Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Bill 2015: First Stage
Deputy Catherine Murphy: Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy I move:

That leave be granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to amend the Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Act 1993 in order to make an addition to the First Schedule, to expand the areas under which an examination under section 9 may be conducted, and to provide for related matters.
The Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Bill 2015 seeks to extend the functions and powers of the Comptroller and Auditor General to cover IBRC. It was the Taoiseach who first suggested that the Comptroller and Auditor General review the Siteserv sale process at which time it was pointed out to him that the IBRC does not come within the Comptroller and Auditor General’s remit. With this Bill, I am attempting to address that problem by broadening the remit of the Comptroller and Auditor General. The reason I anticipate the need to involve the Comptroller and Auditor General, if not a full commission of investigation which might well be a better option, is because I believe the Government has got this matter badly wrong. That is not least because most of the key players in the Siteserv saga have links with KPMG and the eventual purchaser and vice versa. It is a web of connections and conflicts that requires outside eyes to unravel.

I have no doubt that the special liquidator is more than capable of carrying out such a review, but his direct involvement in the sale process, his relationship with the eventual purchaser of Siteserv and his current actions in the High Court in supporting Mr. Denis O’Brien against RTE place him in a position where there is, at the very least, a perceived if not an actual conflict of interest. The review is not confined to Siteserv, but that is the transaction that prompted a review. I worry about the transactions that have been excluded from the review given what we now know that in the final months before prom night, the relationship between the Department and IBRC had completely broken down. If deals were being done without the knowledge or input of the Minister, we need to know what they were. We are now aware, for example, that the former CEO of IBRC made verbal agreements with Denis O’Brien to allow him to extend the terms of his already expired loans. We also know that the verbal agreement was never escalated to the credit committee for approval. I am led to believe and I would welcome, Minister, clarification of the rates applicable at this time: that the extension also attracted some extremely favourable interest terms. I understand that Mr. O’Brien was enjoying a rate of around 1.25% when IBRC could, and arguably should, have been charging 7.5%. Given that we are talking about outstanding sums of upwards of €500 million, the interest rate applied is not an insignificant issue for the public interest. We also know that Denis O’Brien felt confident enough in his dealings with IBRC that he could write to Kieran Wallace, the special liquidator, to demand that the same favourable terms extended to him by way of a verbal agreement could be continued. We now have Kieran Wallace, who has been appointed by the Government to conduct the IBRC review, joining with IBRC and Denis O’Brien in the High Court to seek to injunct the information I have outlined from coming into the public domain. Surely, that alone represents a conflict.

In documents released to me under freedom of information, the Minister, his officials, the Central Bank and even the troika acknowledge that IBRC – the former Anglo Irish Bank – is no ordinary bank and that there is a significant public interest as the bank was fully nationalised and was in wind-down mode. They all accept that this is the people’s money we are dealing with and that there can be no dispute regarding the public interest in this. The same materials obtained under freedom of information detail instances where the Minister can specifically intervene and issue a ministerial order that material matters have a significant public interest. Included in these material matters are instances that are outside the ordinary course of business. I argue that what I have outlined here regarding verbal deals and extensions etc. are outside the normal course of business and ask the Minister to exercise his right to intervene in the current proceedings to defend the public interest.

I have a motion on the Order Paper signed by the majority of Opposition Members calling for a debate on the proposed review – 45 Members have signed it and more are welcome to. When I tried to raise the matter on the Order of Business, I was silenced and told to take it up with my Whip. I am the Whip of the Technical Group and I did raise it at the weekly Whips’ meeting. The Government Chief Whip told me that the Government would not be altering the KPMG review and that it would not provide time to debate this issue. He suggested that we use Private Members’ time. This is not just an Opposition issue; it is an issue for the whole House. It is an issue of serious public concern involving public money. If the Minister opposite, Deputy Paschal Donohoe, got his hands on an extra €20 million, he would not have to think too hard about how to spend it. I urge the Government to reconsider this matter and to give the Bill and the motion the time they deserve. It is in the public interest to do so.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt Is the Bill opposed?

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe No.

Question put and agreed to.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt Since this is a Private Members’ Bill, Second Stage must, under Standing Orders, be taken in Private Members’ time.

