From 1922 until 1979 Ireland had the potential to go corrupt.
From 1979, when the criminal Haughey came to power, Ireland did go corrupt. The disease spread rapidly throughout the body politic, the public and civil service, the financial sector and the general population.
The administration did, however, manage to preserve, especially on the international stage, the illusion that Ireland was a fully functional, democratic state.
The international financial crisis in 2007/2008 began to expose the rot for the entire world to see and ever since the country has been on a rapid downward spiral to what I call a visible banana republic.
Here’s just one small example of what I mean.
Broadcaster Joe Duffy had the following conversation on Liveline (Friday) with government minister Conor Lenihan on who exactly was the real Justice Minister.
Duffy: Dermot Ahern is saying I’m still Minister for Justice. We were told yesterday that the new Minister for Justice was the Minister for Agriculture Brendan Smith.
Minister: Well, as I understand it the Taoiseach announced in the Dail yesterday that those powers previously exercised by Dermot Ahern have now been transferred to another minister.
Duffy: It’s bizarre that we don’t know who the Minister for Justice is.
Minister: But we do, it’s certainly not Dermot Ahern, he’s resigned.
Duffy: No, he said he is, his spokesman says it is him, it is still Dermot Ahern. He’s insisting that he he’s still in charge of the Gardai from his hospital bed.
Minister: Good Lord, well that is a surprise to me.