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Ireland's "legal corruption"

category national | miscellaneous | feature author Wednesday March 04, 2009 14:48author by Eanna Dowling Report this post to the editors

“Business is seen as particularly close to political life in Ireland.”

featured image
Transparency International (Ireland)

A new report based on 2 and a half years of academic study has found that Ireland suffers high levels of “legal corruption”. The Transparency International (TI) report found that: “While no laws may be broken, personal relationships, patronage and political donations are believed to influence political decisions and policy to a considerable degree in Ireland.”


Although the report is light on banking, it does shed some light on the Galway Races Tent culture when it states that “Business is seen as particularly close to political life in Ireland.” The Galway Races is an annual horse racing social gathering at which the leading political party Fianna Fail had a notorious fundraising tent up until last year. TI do draw attention to the ease at which political donations can be secured. There is no requirement to declare donations under €5,078.98 to a party or under €635 to an individual.

The National Integrity System Country Study is one of many carried out internationally by the Non Governmental Organisation Transparency International. The Irish study is one of the few actually paid for by a national Government, in this case via the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform. Primary research was initially led by Dr Elaine Byrne and completed under the direction of John Devitt. The report ranks Local Government, Political Parties, and Ireland’s Public Contracting System, as those sectors most vulnerable to fraud, corruption and the abuse of power.

Low on bribes
Although the report documents some of the findings of the various Tribunals of Inquiry established by recent Governments it concludes that levels of “petty corruption” are amongst the lowest in the world and that Ireland’s citizens are amongst the least likely to be asked for a bribe.

However the report cites a Sunday Independent report from 2006 as claiming that bribes have been offered to one in ten CEOs of Irish companies to award contracts.

No chapter on banking
It seems unfortunate to say the least, but there is no chapter in the report dedicated to banking. It does document the evolution of the Financial Regulator’s office following the national scandal in which Ireland’s leading banks were implicated in systemic overcharging of retail and business customers and the evasion of Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT). TI recognise that the Regulator takes a “principle based approach to regulation and supervision placing responsibility on the boards and management of financial institutions to implement appropriate risk management systems and effective anti-money laundering internal controls.”

The report states that the Regulator has never fined a bank for regulatory breaches even though it has the power to do so. No-one was ever prosecuted in the aftermath of the DIRT scandal. Perhaps the only public casualty in the banking sector until recently was Fianna Fail TD Beverly Cooper Flynn who lost a libel action in the High Court during which it emerged that she had encouraged a number of people to evade paying tax. She lost the Fianna Fail whip for a short period and had to pay significant legal fees. She is not mentioned in the TI report.

“The Wild West of European Finance”
The report does however document the Regulator’s role in the scandal that led to the New York Times referring to Ireland as the ‘Wild West of European Finance’ in 2005. A US$500 million reinsurance deal was alleged to have been transacted illegally between a Dublin based re-insurance firm, Cologne Reinsurance and AIG Insurance in the US. The Chief Executive of Cologne Re., John Houldsworth had already been debarred by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority in 2004 for his part in a similar fraud in 2001 and contributed to the AUS$5.3 billion collapse of one of Australia’s leading insurance firms. In 2006, Houldsworth pleaded guilty to securities fraud in Virginia, having left Ireland to stand trial in the US. The TI report asserts that the Irish Regulator was accused of moving too slowly to investigate the US$500 million deal and of weak supervision of the insurance and reinsurance sectors generally. Ireland did not transpose the EU Reinsurance Directive into law until 2006, thereby providing for regulation of that sector for the first time.

Jim Flavin
The report also documents the Fyffes Plc v DCC Plc and others case from 2007 when the Supreme Court found that a shareholder had access to price-sensitive information when selling its shares worth €106 million in the food importer. The case caused a scandal in Ireland as Jim Flavin was a Director of Fyffes and Chief Executive of DCC. By mid 2008, the High Court appointed an Inspector to examine the share dealing events in question.

The Golden Circle
The cosiness of Ireland’s Golden Circle is brought into focus deep on page 140 of the report. “Business is seen as particularly close to political life in Ireland. The World Bank Institute’s Corporate Ethics Index of 2004 found that only 43% of Irish business leaders believed that the private sector does not have undue influence over the political process – this finding places Ireland behind some developing countries including Botswana, Ghana and Malaysia. Influence can be brought to bear by business organizations, individual businesses and trade unions through political donations, the Social partnership process, professional lobbying on legislation, board membership of public bodies, and more informally through social networks.”

