Ireland's international reputation – the can of worms is open

Bob Semple, partner in the Risk Management Services department of PricewaterhouseCoopers was talking about corporate governance on Today with Pat Kenny (Thursday).

Asked about the damage done to Ireland’s international reputation from recent scandals he said;

“I think we’re very badly damaged. A colleague over at a meeting in Amsterdam just last week with PwC colleagues from all around the world and every second joke was a crack against Ireland. It really makes me so sad and mad and we really must do something about this.” We have to get directors to stop and reassess where they’re at.”

Pat’s next question was curiously worded;

“Do people have to go to, I wont say go to jail because that would probably be a first time for white collar crime in Ireland, do people need to be punished.”


“I think they do and I’m surprised at the number of people who are saying to me that handcuffs and prison bars is the only answer to restoring our reputation internationally.”

Clearly, Semple and Pat would be amazed if someone actually ended up in jail. This is an indication of how far away we are from reality.

Isn’t it also amazing to see people like Semple coming out of the woodwork screaming that something will have to be done about white collar crime in Ireland – only after the international community has rumbled us?

None of these people had the slightest concern for the massive damage done to Ireland and its people by white collar criminals so long as so called Irish regulatory agencies were able to keep a lid on the tin of worms.