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Tom Gilmartin: The Man Who Brought Down a Taoiseach and Exposed the Greed and Corruption at the Heart of Irish Politics Paperback – 28 Mar 2014

4.8 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Gill & Macmillan Ltd (28 Mar. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0717160475
  • ISBN-13: 978-0717160471
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 470,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Frank Connolly is the best investigative journalist we've ever had.' -- Eamon Dunphy 'Tom Gilmartin did all Irish people an immense service by telling the truth about the corruption and cynicism he encountered at the very top of the political system. Frank Connolly brought Gilmartin's story to light, and does another great service by retelling that story with such vividness, clarity and power. As human and engaging as a novel, this is a truth stranger, and more urgent, than fiction.' -- Fintan O'Toole 'Frank Connolly lays bare, in cold, forensic detail, how hard it has been to arrive at certain truths, and the human price paid for those truths.' -- Theo Dorgan 'How an honourable man faced down a golden elite of extortionists. This is not so much a who-done-it as a who-did-Ireland.' --Justine McCarthy

'Frank Connolly's biography of the businessman who died last year is ultimately a pretty devastating account of how being bright, hardworking and ambitious was absolutely no use to Tom Gilmartin in his native country................It s a story worth retelling, but just as compelling is the deeper story, that emerges throughout the biography, of how Ireland failed Tom Gilmartin, not once, not even twice, but throughout his lifetime.' -- Irish Independent Review 05 April 2014

'The corruption endemic in parts of Irish public life is clearly illustrated by the story of what happened to the developer and whistleblower Tom Gilmartin.' --Frank McDonald Irish Times Weekend Review 05 April 2014

'Frank Connolly's biography of the businessman who died last year is ultimately a pretty devastating account of how being bright, hardworking and ambitious was absolutely no use to Tom Gilmartin in his native country................It s a story worth retelling, but just as compelling is the deeper story, that emerges throughout the biography, of how Ireland failed Tom Gilmartin, not once, not even twice, but throughout his lifetime.' --(Donal O'Donovan author of The Fall of the Celtic Tiger) Irish Independent Review 05 April 2014

'The corruption endemic in parts of Irish public life is clearly illustrated by the story of what happened to the developer and whistleblower Tom Gilmartin.' --Frank McDonald Irish Times Weekend Review 05 April 2014

About the Author

Frank Connolly is a distinguished investigative journalist whose work on political and police corruption led to the establishment of two judicial inquiries, the Flood/Mahon and the Morris tribunals. He is currently Head of Communications with SIPTU, Ireland s largest trade union.


Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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By Jet Lagged TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 27 April 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"You guys make the Mafia look like f***ing monks!"

So said Tom Gilmartin in his now famous outburst after being asked to cough up £5 MILLION for a brown paper bag.

This book is his authorised biography. Be aware that before reading it you might like to consider enrolling in a course for anger management.

I hope that the publishing of this material has a salutary effect on certain parts of the Irish political landscape.

Don't hold your breath.
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Sadly, Tom Gilmartin is no longer with us having passed away last November. But Frank Connolly is and his painstakingly brilliant book about corruption in Irish politics, Irish authorities should serve as a lasting reminder to us (Irish or otherwise) just why so many of us were forced from our homes and families to make a living abroad.

I left Ireland in the 1980s just as Tom Gilmartin was trying to create a better economy for young Irish people back home and to stem the tide of immigration. When I think back to my long lonely days in a bedsit in Kilburn surrounded by drunks and sex pests and I read how the politicians back home were doing everything they could to fleece an unsuspecting public.

If the corrupt cronies back home sitting in government had to go through even a few days of what many of us went through, they might have lost their sense of self-entitlement. But we're talking men (and it was the men) who adopted a way of life where Ireland and its people served them, not the other way around.

Tom Gilmartin tried to offer Irish people an alternative to the B&I boat to Hollyhead, but his efforts were met with the big boys of the day sticking their grubby paws into his pockets with their corrupt demands. As my granny (RIP) used to say, 'God to think that young Irishmen gave their lives for this shower...'.

Every Irish person should read this book and anyone who wants to understand just how corrupt politics in Ireland can (is it still?) be, should read this book.

Frank Connolly, thanks for such a great book.

Tom Gilmartin, may you rest in peace. You were a true gentleman. A self-made man, a family man and a man who cared for others.

To his family, much love and respect, may he never be forgotten.
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I have read a number of books covering particularly politics, banking, and property development in Eire over the past two decades and am shocked at the widespread and seemingly almost taken for granted corruption that keeps on occurring leading one to the view that this is an endemic flaw in this country's political and commercial life.

Even if only part of Tom Gilmartin's memory is reliable, then it is still a shocking condemnation on the system of governance and commercial activity.

Gilmartin comes over as a basically decent fellow who is taken advantage of by the prevailing commercial and political cabal which together with an ailing much cherished wife causes him many problems and unhappiness. His hitherto successful businesses suffer greatly as a consequence.

A very thorough and well researched book, if anything a little too detail intense to facilitate gripping reading.
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A riveting read and a must for future history students - 'those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it'. Tom was a uniquely honest and talented entrepreneur who worked his way up as an Irish emigrant almost with his bare hands in 1960's Britain. What he faced when he returned to the land of his forebears in the 1980s and 1990s Ireland is a lesson for us all. In the absence of regulation and good governance, corruption thrives. The recession and austerity is the price being paid now by all of us.
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Not an easy read. The names come thick & fast and, of course, the narrator has little idea who he is talking to in the complex web of Dublin politics. The reader shares the experience of a man well out of his depth in a shark infested sea.
Apart from the barefaced money grabbing political culture there is also the petty small-town mindset of a rich man defeated by a woman defending her right to her inheritance which he covets.
The "Because I.m worth it" attitude of small minded crooks develops a scenario in which nobody wins, least of all the ignorant inhabitants who are the ones paying the price of the card game.
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This was one decent hardworking, honourable,man basically tramped into the ground by morally corrupt scum masquerading as politicians ,namely fianna fail. I once read an article in a magazine in the late 80s describing the Irish government as the second most corrupt nation in europe( Italy being the first ) after reading this book I can now understand were they were coming from.
We wonder why people refer to us as the thick Irish how long are the decent people of Ireland going to tolerate this,its still going on today, and dont bet against these gangsters getting back into government again .
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Amazing Story. Every Irish person needs to read this! A shocking story of corruption in Ireland. A Very courageous man.
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Excellent insight into the events and circumstances which led to the setting up of Flood / Mahon tribunal. The story is compelling and lives up to the maxim "truth is stranger than fiction".

The author, Frank Connolly has an excellent writing style, no doubt as a result of many years in professional journalism. He does however demonstrate a very strong bias and I think the book would have benefited from a more neutral presentation of facts and allow the reader to reach their own conclusions, especially given the overwhelming evidence supporting the case put forward by Mr Gilmartin.

The book is a good addition and a telling insight into the modus operandi of politicians and senior civil servants in the late 20th Century in ireland. It is hard to believe that they were so overt and particularly the complicity of those around them, while not directly involved supported their activity by a conspiracy of silence.
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