There was a fascinating interview on Tonight with Vincent Browne last Wednesday night. Joe McAnthony, an investigative journalist who was forced to leave Ireland in the 70s because he was too good at his job, was telling his story.
In the early 70s McAnthony exposed the Irish Hospital Sweepstakes for the corrupt scam it was. Organised by some dodgy characters with the full backing of the Irish State the Sweepstakes took in vast amounts over the decades. The money was supposed to fund Irish hospitals but in fact less than ten percent was actually used for this purpose.
It was in 1974, however, that McAnthony came under real pressure when he exposed the corrupt FF politician, Ray Burke. He was told that ‘perhaps it would be better’ if he left his job at Independent Newspapers.
He had a contract with the state broadcaster (RTE) who continued to pay him (taxpayer’s money) but bizarrely refused him further work. He eventually had to leave Ireland to get work.
Burke was allowed to continue his corrupt rampage for another 30 years, doing enormous damage to the people of Ireland, before he finally saw the inside of a jail.
McAnthony wondered why Ireland was unlike any other country, why the corrupt were seldom brought to justice, why the Irish police never raided the offices and homes of politicians who were suspected of corruption, why the facilitators of corruption like lawyers, auditors and accountants were never investigated.
The answer is of course, simple – the State itself is a corrupt entity and therefore has a vested interest in protecting the corrupt system is operates.