A corrupt state

Everything that is written on this website is based on the thesis that Ireland is a corrupt state. That is to say, Ireland, unlike most other countries, does not just suffer from a particular degree of corruption, but is, as a state, a corrupt entity in itself.
Events in Ireland become much clearer, much less puzzling when the corrupt state thesis is accepted. Here are just a few examples.

Charlie Haughey lived a life of corruption for decades. He robbed directly from the State with the help of the present Prime Minister who signed books of blank cheques for Haughey, he took millions from rich businessmen, he cheated on his taxes, and he lied under oath. Despite the dogs in the street knowing that he was a dodgy politician he was never brought to justice and was given a State funeral when he died.

Irish banks have robbed hundreds of millions from the State and customers, including some very well planned criminal scams that robbed millions directly from customer’s accounts. Not a single bank official has ever faced a police investigation.

Just yesterday, the largest bank in the country, AIB, announced that it had completed an investigation into itself and had decided not to punish any of its staff for ‘overcharging’ customers over a number of years. (What other country allows financial institutions to investigate and pass judgement on themselves?)

Irish Revenue, unique in the world, operates a policy of amnesties for certain groups of citizens who cheat on their taxes, deals are done, arrangements are made, very, very few are ever brought to justice. Over the years, Revenue has been aware of, but ignored, major criminality involving tax evasion like the DIRT and Ansbacher scams.

The Irish Financial Regulator, set up to protect the interests of consumers, in reality protects the powerful financial sector. Financial institutions guilty of robbing or ‘overcharging’ their customers are never punished and are merely required to return such monies. Furthermore, the names of all such errant institutions are kept a State secret by the Regulator, to their obvious advantage. Because of this secrecy, consumers must take their chances when dealing with the financial sector.

Like the banks, the Irish Law Society is allowed to operate its own justice system behind closed doors. At the moment, the society is investigating and passing judgement on its own members who were involved in the theft of tens of thousands of Euros from clients. Irish police have no involvement whatsoever in this ‘justice’ system.

The great bulk of corruption in Ireland is sidetracked into never ending tribunals; some have now been in session for nearly a decade. While these investigations are useful for exposing corruption, they are powerless to take any action against the corrupt. The State enacted a law that specifically prevents any evidence of criminality or corruption revealed at the tribunals being used in a subsequent police investigation. Irish police must start from scratch in the unlikely event that they might actually decide to investigate such corruption.

The above provides just a brief hint of how deeply the disease of corruption has infected every level of Irish society and culture. There are thousands of cases of serious corruption, criminality and incompetence that have been brushed under the carpet over the years.

For all this to be possible, a system, a nation, a people must adopt/evolve a particular view of themselves in order to avoid facing the brutal truth that they live in a corrupt State. Like an alcoholic or drug addict they must adopt a series of strategies in order to avoid facing the truth. Denial, excuses, (that sometimes border on the bizarre) blaming others, even the actual corruption of language itself (it was not a gift, it was a loan).

The latest scandal involving Bertie Ahern is a classic example of how the disease of corruption has warped legal and ethical norms in Ireland that are taken for granted in accountable democracies.

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  1. Gavin’s avatar

    Best post thus far.

  2. EP’s avatar

    This is because the country is full of cowards. People are afraid to say anything when they are being ripped off. The way I see it this country has us all over a barrel. Bankers and developers, even the government is laughing at us. They dont even have to do this behind our backs they do it to our faces because they know nothing will be done about it.

  3. Allen of the Bog’s avatar

    Haughey reconstructed the Dublin Fianna Fail party in his image. And it was corrupt. And the Dublin Fianna Fail party has corrupted Ireland under Ahern.

    EP – I agree with you concerning this is a country of cowards. Michael Davitt said that the Irish had two flaws : Alcohol, and MORAL COWARDICE. Moral Cowardice means taking the easy option, OBEDIENCE, being docile, going with the (corrupt) flow etc… How many Spaniards do you know would put up with this ? How many Frenchies ? Answer none. But we Irish are rolled over again and again, by the more powerful or the more informed in our society.

    Our Laws facilitate corruption. Irish Laws prosecute nobody for corruption. Irish Law put no people in jail for reasons related to corruption – unless we are talking about journalists like Susan O’Keefe who took on the biggest Industrial Group in the country in the early 1990s.
    Our Banks are corrupt, especially AIB.
    And as Shane Ross has repeatedly said there is an ‘incestuous relationship’ between the boards of directors of leading Irish companies. And nobody cares. Just get pissed and don’t worry about it.
    WE HAVE A THIRD WORLD MENTALITY TO CORRUPTION. The first thing that needs to change is the Law. And FF are standing over all the ineffective Laws that FF ministers created, preventing the Law from tackling corruption and wrong doing.

    Apart from all of this we have a pervasive mentality in many semi state companies of take all you can for yourself. Classic examples are CIE, and the ESB. CIE in particular is an example of gross incompetence. Classic example is the suburban rail network in Dublin. There are tracks that are lying redundant or half used in the Western Suburbs of Dublin. Throw in the incapability to have Arrow trains in Cork, Galway or Limerick commuter belts. And the track to Navan which transports ore, but not commuters, so we have to build a new motorway for the commuters when they would prefer to link up with the Drogheda line and snooze on the way to Dublin.

    Act for change. Vote for local Activist mentality candidates in the next election. Enough independent activists in the Dail means that the main parties have to co-operate or increase their competence levels. A cynic might comment – are any of these options remotely possible ?…

  4. jonijoe’s avatar

    Allen of the bog,
    Well said.