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Sovereignty: a drama of Irish politics for radio.

By Jason OMahony

Sound of traffic on a late night street.
Music, people laughing in a pub in the distance.
DANNO: thereJesus GER will you get a move on!
GER: Will ye wait! The thing is falling out of me hat!
DANNO: The thing! The thing! Its bleedin tinfoil!
GER: Its stopping the CIE from listening into my thoughts. Theyre always at that, the CIE!
I saw it, theyve got satellites and them drone things. Its not just buses theyre into
anymore. See them Leap Cards? They give free ones to Al Quaeda so they can track
where they are. Thats how they got Bin Laden, you know. He had a Leap Card in his
pocket when they found himI saw him on the 46A once.
DANNO: What are you shiteing on about? Bin Laden on the 46a!
GER: Its true! Its like after World War 2. Hitler ended up working in a chipper in
Drimnagh. Me mother swears he used to give her two singles of chips every
DANNO: Would ye ever shut the fuhere we go! Laptop, looks like a pretty gamey one too,
keep an eye outdont be looking at me! Keep an eye out that no ones coming, for
fucks sake.
Sound of a car window being smashed. Car alarm goes off.
DANNO: Go.go.go!

Music for RTE Radio News.
NEWSREADER: Good evening. Canvassing is continuing amongst National Party deputies in the
election to replace the late Taoiseach Edward Meaney TD, who died unexpectedly
last Friday. Political correspondents are almost united in predicting that Minister for
Finance Stephen Sperry will defeat the Minister for Education KATE OHARA, and will
be elected Taoiseach and leader of the minority National Party government
tomorrow evening. Meaney, a deputy since
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Sound of radio being switched off.
TOM BURKE: Almost united. I love that. Just in case one of the pol corrs happens to suddenly take
one gin too many on-board, go on Vincent Browne, and calls it for you.
KATE OHARA: We always knew it was a longshot Tom. At least itll make it harder for Stephen to
drop me from the cabinet. Alas, youll just have to tolerate being a ministerial
special advisor for a few more years.
TOM BURKE: Dont be too sure about that. Sperrys Mr National Party. His grandfather was in the
GPO. He doesnt think the likes of you should even be in the party, you being nice to
the gays and the foreigners and all that crowd.
KATE OHARA: In the GPO? His granddad was a bookie!
TOM BURKE: Im not saying he was shooting at the Brits. He was probably taking odds on the Brits
winning. Im just saying, Sperry is party royalty. Youre just some blow in. One of
those fancy book-readers Ed Meaney brought in to broaden the party base, before
one rasher sandwich too many brought him home, God rest him.
You were never even a county councillor. Sure Ill bet youve never even fixed a
penalty point.
KATE OHARA: I was a senator!
TOM BURKE: You were a Trinity senator. Thats not the same. You might as well be the MP for
Downton Abbey.
KATE OHARA: Well youre right. Ive never fixed a penalty point.
TOM BURKE: And no one ever got elected in Ireland under the slogan She applies the rules fairly
to all.
Sound: A text message arrives.
TOM BURKE: Right, the new figures, lets see... the Indo is calling it 60 for Sperry, 18 for you. That
sounds about right.
KATE OHARA: Still, 17 National Party TDs openly voting for a liberal. Thats got to be something.
TOM BURKE: Yeah, well dont lose the run of yourself. At least half are voting for you because
they cant stand Sperry, have a grudge, or in one case, inherited a grudge from his
father against Sperrys father.
KATE OHARA: What? Who?
TOM BURKE: Fergal Harte. His old man and Sperry senior had a furious row over a selection
convention in 1982. Snots flying. At least two broken jaws, and a Ford Cortina was
torched in the hotel car-park. Why do you think the party imposes both candidates
there now, without a convention, every time out? Because in 1987 one fella brought
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a revolver to the meeting, that his father got off a blue shirt when he shot him in
KATE OHARA: You dont get that in the Trinity Seanad campaign.
TOM BURKE: No, but Ill bet the remarks about who is wearing last seasons outfits are vicious.
PAUL: Sorry Tom, Kate, look at this. Its doing the rounds on Twitter.
TOM BURKE: Lets seeah here
Music for RTE Radio News.
NEWSREADER: sources in the Meaney camp are refusing to comment on the news of a
Garda raid on the Minister for Finances home last night. The Garda Press
Office has confirmed that the raid occurred, and that a number of
computers were confiscated by Gardai for examination by the Garda
Technical Bureau
Sounds of quiet pub. Glasses, drinks being poured, people talking.
MARTINA ROCHE : no, you cant be serious. Im not telling my editor that a raid on the next
Taoiseachs house the night before hes elected was not sanctioned by the
Minister for Justice. No Garda is going to put his career on the line like that.

