Costly tribunals fail to impress

If THE obscenely expensive tribunals have proved one thing it is this; McCarthyism is not yet dead! If politicians have been found to have broken the law, try them in a court of law and film the proceeds. A billion euro for tribunals and all for what?

For five years in the early 1950s America, Joseph McCarthy could level any accusation at any individual without proper evidence as would be needed in a court of law and in consequence destroyed many lives. Rumours, not facts, were used to condemn.

Witch-hunts terrorised the innocent.

Dozens were black-listed and lost their livelihoods. Reputations were damaged by smear tactics.

Tribunals, by legal definition, are a waste of time, a waste of money and have wasted respect for law. They have become the theatre of the absurd, telling us some things we already knew at a cost of almost €100,000 per page, and there are almost 3,300 pages.

Significant evidence should be the only criteria and a court of law the only place where reputations are weighed in the balance.

Indiscriminate allegations, especially on the basis of unsubstantiated charges, should have no place in a civilised society, and the facilitator of this type of trial by media has been tribunals.

John J May

Old Bawn


Dublin 24

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