Saturday, February 12, 2011

John McGuirk , Libertas, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael.. refuge candidtate for Cavan Moneghan. 2007 article The Phoenix.

John McGuirk has been in a few political parties, The Fianna fail, The Fine Gael, The Libertas, he has rumoured associations with the PDs, and the Freedom Institute and helped the Greens too. What a man! he is running for office in Ireland ....
What need have we of egomaniac, hard Christian, hard neo-con, and hard Reaganomic candidates? He has helped parties and attacked them what of the people he has helped ?Anyone? Has he helped a single soul on the island of Ireland ?

18 THE PHOENIX April 20, 2007

John McGuirk
Serial political party animal John McGuirk (23), whose bid for the top job in USI came crashing down at the organisation’s national congress this month, seems to be running out of options. His reputation within Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael is in tatters, while his attempts to
forge a career in student politics has failed in both Trinity and nationally. McGuirk, a former member of right-wing think-tank the Freedom Institute who now provides election advice for a Green Party Dáil candidate, has made a career of flip-flopping, changing course, and causing havoc wherever he goes. But where does he go next?

Controversy has dogged the young Monaghan man since his entry into student politics in 2001, when he joined the Wolfe Tone Cumann of Fianna Fáil in Trinity. In his first year in college he became National Policy Co-ordinator for Ogra Fianna Fáil, a weighty- sounding position with no real power.
Nevertheless, McGuirk managed to generate some trouble with one of his first proposals as Policy Co-ordinator. His planned sexual health campaign was initially welcomed warmly by his fellow young FFers when proposed in May 2003. However, Ogra began to fret about a potential backlash from the party’s association with one particular brand of condom, the potential alienation of the more conservative members of the party, and the memory of a USI campaign in which the provision of, em, ‘fisting’ gloves caused some alarm.
In June, McGuirk produced a letter, written to him by the Fianna Fáil National Youth Officer, Sinead Ní Mhaille, in which she gave him the go-ahead for the campaign, claiming that the Taoiseach was considering implementing it as part of Fianna Fáil national policy, which would have been quite a coup for young McGuirk. Unusually, minutes of a National Youth Committee meeting held in July record that the sexual health campaign was still being discussed as a ‘proposal’. Moreover, Fianna Fáil, Ní Mhaille, and Ogra chairman Michael Moynihan all claimed that the letter was forged, while McGuirk insisted the letter was genuine. Chaos ensued within the party, with both the senior party and the youth wing made to look like rank amateurs. The exact provenance of the letter - and whether it was a forgery or not - was never established, but the sexual health campaign was very quickly shelved (see The Phoenix, 29/08/03).
It wasn’t the last bit of excitement that McGuirk would be involved in during his time in Fianna Fáil, though. In August 2003, a series of anonymous emails from someone called ‘FF Insider’ began to do the rounds. The emails, which were addressed to Goldhawk, were also being copied to other Ogra members, and contained various titbits of information about the rather mundane machinations of student politicians, with the implied threat that The Phoenix was about to write a story on these matters. The emails caught the attention of bigwigs in Fianna Fáil’s Mount Street HQ and after an investigation McGuirk was singled out as number one suspect. After a fraught interview at HQ, during which he maintained his silence, he resigned his position as Policy Co-ordinator. McGuirk claims to this day that he resigned from his position on principle because of racist remarks made by a fellow Ogra member, though he must have been aware that his reputation within the organisation was shot.
Although McGuirk was not actually forced to resign from Fianna Fáil he walked straight
out and joined Fine Gael. In a neat piece of political bigamy, he continued to attend party functions held by Fianna Fáil’s Wolfe Tone Cumann in Trinity, and when Fianna Fáil learned of this, he was struck off their membership rolls.
McGuirk then got busy causing havoc in the Trinity History Society where, in January 2004, he began an anonymous email campaign under the moniker ‘Concerned Histie’, in which he made allegations of sexual harassment against another member. The emails were eventually traced back to McGuirk and he was forced to send a grovelling apology to the membership of the Hist, whereupon the
John McGuirk
whole matter was swept under the carpet. However, in February 2006, with McGuirk’s campaign for the presidency of Trinity Students’ Union in full swing, rumours about the anonymous emails surfaced again. With a number of variations on the story doing the rounds, the Hist auditor, Cathal McCann, sent an email to the society’s members - about 1,000 people - clarifying the story and McGuirk’s role in it. The email found its way onto a Trinity College internet message board, where it was snapped up by Trinity News, becoming the cause celebre of the campaign. With only days to go before polling, McGuirk’s bid was scuppered, and he picked up around 300 votes, coming third of three candidates.
But, hungry for a position - any position - he shook off the disappointment and two weeks later ran for Eastern Area Officer of USI. Not exactly a prestige post, McGuirk was unopposed and duly elected. So, with one title to his name he went seeking more and by October 2006 had managed to inveigle his way into Young Fine Gael’s Dublin Regional Council (DRC), where he ran for the position of Treasurer in YFG. Though he was defeated, his buddy Georgina Robinson, the chair of YFG, put him forward for the office of PRO, and he was voted through. Yet again, it wasn’t long before McGuirk ruffled a few of his colleagues’ feathers.
In December 2006, he emailed his fellow members of Young Fine Gael’s Dublin
Regional Council regarding YFG’s equality and disability officer, Brendan Searson. McGuirk claimed that, on Searson’s page on social networking site Bebo, there was an embarrassing juxtaposition of Young Fine Gael material and material of a sexual nature. McGuirk claimed that this was potentially embarrassing to YFG and the senior party, and in the email (which, interestingly, was sent from his USI rather than his YFG email address) he demanded action. To ensure that action was taken rapidly, he claimed that he’d been notified by “his friend in the Phoenix” about the content of Searson’s site, and said that he was “relatively hopeful that such a story will not appear in Phoenix magazine, at least, in the immediate future, provided that immediate action is taken”. Unfortunately for the duped members of the DRC, Goldhawk had never actually contacted McGuirk about this little kerfuffle and certainly never published a story on it. Nevertheless, the ruse worked and Searson resigned from his position.
McGuirk couldn’t have known, though, that his own exit from the DRC was imminent. In January 2007 he issued a press release, again from his USI email address, on behalf of Robinson in which he criticised Enda Kenny’s position on Crumlin Children’s Hospital. When he was called into a meeting of the DRC to explain himself, he claimed that he’d been given the all-clear by the DRC to do so. The bitter row led to his resignation from the position, but not from the party (See The Phoenix, 22/03/07).
Nevertheless, the news of the manner of his departure from the DRC can’t have done his recent bid for the USI presidency any good. By all accounts, McGuirk had run a solid campaign: his manifesto, at any rate, showed an impressive array of goals and ambitions, and a masterful ability to, well, massage the truth a little. Amongst other things, he claimed to have been on the board of the Monaghan Youth Federation (he helped found a youth club for the MYF, but never actually served on the board) and that he was on the board of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (he was only ever a member). Though these could be passed off as harmless CV fibs, they sit alongside McGuirk’s claim that he was “a registered member, but holds no position in, the Fine Gael Party”. Unfortunately, when the manifesto was written, he was PRO of the Dublin Regional Council of Young Fine Gael.
In spite of all this, at least two Dáil candidates seem to be oblivious to McGuirk’s chequered past. The Monaghan boy has been spotted lately driving around in a van bedecked in the colours of Dublin South East FG candidate Lucinda Creighton, while he has been assisting the Green Party’s Mark Deary on polling matters in Louth as well. Goldhawk certainly hopes that McGuirk’s talent for self- implosion doesn’t affect either of these candidates this summer.

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