The perception that corruption plays a role in public affairs is as strong as our record in confronting white-collar crime is weak.
A litany of tribunals has not changed the belief that influence and advantage can be bought in this country.
Yesterday the Council of Europe Anti-Corruption Group (GRECO) added its voice to the debate and and noted that there is growing concern about corruption in Ireland, not least as a result of the findings of the 2012 Mahon Tribunal.
GRECO also suggests that the rules governing politicians are too complex and sometimes contradictory. More positively, GRECO notes that our judiciary and prosecution services are among the most trusted institutions in Ireland and that the independence of judges is undisputed.
Our economic collapse was caused by corruption and it is an indictment of our systems that so few people have been brought to book over Ireland’s greatest modern calamity. That the kind of laws needed to prevent a recurrence have not been enacted is another pretty strong indication of where the power really lies in our society.
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