Deputy Catherine Murphy: Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy I move: “That the Bill be taken in Private Members’ time.”

Question put and agreed to.

I’m learning golang 😀

I wanted to be able to send commands over ssh without spinning up another ssh connection.

The idea is there is a ssh connection established, when I want to run a command the runcommand function creates a new session and runs the command.

//TODO make it work with ssh keys, that shouldn’t be that hard.


package main

import (
        "fmt"
        "golang.org/x/crypto/ssh"
)

func main() {
        config := &ssh.ClientConfig{
                User: "Password",
                Auth: []ssh.AuthMethod{
                        ssh.Password("Password"),
                },
        }
        client, err := ssh.Dial("tcp", "Hostname", config)
        if err != nil {
                fmt.Println("Failed to dial: " + err.Error())
                return
        }
        uptime, err := runcommand(client, "/usr/bin/uptime")
        if err != nil {
                fmt.Println("ERROR: " + err.Error())
                return
        }
        fmt.Println(string(uptime))
        result, err := runcommand(client, "/usr/bin/free")
        if err != nil {
                fmt.Println("ERROR: " + err.Error())
                return
        }

        fmt.Println(string(result))
        defer client.Close()
}

func runcommand(c *ssh.Client, d string) ([]byte, error) {
        session, err := c.NewSession()
        if err != nil {
                return nil, err
        }
        defer session.Close()
        return session.CombinedOutput(d)
}


I worked in Amazon for 3 years in the Data-centre role, In that time I worked different things trying to work my way up, I took opportunity I worked on things that are still used today in Amazon. I was still in the same position level 4 , I truly believe I was not allowed to progress, a military team would be “stop loss”, as we were always short or people.

Today it was announced that there are 300 new jobs in Amazon:

http://www.idaireland.com/newsroom/amazon-opens-300-new-jobs/

I was  a loyal employee and I did my best in the job, trying to improve things as I saw them, but in the end I ended up moving from Amazon as the internal the career path is not clearly defined and not cared about. I worked in the Data Centre on shift 12 hours on 12 hours off, 3/4 days a week, I commuted. In the 3 years I was at Amazon I was only in the head office a handful of times. Making connections within a company is hard when you are stuck in the Data Centre and have no opportunity to grow except on your own back with no help from management, It was all about the numbers(insider joke).

I had to leave Amazon to get promoted, I now work in Groupon in a totally different position where I feel I can actually contribute to the company.

I hope that the 300 new employees will have a better time of it than I did and I wish the all the best.

Please check out savekilkenny.com it has all the information regarding the new Central access scheme.

 

I rang a few Councilors on Sunday to ask them to reconsider the Kilkenny Central Access scheme ,I asked nicely if they would have time to talk about the Central Access Scheme, Mary Hilda Cavanagh shouted for about 2 minutes and hung up the phone, to say the least I was not impressed.

Patrick Millea and I talk for about 50 minutes about Kilkenny,tourism,traffic and CAS. I listened to his arguments and he listened to me. I wasn’t expecting to talk a long but he’s a really nice guy, but still for the CAS.

I then skipped a few people and rang Andrew McGuinness, He was actually in a queue in a shop when he took the phone call, I asked if he had time to talk about the Central Access scheme(CAS). I stated I was apposed to the CAS and why I thought it was bad for Kilkenny and Tourism in Kilkenny to have a massive concrete structure in the center of town that will be viewable for the Castle…. He listened and then listed the counter arguments 500 new jobs for the town, from some Developer that will only build if there is access to the mart site. I asked about the 2 Houses that will be knocked down as a result, and the increased traffic. Said it was done above board and without bias. I think got cut off at this stage as he line went dead…..

To be continued…..

I’m not sure that hind sight will be a good thing in 5 years time when these councilors look to get re-elected.

There is still time to stop the madness of the CAS and actually do the right thing by Kilkenny people, making Kilkenny a better tourist city would be a better use of 12 million, Park and ride, Bikes to rent. we need less cars the the town not more….

 

To contact Kilkenny County Councilors

http://www.kilkennycoco.ie/eng/Your_Council/Your_County_Councillor/

I switched the site over to run hhvm-fastcgi a few hours ago there are a few issues with hhvm it was segfaulting on a few plugins once removed it stopped… its actually faster than php-fcgi I hope to have some concrete results om this but so far it seems like memory usage is lower and response time is faster…. watch this space….