DAVE: Martina, Im telling you. A registered package arrived at Garda headquarters
yesterday, with conclusive technical proof that the Minister for Finances
home computer had kiddie porn on it. You know what the new
commissioner is like. By the book? She wrote the damn thing: within an hour
of technical confirmation of probable cause, she had us up getting warrants.
Shes obsessed with being accused of being under political pressure. Last
Christmas she sent the Minister a Christmas card by registered post, so it
would be transparent, for Christs sake.

MARTINA ROCHE: But this is obviously a set up.

DAVE: Maybe it is, I dont know, but we had to act. Imagine it emerged that we
hushed it up until after the vote? Not this commissioner.


Sound of a mobile ringing.

TOM BURKE: Tom Burkeyeah..what do you think Fionnan? That I abseiled into Sperrys
house and planted kiddie fiddler stuff on his machine? Fionnan, I cant get
the timer on my video to stop flashing 12 oh ohyes, I still have a videono,
yeahIll check.

KATE OHARA: Ive just had Tommy Joyce on to me, asking how do I feel about ensuring
that Mayo gets to keep a minister of state?
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TOM BURKE: Tommy Joyce? Jesus. He actually named his eldest after Sperry. Theres a lot
of fellas thinking hard this morning.

KATE OHARA: But this is madness. The timing is so obviously an attempt to damage Sperry.

TOM BURKE: Thats not what you said when they door-stepped you this morning.

KATE OHARA: I was, and am, uncommitted. This needs to be investigated before people
jump to conclusions. Stephen is entitled to a fair hearing.

TOM BURKE: (applauds)oh well donethe perfect non-answer, Kate. Why didnt you
come out and say that this was obviously an attempt by someone to
sabotage Sperry?

KATE OHARA: You know damn well why.

TOM BURKE: Go on, humour me.


TOM BURKE: Because it might be true. It just might be. If I had to absolutely put money
on it Id say it wasnt, and that Stephen Sperry is far more interested in drink
and slightly plump Dail secretaries than kids, but you can never be certain,
and thats exactly what the parliamentary party is asking itself now.

KATE OHARA: Even though this is a fix?

TOM BURKE: Sure, it is almost certainly is a plot to stop him, but supposing they elected
him Taoiseach and it turns out to be true? Or supposing it takes weeks or
months to find out, during which the international media go bananas
speculating as to whether the Prime Minister of Ireland is a kiddie fiddler?
Thats why were all playing it safe. Me. The PP. You.

KATE OHARA: Some of them want to postpone the vote.

TOM BURKE: Until when? If we knew the investigation would take a few days, maybe, but
not for much lonGER. The country needs a Taoiseach. I mean, the Tanaiste is
78, you know. He hasnt stayed awake through a full parliamentary party
meeting since Albert.

KATE OHARA: So we could win this?

TOM BURKE: Possibly. But I wouldnt rule out a rerun in six months.


NEWSREADER: (Sound of cheering and applauding)OHara by 3 votes. The Minister for
Finance, Stephen Sperry, has announced his resignation from the cabinet in
order to clear his name.

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Sound of car interior. Police sirens/motorcycles outside.

TOM BURKE: How was the President of Ireland this evening?

KATE OHARA: Do you know, I think Enda prefers being President to Taoiseach? He was as
relaxed, and he doesnt look 72 either.

TOM BURKE: That buzzcut suits him. Very Walter White. Heres the first pass at the
cabinet. I think youre mad with those two, by the way.

Sound of paper unfolding.

KATE OHARA: The constitution says I can nominate two senators to the cabinet. Theyre
both highly capable women.

TOM BURKE: Its been nearly 40 years since a senator was nominated to cabinet. Its not
like the parliamentary party even want you as Taoiseach. This is just getting
up their backs.

KATE OHARA: Appointing senators to cabinet is party policy. It was in the manifesto.