Freedom of Information
The report draws particular attention to the fees payable under the Freedom of Information Act (FoI). “Given the acknowledged role that transparency has in preventing corruption, it is surprising that the Irish Government has curtailed access to official information. The FOI has been weakened by the introduction of fees for access to non personal information and charges of €150 for appeals. The fees, which are amongst the highest in the world, have led to a dramatic fall in the number of requests for information from both the media and general public.”

The benefit of FOI was brought home to Irish people last autumn when Shane Ross published an article in the Sunday Independent about the lavish expenses claimed by former FAS Chief Executive Rody Molloy. FAS is the national training agency with a well remunerated board staffed by representatives of the social partners (unions, employers and Government appointees).

Mary Harney and FAS
Ross’s newspaper spent over €1,000 on a FOI request for details of expenses paid. His report revealed first class air travel for executives and their spouses and led to considerable embarrassment for the Government when it was revealed that Mary Harney, the Minister for Health had claimed over $400 for beauty shop treatments on the trip. Having appointed Mr Molloy as Chief Executive in August 2000 in her then capacity as Minister for Enterprise, Harney announced her appointment of Brian Geoghan as Chairman of FAS on November 21 2000. A year and 9 days later, November 30 2001, she married Mr Geoghan.

As the expenses scandal exposed by Senator Ross engrossed the nation, Rody Molloy resigned his position, with a handsome pay off and a good pension. Without the large budget of the country’s largest print media group for the FOI, and Senator Ross’s clout with his editor, the information would never have come to light.

The Freedom of Information Act is a minefield
Senator Ross details his experiences on his website: http://www.shane-ross.ie/archives/442/first-blood-at-fo...e-442
He describes his experiences thus:

“The Freedom of Information Act is a minefield. You need to ask the right questions. You need to know exactly what you are seeking. It takes time. And it is lethally expensive. FAS took the maximum time allowed to release the papers.
"Initially it said the documents would cost nearly a grand. Good tactic: that would kill the question stone dead. Any citizen without Seanad expenses or a newspaper would baulk at this. We instantly agreed to this outrageous fee for information which should be freely accessible.
"A few weeks later, Fas admitted that the work involved in digging up its records was less than expected. So it reduced the fee to €400. The deterrent had failed.
"Next, mysteriously, my cheque was lost in the post, somewhere on the 500-yard journey from Leinster House to Fas. Another delay. Another cheque.”

Can we deduce that only someone with the financial resources of a Senator or the backing of a well endowed national print media group can access information freely in Ireland?

But perhaps we should be grateful that FAS are actually covered by Freedom of Information at all. The TI study draws attention to the fact that An Garda Siochana (Irish Police Forcce) are excluded from the list of institutions covered by FOI. “The omission of Ireland’s police service from the list of bodies covered by FOI is believed to make her unique among industrialized democracies.”

Transparency International’s recommendations:

The study makes over thirty recommendations to tackle a problem that TI claims contributed to the world financial crisis, and could be costing the Irish economy an additional €3 billion each year in lost business revenues and foreign investment.
These include:
1. The introduction of laws, similar to those in the UK, to protect whistleblowers in the public and private sector who report concerns of public importance.
2. The introduction of a Register of Lobbyists that would bring more transparency to the relationship between government, regulators, business and interest groups.
3. The ratification of international conventions against corruption, including the UN Convention described as the “Kyoto Protocol” on global corruption.
4. The establishment of a Garda Anti-Corruption Unit and more resources for law enforcement agencies including the Director of Corporate Enforcement, the Competition Authority, the Criminal Assets Bureau, and the Garda “Fraud Squad”.
5. Reform of Freedom of Information fee system. Irish FOI fees and costs of appeals are the highest in the developed world.
6. The publication of local Councillors’ declarations of interest on the Internet.
7. The scrapping of Government plans to treble the amount of gifts and loans politicians can receive and keep secret.
8. The publication of an annual report by the Comptroller and Auditor General on some of the most costly public contracts each year.
9. The opening of all appointments to the Boards of State bodies to public competition.
10. The publication of clear no-bribe and conflict of interest policies by newspaper organisations and journalist unions.