Python is my programming language of choice, its easy and a nicely structured.

Events in kilkenny is written in python using the web2py framework.

Over the last while getting people to add events was proving quite difficult…So with the help of python I wrote a few parsers for grabbing information off different websites. Parsing websites can be quite difficult as it might not be structured in a way that allows easy access to content.

For events in kilkenny I have made it very easy to parse the content. and if you have some programming skills you could actually grab all the content of my site without breaking a sweat, that’s how easy I make it.

For starters I add schema.org json code to the actual web page, and to the HTML tag.

Python has a wonderful library call beautifulSoup that is ideal for parsing good and malformed html and I use this library extensively. It took we a few hours to actually write the parser but to me the few hours spend writing the parser in python, will  in the long run will save me hours as I will not having to add  events manually to the site. Adding 20 events took me less than 1 minutes, I’m a big fan of automation and if something can save me minutes or hours then I’ll go for that.

Some sites I parse are easy enough but some are not, Most sites I am parsing are using wordpress with some sort of events plugin, but unfortunately the plugin does not cater for structured data mostly everything it wrapped around <p> </p> html tags.
Anyway if your are starting out in the world of programming I would recommend python as not only is it easy to understand but you can get productive very fast.

I have being running an events listing website (http://eventsinkilkenny.com) for the last 2 years now and I’ve learned quite a lot in that time. The site is built in python using the web2py framework (http://web2py.com) So far it has 2 hosts 1 is the front end server using ngnix as the webserver passing the requests onto uswgi host(s).

I can scale the website up to meet any traffic if needed( mostly it’s not required). uwsgi give me the flexibility to have a number of backend workers doing the hard labour with a fairly small front end web server to pass the requests on.

As a side project I’ve been working on trying to automate things as much as I can. I stumbled across a package management software call SaltStack (http://saltstack.org)

Its a package management and infrastructure management all in one.

Quote from saltstack:

SaltStack takes a new approach to infrastructure management by 
developing software that is easy enough to get running in minutes, 
scalable enough to manage tens of thousands of servers, and fast 
enough to communicate with them in seconds.

It literally took me 1 hour from the time of reading the docs to actually making use of it.Compared to Puppet or chef which would take alot longer than 1 hour to be productive.

I’ve now got the the stage on EC2 I can spin up a instance, bootstrap saltstack, then after excepting  the keys for the host, deploy the software all within about 20 minutes.Combine SaltStack with boto library  and you have a match made in python heaven for quickly deploying production or development environments.

The website it self is very automated, notifications are sent out via AWS email service. Twitter posts are automated to notify followers that an events is on with my interaction.

I will be adding more feature as required, but first I want to over hall the design of events in kilkenny. stay tuned….

 

What happens when mailing lists become too elitist ?

I was  part of a well known Linux mailing list in Ireland , but left it because of elitist attitudes.

The whole idea of a open mailing list is for discussion, but when the answer is “justfuckinggoogleit” it kind of defeats the purpose of the mailing list in the first place!

I just happen to read the public archive of the said mailing list, there was a discussion about JTAG, now not many people would have heard about JTAG unless you work on embedded systems or motherboard manufacturing, or just maybe you new to all this( it happens).

And what pray tell what the first answer  ?  well its wasn’t an explanation of  what JTAG is and does, it was simple you should have google’ed it before bothering us.

This kind of attitude is why the mailing list has only a handful of members anymore! and I am glad that I am not part of it anymore.

Can you imagine if the coder dojo  guy said, “What you don’t know what a ‘int’  or a ‘linked-list’ is, just ‘googlefuckinggoogleit’ it and get back to me..”For one thing the coder dojo would not be where it is today!

END OF RANT!

 

 

I joined amazon in their data centre operations dept a few months back. I’m really enjoying to challenge of working for a company this size and reach. The people are nice and easy to work with.  I am commuting to Dublin pretty much every other day… I don’t mind it to be honest but it can be quite draining long term, but I think its worth it.  If anyone has the opportunity to apply for a job within amazon they could go for it!

 

There is a referendum coming up in Ireland on the fiscal treaty, is it good for ireland ?

