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Comprehensive reform ofpolitical system needed

The Mahon Tribunal report merely reinforces the need for root and branch reform of the Irish political system.

The system is not unlike those of other countries and it may simply be the case that the investigative rigour of other countries is just failing to uncover the extent of the scandal there.

There can be no excuses for corruption involving politicians, but there is what can only be described as a certain naivety in voters around the globe not to expect that politicians seeking funding for elections and for their parties will tend to engage with people with very great financial resources. The funding of political parties by very wealthy individuals is, in my view, the root cause of all corruption in politics. What we’re really seeing now is the tip of the iceberg.

Until voters realise that, then their votes only matter in so far as they fit in with the plans of millionaires and billionaires, who have access to, or maybe real control over, senior politicians.

Ireland’s people are not foolish. They will know the time has come for real change in the funding of political parties. In fact, Ireland is now in a good position to lead the way in the international drive to stop this corruption, having a potentially very strong resolve gained from its recent financial crisis.

John O’Connell



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