Fine Gael, Fianna Fail, Labour and other parties are completely unwilling to talk about corruption in Ireland. The state broadacaster, RTE media, is doing its best to avoid the topic. Newspapers and their owners are avoiding informing many of Ireland’s 4.8 million population. What are they hiding from the public?
Ireland has fallen to 19th in the Transparency International global corruption index
Due to a near decade long failure to act on the findings of the Moriarty and Mahon tribunals, political parties are still unwilling to give others the resources needed to tackle white-collar crime. Ireland’s reputation has once more been allowed to take a hit under the influence and control of mainstream political parties.
It is not hard to see why it has taken a further hit when, for example, Fine Gael allowed their own ministers, who are bondholders, to get to decide if bondholders should be ‘burned’ or not as a national policy position!
Then there is the situation where one in five TD’s are landlords (LINK) – but they still get to vote on government policy which conflicts with their profit interests.
In other countries this is regarded as a clear “Conflict of Interest” or “Insider Trading” – and is severely punishable by the removal from office those elected representatives involved. Serious fines and prison time is handed down to the culprits.
In Ireland under the usual mainstream parties, its unbelievably allowed to continue. Not only that but they are given massive state pensions and additional perks for life. It is absolute madness.
The question is Why won’t they do anything? yet again has to be asked yet again. It could be speculated that Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and Labour are unwilling to tackle white collar crime because in some cases it has come too close to home. Maybe this explains why “The Drumcondra Mafia” or the infamous “Golden Circle” (both still not named) has yet to be held to account, as has Bertie Ahern, Michael Lowry and many others.
Those who had Ansbacher tax haven accounts have not been brought to justice either.
Maybe the culprits know too many secrets and someone fears their spilling the beans in open court?
What is certain is that even today under the present parties, corruption continues unabated in Ireland. Cronyism, nepotism and more continues and the fact cannot be argued disputed. Thankfully International media reports on such matters even if the Irish media won’t.
Items like Enda Kenny’s local friends gaining state contracts without any tendering process or the personal data of an entire nation being given away for financial exploitation to private companies – all without permission – is continuing today. This shows growing political antics and corruption from the usual trio of mainstream parties.
These facts continue to be hidden from the public as certain parties refuse to talk about such matters and even worse, refuse to act and do the right thing by their citizens – their employers! They are assisted in the task of keeping the public uniformed by those who seek to profit themselves through political friendships but who also have media influence.
John Devitt, chief executive of Transparency International Ireland:
Compared to countries like Denmark and New Zealand [which came first and second], Ireland has been in the news for the wrong reasons over the past decade. Take the level of resources we have for fighting white-collar crime. It is well below other countries of a similar size.
A simple example of this he explained, was Hong Kong who have 1,100 police officers dedicated to tackling white-collar crime, whereas the same department in An Garda Siochana have a deplorable staff count of 15.
The Moriarty tribunal was released in March 2011 and it found that Denis O’Brien, Irish Oligarch and mass media tycoon, had made improper payments to Michael Lowry, the former Fine Gael communications minister. The report stated Mr Lowry “secured the winning” of a mobile phone licence for Mr O’Brien’s Esat Digifone consortium in 1995.
Gardai have opened an investigation based on the report but incredibly, no charges have been brought over five years later and Mr O’Brien has denied any wrongdoing.
In March 2012 the Mahon tribunal found that Bertie Ahern, the former Taoiseach, had failed to “truthfully” explain a number of payments from businessmen. No charges here have been brought against Mr Ahern either and he also denies any wrongdoing.
The Bigger Picture.
Sadly, what our poorly performing elected representatives of Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and Labour have allowed to continue is unaccountability, corruption and white collar crime. It is rampant.
In January 2017 Ireland’s citizens had had to suffer and see one Willie McAteer, former finance director of Anglo Irish Bank, be allowed to avoid serving extra jail time at all despite receiving an additional €8 Million Euro through a fraudulent loan obtained in September 2008. Not one day will extra will he serve!
What would an ordinary worker get from a judge if they swindled one hundred Euro?
Meanwhile in this month, one Jacqueline Durcan (47), a solicitor who stole €260,000 from her clients has had her sentence halved. The reason? She complained that she faced a tough time maintaining contact with her husband and children in Brussels, because the state had the temerity to place her in prison for her actions.
She broke the law, seriously broke people’s trust and stole huge amounts of money from them. However she got a light sentence because she complained that – due to her own self initiated illegal actions – prison time was having a punishing effect!
The laws that are allowed exist under Fine Gael, Fianna Fail or Labour governments, are an ass. Still so far, they are in no hurry to change. You have got to ask why this is so. If they won’t act then the people must – and vote them out of office.
Meanwhile biased media reporting along with elected TD’s who are not only unwilling to do what’s right are deliberately unwilling to inform Ireland’s 4.8 million population about what is not happening. In any democratic society they would.
They are further keeping people in the dark out of self-interest and party protection above what should be done lawfully and right.
What would UnitedPeople do?
- Go to the Garda (top level and bottom) and find out what resources they need to investigate white-collar crime, be it manpower or other logistics.
- Give it to them!
- See that they have full non-political interference in their ability to investigate white-collar crime.
- Change the laws of the land so that they or other investigative bodies such as SIPO, can investigate matters without the need for an outside reporting of them to their investigation units. In other words, if by way of information they gain during every day operations, they learn of something else elsewhere that could be happening (or previous did so), they have the right to at least look into that matter further also. If judges warrants are needed to advance this – they can be applied for with standard human rights right being applicable as legal safeguards towards citizens.
- Increase the laws of the land to see that no one is capable of escaping insider trading, conflict of interest and more.
- Increase severely the penalties for anyone committing white-collar crime.
Fine Gael, Fianna Fail, Labour et al will be determined to stop UnitedPeople from advancing such democratic support by employing open and underhand dirty tricks possible. They don’t wish their cosy set-up to be overturned and anyone found guilty being held accountable.
Of course, they are not going to openly oppose the above. That would be bad PR for them so they will attempt to find other methods to deny the above. Even if that means personal attacks via social and mainstream media. That is the lower levels that they are expected to sink to.
It’s what they are good at.