Year 2000: Corruption is rampant. Year 2010: No change

From the Attic Archives

The Examiner January 28th 2000

Care is needed to avoid an impression abroad that Ireland wallows in endemic corruption the President of the Institute of Bankers, Brian Goggin, warned last night.

“We must be conscious of the external perceptions of the many enquiries, tribunals and parliamentary committees which have become a permanent feature of our landscape in recent years”, he told the attendance at the institutes Cork regional annual dinner.

“This is patently not the case and our record relative to other developed countries bears critical scrutiny.

However, viewed from afar, a different impression may be emerging which will ultimately damage our industrial prospects.

He said the banks were in the sights of the Public Accounts Committee and its report, published just before Christmas, was unpleasant reading.

“While many would argue with aspects of its content and, in particular, the indiscriminate nature of some of its conclusions, it must be acknowledged that it has uncovered issues that need to be addressed”, he said.

“Ireland during the 1990s has engaged in rigouous examination of conscience, with both industries and institutions being called to account for a variety of past practices.”

“The various inquiries of recent times, necessary as they may have been, run the risk of demonizing both individuals and businesses unjustly, of suggesting that entire classes of people are seeking to exploit every opportunity to gain an illicit advantage.”

Brian Goggin is the former chief executive of Bank of Ireland. He is one of the chief architects of the destruction of Ireland’s economy.

We now know, of course, that entire classes of people were exploiting every opportunity to gain an illicit advantage. Bankers, politicians, estate agents, auditors, solicitors, etc. etc. etc.

These people are still there, still exploiting every opportunity to enrich themselves at taxpayers expense, still protected by a corrupt body politic and Soviet style secrecy laws.

One thought on “Year 2000: Corruption is rampant. Year 2010: No change”

  1. I’m an accountant and some years ago was working for a firm that had a list of Creditors that were clearly never going to be paid. (This says something about the MD’s attititude to paying bills, but that’s another story) The MD asked me to write out cheques to match the balance “owed” to each creditor, but making the cheques out to “cash”. The cash would obviously be siphoned off by the MD, avoiding tax. The list of balances was compiled by the the auditors and sent by fax to the MD. This rather gives the lie to the assumption that you can rely on Auditors to prevent misrepresentation. The real pont is that when I sought advice from fellow professionals, it was clear that the general view was that this sort of conduct was so endemic that there was little I could do. It was certainly made clear that I should not think that my job prospects would improve from making a stand on the basis of professional ethics. This was clearly considered not a “rotten apple”, but fairly typical behaviour. Although I believe there was genuine disapproval amongst the members of my particular professional body, there was cmplete absence of any mechanism to assist people caught up in such a situation. Incidentally, I ceased working the firm shortly afterwards.

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