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.