TOM BURKE: So was a united Ireland, restoring Irish and draining the Shannon. I think we
even mentioned putting Craig Doyle on Mars. Its still going to irritate the

KATE OHARA: Wait til they see the political reform bill. And anyway, Dev decided to let me
appoint senators. You think theyd respect the wisdom of our founding

TOM BURKE: Yeahanywaythe secretary to the government was on. He says theres a
COLONEL HARRISON waiting to see you. Whos he?

KATE OHARA: She. Ive no idea. Enda said that I should take the meeting, and told me to
expect the call. He said it was very important, and he was telling me as one
former Taoiseach to his successor.

TOM BURKE: I hope this isnt where the Davos crowd replace you with a giant talking

KATE OHARA: I suspect the parliamentary party would prefer that.

Sound of car door opening, cameras flashing, questions being shouted.

Sound of phone buzzing.

PAUL: COLONEL HARRISON to see you, Taoiseach.

KATE OHARA: Thanks PAUL, send her in.

Sound of door opening.

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COLONEL HARRISON: Taoiseach. Colonel Susan Harrison. Formerly of the Permanent
Defence Forces.

KATE OHARA: Have a seat, colonel. Im afraid you have me at a disadvantage. The
president has said I should meet you, but Ive no idea what for. I am
rather busy naming my cabinet, as you no doubt know.

COLONEL HARRISON: I will be very brief, Taoiseach. This is just a very quick meeting that
every Taoiseach gets when theyre appointed.

KATE OHARA: Youre not going to tell me weve a UFO hidden in the Curragh, are

COLONEL HARRISON: Not in the Curragh, no. We keep that in Knock. Now, heres the
standard text. In 1968 Jack Lynch, Liam Cosgrave and Brendan
Corish held a secret meeting where they agreed that developments
in Northern Ireland had the potential to seriously destabilise Irish
democracy. All three agreed to set up an organisation, which was
designated G68, to provide for a special intelligence and action
capability should it be required. G68 answers directly to the
Taoiseach, has its own private funding, and is available to do things
the Gardai and the defence forces cant.

KATE OHARA: Like what?

COLONEL HARRISON: Well, we dealt with the Haughey issue in 1970, for example.

KATE OHARA: G68 stopped Haughey providing guns to the IRA?

COLONEL HARRISON: Good God, no. We framed him.

KATE OHARA: Im sorry?

COLONEL HARRISON: Charles Haughey had nothing to do with the arms being supplied to
the IRA. We framed him, to give Jack Lynch a means of getting him
out of the cabinet. Dont forget, Haughey was the coming man. We
had to stop him.

KATE OHARA: Thats outrageous Colonel!

COLONEL HARRISON: Well, it would have been, if it werent for the fact that Charles J.
Haughey was British Intelligences man in the cabinet. They
recruited him in the early 1960s. Ever wonder why nobody could
ever find out the source of his wealth? Now you know. Codename
was Nobleman. I reckon he picked that himself.

KATE OHARA: But Haughey was on the republican wing of the party.

COLONEL HARRISON: Actually, he only sounded like he was. Loads of guff on things that
didnt matter, like the Falklands. When he got into power he did a u-
turn on everything from extradition to the Anglo Irish Agreement.
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Haughey was the Brits Nixon going to China. Of course, at that stage
wed sent the British a signal that we werent going to tolerate this
carry on.
By the time he was Taoiseach he was very clear as to how far he
could go, as were the Brits.
I mean, sure, we didnt want the Provos taking over the place, but
we were buggered if the Brits were going to run it either.

KATE OHARA: You sent the Brits a signal?

COLONEL HARRISON: We blew up their ambassador. Were quite good at roadside IEDs.
But anyway, thats all ancient history. I just need to bring you into
the loop about three things. First, G68 is available to you if you need
us. You can get me on the number on that card. Secondly, the
Minister for Energy is working for the CIA, and thirdly, there is a
secret treaty in existence with the United States, signed by Sean
MacBride in the 1950s, which puts Cork Harbour, Dublin, Shannon
and Knock Airport at NATOs disposal in the event of a war in
Europe. Alright? I wont waste anymore of your valuable time.
Congratulations, by the way.

KATE OHARA: What? cant justsay that all again..that CIA thing.