This report is welcome and timely. It sets out clearly the roles and functions of many institutions in Irish public life. The recommendations are in the main, sound, and the issues of lobbying and freedom of information certainly need to be tackled. The finding that decision making and policy development are based largely on networks of influence will surprise no-one. But it needs to be said, the culture needs to be tackled and the problems arising from that way of doing our business need to be solved.

Read it yourself:
The full report here.
The executive summary here.

Related Link: http://www.transparency.ie
author by James Kellypublication date Tue Mar 03, 2009 22:48Report this post to the editors

One of the elements of corruption that the Fourth Estate steer well and truly clear from and thus the public are kept blissfully unaware of, is, what a friend of mine used to call "dirty work at the crossroads", this time in our hallowed institutions of the courts, amongst some lawyers and elements of the courts service.

Joe or Mary citizen might have a hard time in whatever particular walk of life and struggle that they find themselves in, but they will in the main, think that if push comes to shove and things go down to the wire, they will have a court of law to decide and determine the disputed isssues in line with norms of impartial decision making and strict adherence to the law.

Unfortunately this is not always the case and I dont mean the standard class critique of the judiciary, I mean not playing the game on the level, not dealing with clean hands, and not keeping within the rules of the game.

Thankfully, this report flagged up the lack of a judicial complaints system, not high enough for my liking, but still, it is there on the record.

A Judicial Council to deal with complaints against judges was recomended in 2001, following a study of the issues by a committee headed by non other than the most senior judge of the Supreme Court, Roanan Keane.

Eight years later no such body exists and here on indymedia it was reported last year that a man lodged an internal letter of complaint about a District Court judge to the President of the High Court and was fined 17 000 plus 10 000 in costs for defamation.

"Corruption thrives in secret places and avoids public places"

What a set up and what a country !

Thanks to the Author for putting this up.

author by Bohemian Poetpublication date Wed Mar 04, 2009 13:26Report this post to the editors


For many decades the culture of who you know and not what you know has been allowed to flourish within Irish society.
The political parties have created a system of patronage based upon the business interests or religious belief of the individual. This is corrupt and simple minded in itself, but it also alienates those with no religious belief or business interest.

The state, the legal system, the business leaders and the church have allowed the Irish economy to be corrupted and brought to the brink of financial collapse and now expect the citizens of the country to take pity on them and support their bail outs and golden goodbye handshakes.!

This dirty work that has been carried out at the crossroads, the race track and the church gate must stop.
A fair and impartial society can only be created and sustained through an honest and open integrity, being practised by the public figures of that society.
Transparency and accountability in the legal system is the starting requirement to support and underpin freedom and fairness.

A time for change has never been so apparent

author by the immaculate contributionpublication date Wed Mar 04, 2009 20:01Report this post to the editors

back articles on three previous years of the "corruption perception index reports" from "Transparency" which give us an idea of how the Irish ranking has held its own despite all the threats of decency, fairplay or the proper workings of a state of law -

2006
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/79537
2005
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/72623
2002
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/16413

author by Tarapublication date Thu Mar 05, 2009 17:08Report this post to the editors

It claims the Republic of Ireland's corruption is all "legal corruption".

What about the legality (for example) of the corruption connected with the event which took place in the early hours of July 4th 2007 at Baronstown, in the Hill of Tara area?

For an account of this event, which includes photographs, please go to:
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/83306

"Gerry Hogan, senior counsel for Mr Salafia, claimed the legislation used to push through the project (PPP M3 Toll Road) was unconstitutional. He said the National Monuments (Amendment) Act 2004 weakened the role of the Oireachtas (Ireland's national parliament) by giving the minister discretionary powers to determine the fate of the country's heritage. Mr Hogan claimed the state's duty to protect monuments had been 'seriously compromised' ". (Additional background information on this comment can be found at http://www.indymedia.ie/article/83611#comment203109 .)

Please see the Daily Telegraph report on the above mentioned comments made by Dr Gerard Hogan ( http://www.tcd.ie/Law/GerardHogan/ ), Lecturer in Law at Trinity College, Dublin:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/irelan....html .

Producing and sustaining unconstitutional law involves treasonous forms of crime, and in this particular case it also involves all three of the main branches of the Government of the Republic of Ireland: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial -- all acting as though they never even heard of the "tripartite separation of powers doctrine" which is deeply embedded in Bunreacht na hEireann (The Basic Law of the Republic of Ireland).

