On the 3rd of July last RTE News reported (10th item)on a major police investigation in the United Kingdom into alleged fraud in the horse racing industry. The investigation was conducted over two years and involved 130 police officers. Dozens of people have been charged with serious crimes including defrauding customers and money laundering.
Those charged are out on bail awaiting their day in court where they will successfully prove themselves innocent of the charges or be found guilty and receive the punishment that society rightly demands. Key terms to keep in mind here are; Police, charges, crimes, fraud, court, guilt and punishment.
On the 5th of July last RTE News reported (1st item) on a similar case of dodgy dealing in the Irish Greyhound industry. The case involves serious allegations of fraud and cover up in the industry. The police are not involved. The courts are not involved. Nobody has been charged, nobody will be charged.
Keeping in mind the key terms quoted in the UK case above the following is a brief outline of how these serious allegations of fraud were dealt with in the corrupt Republic of Ireland.
A retired civil servant was appointed to carry out a secret investigation. (Question: What other democracy appoints retired civil servants to investigate allegations of serious fraud?) His terms of reference were extremely narrow so his chances of finding anything substantial were very slight.
After a long delay the report was finally published, just before the politicians are due to head off on their very long summer holidays.
The report was examined by politicians sitting on the Public Accounts Committee. There was a lot of hand wringing, a lot of talking but no action. The committee is only allowed to talk; they have no power of action.
The politician ‘responsible’ for the greyhound industry, Sports Minister, John O’Donoghue has promised legislation to tighten up procedures – ‘sometime in the near future’. (This translates as – never)
The Comptroller and Auditor General has said he will carry out further investigations into the greyhound industry. The Auditor General is as powerless as retired civil servants, as powerless as political committees, as powerless as ministers who don’t want to rock the boat, as powerless as governments operating within a corrupt system so his investigation will simply result in yet another report.
When that report is published the whole sequence starts over again. Talking, wringing of hands, empty promises but no action, no police, no charges, no courts, no trials, no punishment, no accountability.
Just the continuing massive damage to a country and its people by the putrid and rampant disease of corruption.