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Ireland has become a breeding ground for greed and corruption.
It is a country with one law for the rich and another for the poor.
The recent revelations on the banks overseas and bogus accounts scandals plus the social housing crisis and private rented accommodation are good examples.
In contrast you have working class people struggling financially to obtain a mortgage to build a family home, another 95,000 people on local authority housing lists and the abolition of the first time buyers grant which tilted the housing market even further in favour of investors.
So many of our state services are starved of finances while wealthy Irish people run in trepidation to open overseas accounts for fear of being robbed of their ill gotten gain.
Would it not be more beneficial for these hide-and-seek capitalists to invest, as shareholders, on Irish soil to help the economy and those who are unable to put a roof over their heads?
From reading the press reports on the N.I.B. scandals, officials said “they allowed the system of bogus accounts to operate because they were under pressure from management to increase deposits and retain customers.”
From this, it would seem that their conscience was snubbed out with the barometer of right and wrong in the hands of management.
At such times, it is good to remember that the true riches are not gold, silver and precious stones, but the virtues that accompany a good conscience.
Amongst public representatives, financial institutions, whatever the profession, greed and avarice seem to be taking root.
We are dealing with a small number, some of whom have already been exposed, who have crossed the line and set out for personal gain. However, all must not be tarnished by the acts of a minority.
Corruption it has been said, is the most infallible symptom of constitutional politics with little sign of a cure. The search for remedies has been a rash of tribunals.
If they taught us anything, it is that if you shake the tree long enough, bad apples will fall.
But alas, nurturing a tribunal for every scandal would be fruitless.
Better to frame a code of laws and conduct setting out the unacceptable from the fair, the straight from the crooked – restoring confidence in banks, state/semi state bodies, public representatives and all professions.
Concerns about the black arts of spin doctoring and the wink and elbow culture of cronyism also need to be addressed.
No one is perfect but we must strive to protect and safeguard our country against the evils of greed and corruption, where equal rights will apply to rich and poor.
God speed the day.
Cllr. Noel Collins
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