Allowing for the above, it's difficult to see how things could get much worse regarding the presence of grossly "ILLEGAL corruption" in the Republic of Ireland: which, to make matters 10 times worse -- at least I would say -- is being committed with impunity (i.e. NOBODY is being punished for it).

Unconstitutional legislation, Tara, M3:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Unconstitutional+l...earch

Unconstitutional legislation, Turoe Stone, N6:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Unconstitutional+l...earch

Cultural genocide, Hague Convention, Tara, Turoe:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Cultural+genocide%...earch

author by Re de Burgo - Irish Rip-Off Merchants Association (IRMA)publication date Fri Mar 06, 2009 02:51Report this post to the editors

Noel Dempsey in his warm up speech to the Fianna Fail Annual Diarohea Fest accused the banks of outdoing Cromwell in damage to Ireland. This is somewhat rich from a previous Minister for Energy ,who, shortly prior to his depearture from that Ministery in 2006, gave Shell and other oil companies twenty year licenses that will yield little or nothing for the State . These licenses were given by him under the old Ahern/ McGoldrick 1992 Terms in the full knowledge that the legislation had to be changed, according to the Indecon Report which has put a figure of FIVE TRILLION EURO on Ireland's total oil and gas reserves on land an sea. In his own words :"ECONOMIC TREASON" !

author by Pádraicpublication date Fri Mar 06, 2009 11:17Report this post to the editors

"With watchdogs like this, those individuals in Irish and international big business who wish to pull fast ones at home and abroad can sleep easily."

From: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/82502

author by Alanapublication date Sun Mar 08, 2009 13:09Report this post to the editors

Before they produce any more such dangerously misleading reports on corruption in the Republic of Ireland, it seems to me that Transparency International (Ireland) could usefully take careful note of articles (from reliable sources) on the proactive role that is allegedly being played by the World Bank, and the IMF (International Monitory Fund), in promoting global corruption.

"Stiglitz (Former World Bank Vice President, Chief Economist and Nobel Prize winner) caused controversy in October 2001 when he exposed RAMPANT CORRUPTION within the IMF and blew the whistle on their nefarious methods of inducing countries to fall under their debt before stripping them of sovereignty and hollowing out their economies."

From: http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/october2006/301006...h.htm

Related Link: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Nefarious+Monster%...f&oq=

author by lulupublication date Mon Mar 09, 2009 19:06Report this post to the editors

Not only did the politicians give away Corrib Gas, but they've been using the Garda & judiciary for over eight years to oppress the Erris people who have the courage to defend their lands.
Ireland should be for its citizens, not just for its shareholders.

author by Gaelpublication date Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:56Report this post to the editors

The very worst feature of all this sickening government corruption business is that thanks to the extremely difficult-to-remedy curse of "IMPUNITY", there appears to be absolutely no LAWFUL means of resolving the insidious array of government corruption, crime, and cover-ups which we are all living through at the present time: because there is (in practice) no means of bringing the "public servant" perpetrators of such crime before the courts of law.

The United Nations has defined "Impunity" as follows:

"Impunity means the impossibility, de jure or de facto (i.e. in principle or in practice), of bringing the perpetrators of violations to account - whether in criminal, civil, administrative or disciplinary proceedings - since they are not subject to any inquiry that might lead to their being accused, arrested, tried and, if found guilty, sentenced to appropriate penalties, and to making reparations to their victims." (This excerpt has been taken from the following United Nations location: http://www.derechos.org/nizkor/impu/principles.html )

In terms of "social justice", perhaps the oldest, most sought after, and most important of all human endeavours, the "Ruling Elites" are still "dealing the cards": and they are still arrogantly insisting on always having the right to deal from a "stacked deck".

Perhaps the most frightening aspect of all this is the possibility that the "curse of impunity" has by now taken on "a life of its own", which is so strong and powerful that it can never be stopped?

Impunity and Social Injustice:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Impunity+and+Socia...f&oq=

Dealing with injustice:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Dealing+with+injus...4&oq=

=============================

author by Englishmanpublication date Tue Mar 10, 2009 15:42Report this post to the editors

Even DEV stole money donated to him in America for Ireland to set up The Irish Press.
Ireland is rotten to the core.

author by Michelle Clarke - Social Justicepublication date Tue Mar 10, 2009 17:35Report this post to the editors

Mr. Englishman I must agree your comment but there is a lot more to be revealed in family hidden history, in the archives and the 32 m. wealth that Ireland is presently supposed to be worth.