COLONEL HARRISON: Oh, dont worry about that. The Americans have had someone in
the cabinet or the secretaries general since the 1950s. Its the
Americans, what are you going to do? They were afraid of
communist infiltration, bless them. We know, they know we know,
and I have lunch every few months with the US ambassador to trade
notes. Especially with the Travers deal coming up.

KATE OHARA: And this secret treaty? Is it even legal?

COLONEL HARRISON: If World War Three breaks out I dont think well all be worrying
whats happening down in The Four Courts. I can see Joe Higgins
charging down with his Zimmer frame alright, I suppose. Anyway,
how do you think we get all those J1 visas and pre-clearance in our

KATE OHARA: I can talk to you later, then?

COLONEL HARRISON: Anytime night or day Taoiseach. Id ask you be discreet about our
chat? Normally, youd verify this with your predecessor. But Enda,
Brian, Simon or Bertie can qualify anything Ive told you.

KATE OHARA: Just one more thing colonel: if G68 is there to protect Irish
democracy, why arent you investigating how I got elected
Taoiseach? I mean, that kiddie porn stuff

COLONEL HARRISON: What makes you think were not?

KATE OHARA: I see. Alright, thank you Colonel.
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COLONEL HARRISON: Thank you, Taoiseach.


RTE News Music:

NEWSREADER: The cabinet is meeting today to approve the state entering an
agreement with Travers International, the multinational headed by
MATT TRAVERS, the worlds fourth richest man. IDA Ireland has
already suggested that if agreement is found, the deal could result
in the creation of over 50,000 jobs in Ireland, and would be by far
the biggest foreign direct investment in the history of the state.

TOM BURKE: Drones.


TOM BURKE: Drones. Military drones. Travers International, amongst other
things, is the worlds largest manufacturer of military drones.

KATE OHARA: The Shinners will love that.

TOM BURKE: They will, you know. Travers is proposing a significant factory or
facility in each of the party leaders constituencies. Theyve already
announced as much to the local papers, recruited local councillors,
started sending out tenders for local suppliers, auctioneers,
business. Thats one silent steamroller hes got right there, working
away, manufacturing support in the country, parish by parish.

KATE OHARA: I feel like Im being bounced into thisI mean, Ive read all the
briefing papers. Aside from a few commitments on local
infrastructure, theyre not looking for anything we dont give to any
other FDI.

TOM BURKE: Ask him tomorrow, so. Maybe he wants us to rename the country:
Ireland-A Travers International Subsidiary.

KATE OHARA: You think youre being funny. Youre not. Within 18 months of
signing this deal, Travers will be the biggest economic player in the
country short of the government.

TOM BURKE: Maybe he wants to meet Bono.

KATE OHARA: Meet him? For this sort of money he can buy him. Well throw in
Killiney and all.


Sounds of a caf, plates, people eating, a cash register, food frying.

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MARTINA ROCHE (half whisper): DANNO! DANNO! Here!

DANNO: How are ya, MARTINA. Its freezin out, isnt it?

MARTINA ROCHE: Have you no coat, DANNO, going out in that top.

DANNO: I had a coat but.a fella round our way took it. Hes not a very nice

MARTINA ROCHE: Did you swap it DANNO?

DANNO: Its freezin outside, isnt it?

MARTINA ROCHE: Jesus DANNO I thought youd given up using that shit.

DANNO: Im not using, Im not using. Im not using that much.

MARTINA ROCHE: Ah for fucks sake DANNO. You promised me you were given that
shit up.

DANNO: Im sorry, I will, I will, I just need, you know

MARTINA ROCHE: Have you eaten? Do you want a plate of chips?

DANNO: Id love a plate of chips. Its freezin out, isnt it?

MARTINA ROCHE (to waitress): Mary, battered sausage and chips, and a large Coke please love,

DANNO: Ah, a battered sausage, thanks MARTINA, I havent had a battered
sausage in ages.

MARTINA ROCHE: Thats all right. You said you had something for me.

DANNO: What?

MARTINA ROCHE: Something about a laptop, your mate GER?

DANNO: GER? Hes a head the ball. A mentaller. He told me that they filmed
the landing on the Moon in a studio.

MARTINA ROCHE: Maybe they did.

DANNO: Yeah, but he says the film studio was on the moon.

MARTINA ROCHE: Thats lovely, DANNO. What about a laptop?

