Two Laws

Every once in a while a case/report appears in the media that crystalises how things are done in the Banana Republic of Ireland. Last Saturday’s Irish Times reported on the case of a Land Registry official who is facing charges of corruptly accepting cheques. The Department of Justice issued the following statement.

“A number of irregularities came to light in the Land Registry during 2003 in relation to the processing and payment of fees for certain services.”The gardaa­ were duly notified and they undertook an investigation into the matter. The matter is now before the courts. No further comment can be made at this stage as it is subjudice.”

In today’s Irish Times we read

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Micheal Martin has directed that information amassed in an inquiry into three companies linked to the Ansbacher affair be passed from his department to a number of other public bodies.

The ordinary official is in court on corruption charges two years after his alleged crime but according to the Irish Times report involving the Ansbacher scandal

the findings of the investigations into Hamilton Ross, Guinness & Mahon Ireland and College Trustees remain secret, some seven years after they were initiated

(Just allow me to repeat that – remain secret some seven years after they were initiated)
The case of the ordinary official in the Land Registry office is a good example of how real democracies deal with alleged corruption – Investigation: charges: trial: appropriate punishment. (All carried out efficiently and applied to the rich and powerful as well as to ordinary citizens)
This system results in respect for justice, respect for law and order, a sense of equality in society, and international respect for our democracy.

The Ansbacher criminality primarily involves rich and powerful citizens. None of those involved will face criminal charges, none will see the inside of a jail. Deals will be done, arrangements will be made, secrecy will be maintained.
This system results in cynicism, loss of respect for law and order, loss of respect for democracy, international contempt and the deserved title – Banana Republic of Ireland.