Mick Wallace’s emotional outburst in the Dail today would have more validity if there weren’t questions about why he himself is there at all, given his tax record. Parliaments in other countries would have drummed him out. What was galling about the situation with Wallace is that the Irish authorities decided to jail another tax offender, the so-called Garlic man, for lesser tax offences than Deputy Wallace. But one sat in Mountjoy prison while the other sat in our parliament, making high minded declarations. Justice? I wrote this in the Irish Independent in December 2012, but the points about Wallace still apply, as they do about the brazen attitude of ex IRA developer, Tom McFeely.

How do the ex-IRA developers and tax cheat TD’s get away with it?

Nothing illustrates the desecration of our national flag and our Republican legacy more that the antics of property developer and ex-IRA man Tom McFeely. whose company has left 256 families homeless at Priory Hall. Bad enough that he was out trying to kill people as a paramilitary during the recent Troubles, in our name and allegedly for our country. But then he gets involved in the property game down here and ends up housing unsuspecting families in an appalling dangerous firetrap at Priory Hall, before making them homeless. But it gets worse. Confronted by a reporter as he watched TV and sipped vodkas in a pub, McFeely arrogantly dimissed the protests of those suffering families as a joke and said they were only marching for ‘a day out.’

Ignorant bluster, of course, but McFeely knows he can get away with it. Told that he could face a three-month jail sentence for failing to comply with an instalment order already made in relation to an unpaid debt, he said he didn’t care because he’d already spent 14 years in jail and was ‘not afraid of another day there.’ This was his ‘freedom fighter’ days when he was apparently sacrificing his livelihood for ‘the higher ideals of the Republic.’ What a joke. And what does it say about the recent maifestation of our patriotic militants that they could produce a character like this?. No wonder modern new-look Sinn Fein have been so embarassed about one of their brethern, just as they’ve been strangely quiet, and even confused, on the saga of the Quinns.Anxious to avoid treading on toes in key consituencies, they kept their traps shut. Which is a pity, because denunciation of the likes of McFeely is just what the ordinary people want to hear. The people who abide by the law and don’t misbuild firetrap apartments for struggling families.

But at a time when middle class people are struggling and TV actors are confessing to stealing food for their families, one wonders if its wroth obeying the law at all. Especially, if you are an ex-IRA developer or a celebrity TD like Mick Wallace. Tax cheat Wallace still sits inside our Dail chamber, taking our money, while the similarly offending ‘garlic man’, Paul Begley, is doing time inside Mountjoy, even though Begley is gulity of less tax evasion than Wallace. The Wexford TD evaded 2.1million while Begley is guilty of a 1.6 million fraud. So where’s the justice in that? Why isn’t Wallace in Mountjoy, along with Tom McFeely, instead of the latter sipping vodkas and insulting his victims? Truly, we have lost our moral compass. But it gets worse. Wallace is also claiming his the controversial leaders allowance of 41,152 as well as his salary and expenses. But where is the outage in Leinster House about his? Wallace came into the Dail promising he would break the mould of ‘government by an elite on behalf of a clique.’ It now sounds almost as much a joke as Tom McFeely fighting for a Republic and then shafting the ordinary people.