DANNO: A laptop? Oh yeah, a laptop. Its in me Dunnes bag here.

Sound of plastic bag rustling, being put on table, booting up.

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MARTINA ROCHE: DANNO, this better not be you two just stealing stuff. Im not

DANNO: No, no, this is good stuff. When I saw this I said I knew who might
appreciate this. MARTINA, thats who. My friend MARTINA.

MARTINA ROCHE: Whered you get this?


MARTINA ROCHE: And where did GER get it from.

DANNO: He found it, somewhere.

MARTINA: DANNO, this is an Apple Air laptop. You dont just find..whats the
Centre for a New Ireland?

DANNO: He took in from a car on Stephens Green, you know, he knows a
fella wholl buy stuff, and it was just sitting on the back seat under a

MARTINA ROCHE: You know an awful lot for a fella who wasnt there, DANNO.

DANNO: What? No, I.I.just look at the stuff. GERs big into his reading and
history and the politics and all thathe said youd understand all this

MARTINA ROCHE: Alright, Ill take a look.

DANNO: He said the laptop is worth a thousand euro.

MARTINA ROCHE: 50 quid and a plate of chips.

DANNO: Done.


Sound of cameras clicking.

MATT TRAVERS: Madame Taoiseach, its an honour.

KATE OHARA: Kate, please Matt. For a man investing 14 billion euro into the
country, you get first name privileges.

MATT TRAVERS: Thats very kind, Kate. The Irish are still teaching the rest of the
world a thing or two about warm welcomes.

REPORTER: Will you be discussing anything specific today, Taoiseach?

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KATE OHARA: No, the agreement between the Irish Government and Travers
International has already been agreed in detail. This is just a final
thank you meeting before the formal signing tomorrow.

MATT TRAVERS: Im hoping for a nice pair of cufflinks though!

Sound: polite laughter from the assembled media.

KATE OHARA: Ok, thank you all. Time to get Matt a cup of tea and a chocolate


KATE OHARA: A cookie. Sort of.

Sound: door closes. They are alone.

KATE OHARA: Actually, I do have some cufflinks for you. Perhaps a bit nave a gift
for the worlds fourth richest man?

MATT TRAVERS: No, thats very thoughtful, really. Thing is, once you pass your first
100 million, the money doesnt really matter other than as a means
of keeping score. I mean, I can only be in one corporate jet at a time,
no matter how rich I am.

KATE OHARA: Youre not tempted to go all James Bond baddie, no? All Charles
Foster Kane, and start building monuments to your legacy?

MATT TRAVERS: What, gold plated yachts? Nah, not me. I drive a second hand car.

KATE OHARA: Yeah, but the last guy who owned it was Steve McQueen.

MATT TRAVERS: Look who read their briefing paper!

KATE OHARA: Tell me this: why are you doing this? I mean, I know about the tax
breaks, and the education, and were in the Eurozone and all that,
but to move your entire operation to Ireland? The whole thing?

MATT TRAVERS: Youre making me have second thoughts, Taoiseach.

KATE OHARA: Were delighted to have you here, I just wonder why the worlds
largest privately owned company is coming here. Our tax
arrangements are good, but not that good.

MATT TRAVERS: I thought about this for a long time. Sure, we could be just another
US company in Ireland, and the IDA would roll out whatever
coloured carpet we want, but this way is different. I dont want to
be in Ireland, I want TI to be part of Ireland. Were even going to
name our new drone the Banshee.

KATE OHARA: The left will love that.
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MATT TRAVERS: Yeah, but the 50,000 people working directly for me, and the
200,000 earning a paycheck from TI spinoffs will love us more. Its
the sheer scale. And theres you, of course.


MATT TRAVERS: Hell, yeah! Were a progressive company, and here we are setting
up in a country with a liberal female prime minister with big ideas
about political reform, separating the legislature from the executive,
appointing experts to the cabinet, and someone who can give us a
voice in the European Union. Ive read a lot of what you wrote
before you went into politics about governing a modern country,
about a technocratic middle way approach to social problems. No
bullshit problem solving: thats the TI way.

KATE OHARA: Lucky for you I just accidentally became Taoiseach, so!

MATT TRAVERS: Yeah, lucky for us.


TOM BURKE (voicemail): This is TOM BURKE. Im obviously off plotting some piece of political
skulduggery or other in a smoke filled room in breach of the
Tobacco Control regulations. Please leave a message after the beep.