Anglo Irish is one facilitator but we hear nought about their Austrian, Cayman Island and Swiss accounts.......there in as in World War 2 and the Jewish people lies a most incredible tale which has been placed in a dustbin because it is about wealth and people.

Don't forget the horses, the McGrath
s, the Irish Sweepstakes, the 1930 senate debates (Comyn, my grandfather both KC and Dail Court 1921-23 Judge. He defended Erskine Childers, Thomas Clarke and saved the lives of 35 people via the House of Lords who were due for execution.

Mr. Englishman - that is then. Where is the 32 billion assets now.....we had the annuities and certain legal brains put it to Dev to stop paying them.........................Boy is this in the Irish psychic. Are waiting for the IMF to come so that we can keep the wealth and get them to pay the Work in Progress

Similard to the Financial Services Centre

Please Please get a universal health system in Place Ireland. I refer to myself as a victim of its duality negligence.

Come back Sean MacBride
Noel Brown
Welcome on board McGrath FG
Alan Shatter

author by Jack Russell - Social Justice and Ethicspublication date Thu Mar 12, 2009 18:28Report this post to the editors

First::

There was a Proclamation and the GPO........a set of possibly idealistic pledges but aspirations anyway. If you lived in Zimbabwe, Mugabe re-iterates the regime, there are words similar to the Proclamation and a complimentary full size photo, just in case you might forget Power.....absolute power and how it works.......From a bread basket to near starvation and cholera.

Well, this is Ireland..........caught by massive banking corruption and the strong possibility the International Monetary Fund will have to take over....as they have done in the so called Third World and Zimbabwe......When I left our Govt.s had funded a 20 story Reserve Bank and the Post Office Savings bank .... 1996....

What has happened to them.......

Next Question

What does the separation of powers mean: Jack's uncle was a High Court Judge in England, hoping of course to make it to the House of Lords. His focus was the family division and one of his most infamous cases was The Moonies.....JJ had strong Irish Catholic views here and he was entitled as the first Irish Catholic to be appointed to the Oxford Union.

He talked a lot to jack......he wanted no conflict of interest......The Irish people today have lost touch with knowledge and learning and reality.............

It is you have a Senate (they want to Abolish), they have a most visible cautiously spoken President living in the 'Park'....and then we have Govt.......The core links to the Rule of Law.....but it is also about Checks and Balances......Think of the woman at Dublin Castle standing resplendent 'with her arse to Dublin city (poverty)......and supervising the Trbunals (where is Mahon and his results), the beautiful state buildings, and as for the protestant church, it is worth a visit...............

Jack Russell of the Duke Bedfordshire breed says, we the English once owned all of this and introduced and shared our democracy.....................something is ary. We had considerable lands in Co. Clare one time

We in Ireland have Judiciary married to doctors, to Finance Ministers and maybe even....more....conflicts

People: Look, think about our debt, the corruption and how we can make changes

Jack Russell (Cleverst dog in Dublin 4 at observation)

Related Link: http://www.2006violence
author by Jack Russell - Social Justice and Ethicspublication date Thu Mar 12, 2009 18:28Report this post to the editors

First::

There was a Proclamation and the GPO........a set of possibly idealistic pledges but aspirations anyway. If you lived in Zimbabwe, Mugabe re-iterates the regime, there are words similar to the Proclamation and a complimentary full size photo, just in case you might forget Power.....absolute power and how it works.......From a bread basket to near starvation and cholera.

Well, this is Ireland..........caught by massive banking corruption and the strong possibility the International Monetary Fund will have to take over....as they have done in the so called Third World and Zimbabwe......When I left our Govt.s had funded a 20 story Reserve Bank and the Post Office Savings bank .... 1996....

What has happened to them.......

Next Question

What does the separation of powers mean: Jack's uncle was a High Court Judge in England, hoping of course to make it to the House of Lords. His focus was the family division and one of his most infamous cases was The Moonies.....JJ had strong Irish Catholic views here and he was entitled as the first Irish Catholic to be appointed to the Oxford Union.

He talked a lot to jack......he wanted no conflict of interest......The Irish people today have lost touch with knowledge and learning and reality.............

