23 September 2012

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