Sound: voicemail beep.

MARTINA ROCHE: Tom, this is MARTINA ROCHE. Give me a call urgently. I need to talk
to you about something.

Sound: mobile phone ringing.


PHILLIP (on phone): Yeah, after much digging and all sorts of favours pulled in and
promised, including All Ireland tickets youre going to have to deliver

MARTINA ROCHE: Yeah, yeah, go on.

PHILLIP: The Centre for a New Ireland is a think tank. Theyre based in Ely
Place. Mostly economic and political research. Very big on flying all
sorts of academics, politicians, civil servants, journalists off on fact
finding missions to places like New Zealand to look at their electoral
system. No shortage of money, it seems.

MARTINA ROCHE: And wheres that coming from?

PHILLIP: Ah, thats the tricky bit. Took me a whole afternoon and two Garth
Brooks tickets. The funding goes around in circles, through layers
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and layers, back over to philanthropic organisations in the states.
Now, finding out who funds them was even more fun, and I havent
got a full picture, but it would seem like Travers International is very
concerned about the state of Irish democracy. Theyve put
almostMARTINA? You still there?

BISHOP: Hang up if you dont want to feel this blade any closer to your

MARTINA ROCHE: OK, alright, there, its done.

BISHOP: Wheres the laptop?

MARTINA ROCHE: Its in the boot of the car.

BISHOP: Thats the Fiesta just outside? The blue one?

MARTINA ROCHE: Yes, yes, thats it.

BISHOP: Right, were going out to it. Remember, Ive got this blade in your
back, OK? Get your keys.

Sound of keys being picked up off a table. Sound of a door opening onto a quiet suburban street.


Sound of an electrical discharge, followed by a body falling on gravel.

COLONEL HARRISON: Ah, Tazer. Your only man. Bet he didnt like that. Now, lets see who
this fellow is. Look at that, no walletbut we have a mobile phone.
Thatll do. Miss Roche, if you could just grab that laptop and come
with me.
Sound of a car boot opening.

MARTINA ROCHE: Who are you?

COLONEL HARRISON: I cant tell you that, Im afraid. Get in the car.

MARTINA ROCHE: Im not going anywhere

COLONEL HARRISON: Ms Roche, I wont deny it, Im not going to kill you. But I can easily
render you unconscious, as I did with this fellow. I have, as Liam
Neeson says, a certain set of skills. Please. You wont come to any
harm. If I wanted to kill you youd be dead by now.

Sound of car doors opening, engine starting. Background sound: Theyre inside a moving car.

COLONEL HARRISON: Thats was fortuitous timing, wasnt it?

MARTINA ROCHE: He works for Travers International, doesnt he?

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COLONEL HARRISON: Thats a very interesting idea. Look, Im afraid Im going to have to
take that laptop. National security and that.

MARTINA ROCHE: I will in my boll

COLONEL HARRISON: One way or the other Im taking it, Ms Roche. But youre a journalist,
you need stories. See that flash drive in the cup holder? Thats got
photos of a well-known senator, renowned for his conservative
Catholic views, in bed with a young man half his age. Young man
whos a leading light in the Pro-Choice campaign. Sure all that would
make that story better would be if you threw in a bishop. All the
verifying dates, credit card bill for the hotel, some cctv footage, its
all there. Thats your quid pro quo. That or I have to give you a
thousand volts and you wake in a ditch in Bohernabreena in
desperate need of a clean pair of knickers. Your call.

Sound: computer beeps. Keyboard tapped.

KATE OHARA: What am I looking at here?

TOM BURKE: What looks like a plan by MATT TRAVERS to take over the country,
or at least, the bits that matter to him. This here is a list of people
Travers intends to get nominated to key positions. Minister for
Foreign Affairs, Minister for Finance, Minister for Industry, Minister
of State for Europe, European Commissioner, basically people who
can either influence Irish or EU policy for Travers International. This
is the quid pro quo for the massive investment.

KATE OHARA: You agree? This is real?

COLONEL HARRISON: Theres no Garda report of a break-in to any car owned by anyone
associated with the Centre for a New Ireland on the day Ms Roche
says her source stole this. However, we did check with the insurance
companies to see about a claim, you know, the corporate tendency
to tick boxes, and we found the car of the centres director had in
fact been broken into, with a laptop claimed for . My people

KATE OHARA: Your people? You have people?

