The curious case of Alibrandi's bank accounts

I see the former papal nuncio to Ireland archbishop Gaetano Alibrandi legged it out of the country in 1989 when it emerged that there were large amounts of unaccounted for money in three Irish bank accounts belonging to him.

What’s really curious about this affair is that it was the Department of Foreign Affairs that, apparently, challenged Alibrandi on the matter.

It’s curious because during the 1980s Ireland was an open sewer of corruption.

The criminal politician Haughey was busy plundering the nation’s wealth with the willing assistance of his business and political cronies.

Such corrupt schemes as Ansbacher and DIRT were in full swing and the banks were openly robbing the state and their customers as a completely normal part of their financial activities.

In other words; unaccounted for money in banks during the 1980s was a fully acceptable aspect of Irish culture.

So-called law enforcement authorities, who should have been doing what Department of Foreign Affairs personnel, were, apparently doing, simply held their collective noses as they stepped over the rotten sewer.

So why, I ask, did those gentle, nothing to do with law enforcement folk at the Department of Foreign Affairs, get all hot and bothered about poor old Albrandi’s accounts?

Of course I don’t know but I am certain of one thing.

It wasn’t because Irish authorities were so shocked at the discovery of a dodgy bank account that they asked Alibrandi to leave the country in case such practices were to infect the honesty of Ireland’s governing class.