I think enshrining this sort of legislation in our Constitution will be bad for this country, as the only way  to remove it would be another referendum.The government is saying that we don’t need another bail out and this is only an insurance policy, but is it?Ireland is in a recession for 4 years now and there is no sign of it ending soon, voting yes for this treaty delay us getting back normality anytime soon.

Anyway  this is why I’m voting NO.

I have not updated this blog in ages, I suppose I better…

I’m still alive and paying bills :)

I now work in Dublin for  a big multinational,nice place and nice people.

 

I launched a free to list events guide on Tuesday night in the Set Theatre.

It’s called http://www.eventsinkilkenny.com

About 40 People turned out, The Mayor of kilkenny David Fitzgerald said a few words about how it would be beneficial for kilkenny to have this sort of website.

 

I am at the galway film featival, such good films,a russian film, weather station, perfect senses. I also when to the frameworks shorts, some really good live action shorts this year. I voluntered for the galway arts festival and ended up meeting killian muphy after his play mistermen,Very good, but dark.

What does it mean to be ipv6 enabled?
Today is world ipv6 day where ipv6 is enabled on sites across the world.So is just enabling ipv6 one your website enough?
Take yahoo, their website is enabled but there mail service is not. So although some services of major isp’s are ipv6 enabled things like mail and dns servers are not.
So it doesn’t reflect all services thats could be enabled for ipv6, so is the is a true test of ipv6?

Maybe for  ipv6 day 2 will these services be enabled.

The independent is running a story about TD’s employing their own family members in government jobs. I’m not going to get annoyed but if true, then nothing really has changed has it ?

Eamon ryan was elected leader of the green party on the 27 May 2011, succeeding John Gormley. The competition was from Malcom Noonan and Phil Kearney. To be honest Malcom should have got the job as Eamon Ryan was a member of the last government in which the greens played their part for the crippling debt of this country, only under severe pressure did they call a halt to their time in government. They then got rightly hammered in the election and lost all seats.

The green party days are numbered within government for a very long time. Eamon ryan talked about rebuilding trust. It will take me a very long time to trust the green party, if ever!

An Irish company “www.prizeclub.ie” sends you a text.

Heres the scam, you click on a link that redirects you to a website address, All seems innocent at first you answer a question, On the website you are not told that it will cost anything and as you are answering via a website address everything looks is fine, but it’s not. They send you a message back to your phone which then cost 2 euro.

I   was  scammed by this and ended up answering a few more that I should without thinking about it, I must say it’s great social engineering scam.

I am going to be emailing comreg and o2 in relation to this, as I feel that these companies who present  seemly great offer are scamming by  people into thinking it is free until it’s too late.

At least with betting companies or the lotto you know before hand how much it is going to cost you to play.

I wonder did I over use the word scam ?

It would seem that the government is going to bail out the banks once again.

This is the reason why Fianna Fail is not in power. The Irish people voted so that we would not have to keep bailing out the banks, but the new government is breaking it’s first promise and they are going to be sinking 24 Billion of borrowed money into them.

Here’s my 2 cents worth.

The PIIGS as we are called (Portugal,Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) are all struggling with national debt, for us it’s bank debt turned into National sovereign debt.

Everyone and their granny know that ireland cannot pay back all the money owed by us to the ECB, our biggest bond holder to date. So what to do?

Well If I were ECB trying to stop a massive bailout of 4 huge countries, I would allow the smaller of the countries take all the pain (Ireland) as it would be the least costly.

After this, the hope would be that the European economy would recover sufficiently and that the other countries get there national debt in order.

So what would happen in a few years if other members of the PIIGS club do not need a bailout ? well, I would slowly let Ireland default on some of the debt, the markets hopefully will be in a better condition at that time and as it’s the ECB’s money they will write all the money down as a bad loan, Ireland will be free of the debt burden over time, slow enough as to not rock the boat.

This is my thoughts on the whole mess!

It would seem that Irish politicians  are immune to Prosecution.

John O’Donoghue or Ivor Callely have yet to be fine or prosecuted for their illegal expense claims.

In england: Ex-Labour MP Jim Devine sentenced to 16 months in prison for expenses fraud.

Why can we not send our politicians to prison ?

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