COLONEL HARRISON: A life of collecting favours, Taoiseach. My technical people have
looked at this. The electronic signatures, the emails, all look real. Or
a very elaborate forgery. Oh, one other thing: perhaps its a pure
coincidence, but this laptop is the exact same make and model as
the one recovered from Stephen Sperrys house.

KATE OHARA: What about this mobile phone you took from the man who attacked

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COLONEL HARRISON: Nothing. One off pay as you go phone. But I got some prints off the
phone. His name is Bishop. Hes Matt Traverss driver, bodyguard
and general henchman.

KATE OHARA: How did you find it, anyway? What led you to her?

COLONEL HARRISON: These two laptops, the Sperry one and this one, were bought
separately. But someone, some unpaid office intern, I suspect, put
them on the same warranty policy. My tech people tracked the
second one and turned on the camera. I recognised Ms Roche off
the telly, as it were.

KATE OHARA: You can just do that? Turn on laptop cameras without people

COLONEL HARRISON: Oh yes. Its enough to make one paranoid, isnt it?

TOM BURKE: Thats all lovely, but all we have is a document which could be fake
from an organisation which might be connected to Travers. Not a lot
to go on here, is it?

KATE OHARA: I suppose I could always ask him?


Sound: Intercom buzzing.

Secretary (male): Mr Travers is here, Taoiseach.

KATE OHARA: Send him through, please.

Sound: Door opens.

MATT TRAVERS: Taoiseach. Good to see you again.

KATE OHARA: Matt, good to see you again, and thanks for coming up. I just
wanted to run something past you. Thatll be all, thanks Sean.

Sound: door closing.
Sound: paper file rustling.

KATE OHARA: Matt, I want your opinion on this. It was passed to me by some
security people.

MATT TRAVERS: Security people? Sounds serious.

KATE OHARA: It might be nothing. Just have a quick skim over it. Ill make us

Sound: cups, coffee being poured, stirred, cups placed on table.

16 | S o v e r e i g n t y b y J a s o n O M a h o n y

KATE OHARA: Matt, did you, or Travers International have anything to do with
Stephen Sperrys resignation?

MATT TRAVERS: Yes. Yes, we did.

KATE OHARA: Why, in Gods name?

MATT TRAVERS: Because we saw an opportunity. As I said, Ive read everything
youve written. Youre a genuine reformer, and when Taoiseach
Meaney died we saw a chance to help a genuine reformer take

KATE OHARA: So I could appoint your puppets to the European Commission? So
Irish ministers would go out to Brussels with Travers instructions in
their back pocket? You dont know me that well, Matt.

MATT TRAVERS: Kate, have you read this list? Actually read it? These are world class
Irish professionals. Every one of them. With your reforms, you could
appoint the best Ireland has to offer, not just jumped up county
councillors. Irishmen and women could be running the European
Commission, the European Council, the European Central Bank.

KATE OHARA: For Travers International, not Ireland.

MATT TRAVERS: Its the same thing!

KATE OHARA: Youre deluded if you think that, Matt.

MATT TRAVERS: Its the same thing, Kate. You can pretend all you want, but since
Lemass this country has done a deal with US investment. We create
jobs, you fight for our interests in Brussels, whether its blocking a
European wide corporate tax or keeping the Single Market open,
thats what Ireland is for. Im taking this to its logical conclusion. Im
about to move thousands of employees and their families here, and
spend 14 billion. You honestly think Im going to leave my
investment in the hands of people who let their banking system
disintegrate before their eyes because they were too busy attending
funerals in their fucking constituencies? Im going to save this
country from itself.

KATE OHARA: You arrogant bastard!

MATT TRAVERS: You guys just dont get it. I should hardly be surprised, coming to a
country that called the world war against fascism The Emergency!
The world is changing. Its run by giants now. The US, China, Russia,
Brazil, and Europe.
This country, every country, has a choice. You can have sovereignty,
or you can have prosperity. You cant have both. Sure, you can have
your own currency and taxes and interest rates and decide which
products can and cant be sold here and at what price, but you cant
do that in a vacuum, because there are always other sovereign
17 | S o v e r e i g n t y b y J a s o n O M a h o n y

nations willing to undercut you, the way you undercut the British
and the French and the Germans.
Ireland undercuts the Bundestags ability to tax German companies
by letting them locate to the IFSC. Now youre shocked that
someone might undercut you?
Ireland has an opportunity to put its people at the top table. Not
just on the European Council, but President of the Council. I can help

KATE OHARA: Help Travers International.

