Truth and transparency gets an outing

Nama are taking a court case to try and prove they are not liable to provide Freedom of Information as they are not a public body. Amazingly, this may be the first bit of truth and transparency we have had in Ireland for quite a while.

After all, how can one explain that courts in Ireland, every department of the State, every ministry, the Central Bank, the houses of the Oireachtas, the office of An Taoiseach, the office of President, garda stations, Revenue Commissioners, etc are all listed as companies on dunandbradstreet.com. This is a financial reporting portal listing all of the above and much more within Ireland as being ‘companies’.

Who owns these companies? Is it us, as members of the public, or could it be a third party private entity? If all of the above are true public bodies then surely their accounting should all be performed at central level within Ireland and not be listed as independent companies on websites?

On July 17, 1942, in Dáil Éireann with only five deputies in the chamber, the final of five debates on the introduction of the Central Bank played out. Seán T O’Kelly as Minister for Finance, who guided the motion through the chamber, revealed that the owner of the credit issued by the Central Bank of Ireland should be the private property of the joint stock banker and not the property of the people of Ireland.

Could it be construed that the people assumed full liability while private hands assumed the profits? If the Minister is the sole shareholder in the Irish Central Bank, which again we are assured is the case, but said Minister is listed as a company, is that enough to suspect the Irish Central Bank is in fact a private for-profit company that masquerades as a public entity?

Barry Fitzgerald

Lissarda

Co Cork

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