It is you have a Senate (they want to Abolish), they have a most visible cautiously spoken President living in the 'Park'....and then we have Govt.......The core links to the Rule of Law.....but it is also about Checks and Balances......Think of the woman at Dublin Castle standing resplendent 'with her arse to Dublin city (poverty)......and supervising the Trbunals (where is Mahon and his results), the beautiful state buildings, and as for the protestant church, it is worth a visit...............

Jack Russell of the Duke Bedfordshire breed says, we the English once owned all of this and introduced and shared our democracy.....................something is ary. We had considerable lands in Co. Clare one time

We in Ireland have Judiciary married to doctors, to Finance Ministers and maybe even....more....conflicts

People: Look, think about our debt, the corruption and how we can make changes

Jack Russell (Cleverst dog in Dublin 4 at observation)

Related Link: http://www.2006violence
author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Thu Mar 12, 2009 18:41Report this post to the editors

Too often the 'Did Nothing Illegal' Defence is trotted out, a dreadfully childish response to any breach of moral or ethical responsibility. Politics and Big Business have been hand in hand in Ireland virtually since the foundation of the State and the only thing that Irish citizens can be sure of is that one will be sent to jail for stealing a couple of packets of cigarettes, but one will never do time for 'misdealing' millions. This is because in order to 'misappropriate' millions you need help. The spectacle of some troubled banker crowing out a shelf-load of 'names' from a witness box is not going to be allowed to happen. Now it should be remembered that 'legal corruption' of varying degrees exists throughout Irish society; in the Arts as much as anywhere else. Friends publish friends, circulate jobs and positions amongst other friends, critics are silenced, critics are pampered, arts' management jobs are offered to mates and even relatives. Nothing is sacrosanct. We have become a grubby people, inventing or distorting language like children trying to avoid confessing sins in a confession-box. We betray one another as a matter of course. Because now it is in our nature to do so. We have turned Art into a four-letter word in some instances.

author by Taggerpublication date Thu Mar 19, 2009 22:28Report this post to the editors

I agree with you Fred 100% but is it not now time for real change, maybe they will take a lead from President Obama he seems to be a pretty decent chap.

I live in hope.

author by Edmund Smith - Fair and Helpfulpublication date Sun Mar 22, 2009 23:49Report this post to the editors

well , george was a breath of fresh air on R.T.E. presenting his usual style of ''truth telling '' albeit from afar , the blame game is now going into 5th gear
and the ''cute hoors '' are strutting their stuff to the extent of mindless lie upon lie etc , It all seems so simple now we are practically all bankrupt of each
other , what you must expect dear readers is the re-introduction of NO , made famous by that rat thatcher of the english tory party .

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Tue Mar 24, 2009 13:44Report this post to the editors

An Irish solution to an Irish disease? Only in Ireland could such Jesuitical distinctions be coined to cover up moral and ethical wrong-doing. In politics, the arts, business, 'legal corruption' of one sort or other is rampant, is virtually a given aspect of conducting affairs. Personal responsibility has no place in such a structure. Are we doomed to be a drunken, wink-and-nod, cute-hoorish society, with the ethics of a Mugabe? And for how long is the government going to insist on covering for their buddies who have caused the breakdown of banks and banking systems? If there is no governmental authority and no general recognisable ethical authority, are we living in a country at all?

author by Comyn - Justicepublication date Tue Aug 27, 2013 16:36Report this post to the editors

What has changed?

Are we ready to abolish the bicameral system?

Do we yet have an effective Separation of Powers that ensures we priortise the Rule of Law?

This detailed site started in 2009 merits attention now. Ireland in 2004 was fifth from the bottom in the corruption stakes in Europe so it would be most interesting to see if we improved? There is a clear agenda for the coalition Government on their return from summer holidays if this piece of citizen journalism is examined. We need to ask questions such as what has been achieved to combat corruption in Ireland? What is outstanding?

The Separation of Powers is about the system of checks and balances. Abuse of power must be recognised and acted upon in line with the Constitution.

Dearbhail McDonald comments on the post-crisis plight of the judiciary. Judges take-home pay is reduced by one third since 2009 but more significantly that the income for new judges is now 45% lower than their colleagues who were appointed before 2012. Judges are guaranteed security of tenure and a pension, but this also has changed. Now new judges are expected to serve for 20 years instead of 15 before they are eligible for a pension. Quite rightly Dearbhail McDonald says that 'the deterioration in the relationship between the executive and the judiciary has led many senior barristers and solicitors to rule out becoming a judge'. This could mean that the checks and balances scrutiny based on the Separation of Powers is jeopardised based on purely economic cut-backs on the instruction of the Executive.