MATT TRAVERS: Yeah, that too. But whats new about that? Irish ministers go to
Brussels to fight for Irish farmers every week. Hell, you recalled
parliament to change national law. National law! For a single beef
exporter. Whats wrong with them going to fight for Irelands
biggest private employer? Im just making sure that you wont be
sending the usual collection of publicans and schoolteachers. The
sort of people who committed this country to bailing out
bondholders not because they were bad people but because they
didnt know any better, because they though sub-prime was
referring to a poor quality cut of meat.

KATE OHARA: And if I say no?

MATT TRAVERS: Then I fly back to the States and announce that Travers is having
second thoughts. And then the leaders of the Peoples Party and
Social Democrats will come scuttling out to see me, and just before
the next election Ill announce, with them on either side of me, that
they have convinced me to come back and invest in Ireland. A
wonderful piece of news that every local radio station, newspaper
and blogGER I own in this country will communicate, word for word,
every minute until polling day. You tell me what happens next, Kate.

KATE OHARA: I could go public with this. This conversation has been recorded, you

MATT TRAVERS: Not with this little device here in my pocket, it hasnt

Sound: finGER tapping on plastic

But sure, you could. Either way, I deny it, say the Irish Prime
Minister is delusional and announce Im investing in Estonia as a
result. See how your voters and opposition parties take that. Think
theyll stand with you? One thing about the Irish: they love blaming
each other. I mean, one crowd of you invited Strongbow in to fight
the other crowd. Given a choice, your opposition parties, hell half
your own party, will side with me over you.

Kate, Ive got to get to the airport. Let me know what you decide.

18 | S o v e r e i g n t y b y J a s o n O M a h o n y

Sound: door opening, then closing.

Sound: door opening.


KATE OHARA: Hear that?

TOM BURKE: Every word.

COLONEL HARRISON: And not a word recorded. That little gadget, all seventy five grand of
it, does exactly what it says on the tin.

KATE OHARA: Funnily enough, Im not sure theres a word I disagreed with.

TOM BURKE: Im sorry?

KATE OHARA: Im just saying. Almost everything he said was the truth. There is no
such thing as sovereignty anymore. We actively choose to trade it
for wealth. Our currency, our interest rates, our border controls,
what we import and export. He wasnt lying.

TOM BURKE: Weve no choice.

KATE OHARA: Of course we do. Nobody forced us to join the EU or let US
companies in or join the Euro. We pretend we have no choice, but
we always have. We want the same standard of living other western
countries have, and that means we have to make the same
compromises they do. We trade sovereignty for iPhones and new
cars and two weeks in Spain like everybody else.

TOM BURKE: So we just sign up? Surrender? Become a division of Travers

KATE OHARA: Not quite. See, hes wrong about one thing.
He is right that pretty much every country has ceded sovereignty to
the ECB, or the IMF, or whomever.
We cede our money, our health and safety rules, our employment
laws, who gets to live in the country and who doesnt.
We traded all those. Thats the price we pay for the standard of
living we want.
But theres one thing no country has ceded, even today, even in the

TOM BURKE: What? A place in the Eurovision?

KATE OHARA: The right of a sovereign nation to defend itself, and take action
against its enemies. Ready, Colonel?

COLONEL HARRISON: Yes, Taoiseach.(presses button. Beep sound. Speaking into phone)
this is Harrison. Do it.
19 | S o v e r e i g n t y b y J a s o n O M a h o n y

Music for RTE Radio News.
NEWSREADER: Were interrupting this programme to bring you a newsflash. The American
billionaire, MATT TRAVERS, has been killed in a car-bomb explosion whilst travelling
to Dublin Airport early this evening. The Irish Republican Socialist Front, a previously
unheard-of group, has claimed responsibility. The Taoiseach, Ms OHara, has
condemned the attack and pledged that the Gardai will not rest until the murderers
of Mr Travers and his bodyguard are brought to justice. Calling Mr Travers one of
Irelands greatest friends, Ms OHara said that.



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