When the dust settles in the Salem Witch trials that are ongoing in the United States at the moment, the future of the 45th President of the United States will be determined for good or for ill. Game of Thrones eat your heart out.
I will wager a bet, that if history records the contributions of any one journalist in this hyper partisan period, it will be the name of a guy named John Solomon. Unfortunately for Solomon it may take history a little time to catch up with current affairs. In the meantime his career is trashed, his employers wobble in their support and his phone records get monitored.
His reporting has a major problem though.
His facts don’t fit the media narrative of the mainstream. Not to mention the DNC. He’s an experienced hack, so he’s holding up quite well, a kind of strange amusement and bemusement etched on his brow by the hurricane of negative publicity . I’m sure he understands more than most, that narratives tend to change and that ultimately facts will emerge like a resolute diamond from a lump of coal.
His time will come.
As I have overdosed on impeachment coverage from traditional and some more decidedly non-traditional sources I got to thinking.
How would John Solomon approach the reporting of Tim O’Leary and Mayo County Board?
I wrote an article about a month ago about Mayo GAA and Mr O’Leary. Within about 25 minutes of posting it, I got a series of bizarre messages from the following twitter account.
Now, at the time, this account had 2 followers and twitter, immediately, gave me repeated warnings that the account had ‘suspicious activity’ – which was a generous reprieve from it’s frequent objections to my own ramblings. I’m a sucker for a suspicious account so I followed it for a day or so.
Let’s be clear, there is nothing to suggest from the account tweets or the few messages I exchanged with this account, that it is in fact – Tim O’Leary. However the account does behave in a manner suggesting it is Tim O’Leary. Which I guess isn’t against the law. I see it has approaching 1,500 followers now and rising. Like a lot of things in this story it is kinda difficult to establish the truth.
What I found strange, at the time, was that it was encouraging me to look at differing news reports on the whole Tim O’Leary affair in the media. It sent me links to various reports. Coincidently, reports in the media that were more broadly sympathetic to the plight of Mr O’Leary than I may have shown at the time.
As you can imagine, I just love when 2 follower accounts ‘ suggest’ the narrative I should be investigating.
Unsurprisingly our conversation came to an end when I asked the account holder for an Interview.
In any event, there is only so much Mayo GAA news a Galway man can tolerate so I left Mr O’Leary and the Mayo County board to fight it out amongst themselves.
Yesterday I had a few hours to kill so I says to myself – I wonder how those Mayo boys are getting on with the 2019 GAA Financier of the year. Alas, it would seem things haven’t improved much if at all.
So what did I find?
I noted that, It has been reported the GAA hierarchy invited Mr O’Leary to sit down with them to discuss everything. Progress right? – Seems not.
I noted that, it has been reported, a little while after this invitation Mr O’Leary is now threatening legal action to recover 150,000 euro he personally donated to Mayo GAA in 2018.
That would be money gifted pre the establishment of the International Supporters club Right? Hmmmmmm……
I noted that, it has been reported, this International Supporters club have pledges of 250,000 to 500,000 in the future, if the current wranglings are brought to a satisfactory conclusion.
Note to myself: A pledge is a fact that may never come true.
I noted nowhere the following questions.
Why did Mr O’Leary set up a Supporters fund raising dinner for Mayo GAA in 2019 when he was so worried about how his personal donation was spent in 2018. So worried that he is now considering legal action?
Has Mr O’Leary provided a detailed audit of all the monies collected under the auspices of fundraising for Mayo GAA?
How much of the money collected is eh….how do I put this……. money…..and not pledges?
If he provided the above evidence, in detail, then the full weight of pressure would be back onto the Mayo County board. And yet he does not?
If he had met with the Croke Park hierarchy, as he has been invited to, the full weight of his proof would again leave Mayo county board under the cosh.
Instead of the above, he seems to be talking about suing Mayo County Board about a personal donation. He will have difficulty proving Mayo Senior football team is anything other than one of the best provided for in Ireland methinks.
I have no dog in this fight. Mayo county board probably have some very awkward questions to answer. Answers that are probably damning. But so too do every single county board in the country. Including my own in Galway. These people are for the most part volunteers not forensic accountants.
Speaking with the GAA Hierarchy would be good for Tim O’Leary and good for root and branch financial reform right across the county game.
There are plenty of people and bodies trying to hold Mayo GAA to account. Long may it continue. But someone needs to hold Mr O’Leary and this International fund raising operation to account or cut ties and let them go.
The last line of my article 6 weeks ago still holds true today.
” Both sides have questions to answer and proofs to provide”
John Solomon might note, all the last 6 weeks have provided, are more questions and divil the sight of any proofs. That in itself is interesting.
Pledges in lieu of proof.
In the 1951 All Ireland win Mayo wore a white jersey enroute to victory.
It’s not a replica garment that either team in this match can wear with pride at the moment.