The referendum to abolition the senate in September 2013 surely is an instruction to delete rather than prune. Bureaucracy abounds in the senate but also the executive while it appears that the judiciary are now opting to retire from the bench and choosing to return to practising law, if not like Fidelma Macken, former retired Supreme Court Justice, who has returned to work in the UK.

We need to know that corruption is tackled but that the separation of powers is preserved in line with the Constitution.

author by O'Malley - Justicepublication date Mon Sep 02, 2013 15:24Report this post to the editors

Resolve, the Law Society, the Minister for Justice, the political will, and maybe just maybe one of these 'solicitor financial delinquents' who engaged in corrupt practices is being challenged with the possibility of a warrant returning him from Brazil to Ireland to face the courts for the wrongs done.

Stand corruption down is the only way forward. If people are not held accountable and if justice is not seen to be done, Ireland's destination is that of some of the corrupt states to be found in the African continent. Murky and dirty is not what we want to aspire to. The Tribunals have laid the foundation stone that enables Ireland to regain its economic sovereignty and integrity going forward. We need to renew our pledge to uphold the Rule of Law, the Separation of Powers and tackle the corruption culture that has caused so much harm.

Newspapers talk about a Mareva Injunction: Does anyone know what this means?

O'Malley

author by I told everyone I'm an architect - Battered Daddy.compublication date Mon Sep 02, 2013 16:19Report this post to the editors

Following the breakup of my marriage [made in heaven] due to my constant jealous rages against my foreign asylum seeker partner & her contacts with womens groups, I began to write comments to a website wot dealt with crooked members of the legal association in Ireland, I was approached by a firm of solicitors on the east coast , their aim was to get me to find out the sources tat operated the website & my reward was they wud get the wife back using the tried and trusted excuse of my illness , of which i had many , i'n afraid to admit, all was going well with a daily report of my findings by ringing the office letting the secretary know of any updates & 50 euros a weak for my expenses , due to the constant reports and a top member in the website coming on board i thought i was flying until a member tat wrote comments found out our plan and EXPOSED the pear of us in public , i won't never trust solicitors again as the east coast crowd abandoned us in our our of need because the member tat found the pear of us out is no pushover & she used her contacts to find out who was behind my plan to get back into our rented house and live happy ever after , the piont of me sending this comment into Indymedia is to let your readers know tat solicitors , not all , are so much of cloak and dagger specimens tat are greedy peeple only intrested in ther own pokets . yor one pulled the east coast solicitors down when she uncovered the truth and the east coast solicitors - i can't mention thor name for leagal reesons , don't hav nothing 2 do wit crooks of solicitors as they denied they ever even knew me when the time came to get me back to my lovely wife , who is stil living in dalkey area and seeing other men , and the 3 children she has never even pick up the fone to wish me the time of day.

author by Comyn - Justicepublication date Tue Sep 10, 2013 16:36Report this post to the editors

At last, the financial crisis is entrenched over 5 years now and it appears that nothing will ever be done to tackle the people who fuelled the crisis by their unregulated actions.

Things look like they may be changing:

Mr Lynn, solicitor, who escaped to Brazil, sits in prison in Brazil, facing extradition. The solicitors purse was scorched and money talks and reputation was damaged, so the legal profession sought another way of ensuring that he be returned to Ireland even though Ireland has no extradition warrant with Brazil. We await to see if they will be successful in their actions. The Scales of Justices says let him stand before our courts.

Another strategic move is to plea bargain, that which is carried out so effectively in the US and something we really need now to reprimand those who breached the law and contributed to the financial crisis because of their reckless and unregulated actions.

Matt Moran, Anglo Irish Bank, Chief Financial Officer, working with the bank at the time of the nationalisation in 2009 'has been granted immunity from prosecution from the criminal investigations into the bank'. The DPP has finally engaged with serious necessary action and has produced the 'Immunity Agreement' which they have been working on for 2 years now.

It's time now for the onus to rest with the CFO who can actively data mine because he knows where the sources rest. Yes, he will be able to follow the monies worldwide and who knows with Switzerland making arrangements to reveal who holds overseas accounts, we may find funds returning to Ireland especially now when we really need them to return.

Comyn

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