Avalanche of corruption

I mentioned before how difficult it is to keep track of corruption in Ireland. The following list compiled from media reports over the last few days will help to make the point.

1. Two nursing home patients who died last year were buried without death certificates being issued. No action taken.

2. 75 year old man dies from blood loss after attempts to transfer him to three different hospitals for emergency surgery failed. This case is related to a chaotic and incompetent third world health service still suffering from ruthless cutbacks in the 1980s.

3. Transparency International annual report sees Ireland again slipping down the corruption index.

4. Billionaire Dermot Desmond writes an open letter to the Moriarty Tribunal complaining, among other things, that the tribunal is a waste of public funds. Dermot is a close friend of corrupt politician Charlie Haughey. Dermot apparently had no problem when his friend cost the taxpayer a lot of money by his non co-operation with the McCracken tribunal some years ago.

5. An Oireachtas committee is to inquire into the multi-million euro conference centre deal entered into by Dublin Port Company with a number of private developers. This case has been simmering for some time now. An Oireachtas committee is just a talking shop. Whatever is going on here we can be sure of two things. It will cost the taxpayer millions and no action will be taken.

6. Computer systems that cost millions for the Dept. of Health but don’t work. Millions paid to consultants to make sure they did work. Nobody accepts responsibility. Taxpayer is hit yet again.

7. The family of Brian Rossiter (14) who fell into a coma in Garda custody and later died have said they cannot afford to take part in the inquiry unless Minister for Justice Michael McDowell increases their fees.

8. Dublin’s Mater hospital stopped the trials of an important drug for treating lung cancer because the scheme didn’t comply with the Catholic ethos of the hospital

9. Dozens of vulnerable people who were abused by the State and church have again been abused by their solicitors who double charged them for work before the Residential Institutional Redress Board.

10. The pensions ombudsman, in his first annual report states clearly that some employers, particularly in the construction industry, have been stealing money from their employees. No action will be taken.

Keep in mind that all these cases have been in the news in just the last 7 to 10 days. Neither is this just a once off, this level of corruption and dodgy dealing is common all year round in Ireland. I would ask readers to carry out a small experiment. Check out media reports from a number of other countries and compare them to the above list of cases. You will find that even the most base banana republics will come nowhere near the level of corruption seen here in Ireland.

Transparency International report

The Corruption Perception Index for 2005 has been published by Transparency International and Ireland continues its gradual slide on the scale. In 1996 we ranked 11 but this year we come in at 19. Iceland at 1 is the least corrupt country while Chad and Bangladesh at 158 are the most corrupt. The outside world is beginning to notice, this comment from the BBC.

The situation worsened in countries such as Costa Rica, Russia and Sri Lanka – as well as Canada and Ireland.

However, within this Banana Republic the large elephant continues to be ignored. Writing in today’s Irish times, John Devitt, chief executive of Transparency International Ireland makes the same old excuses. The media exaggerates the phenomenon, great work is being done to combat corruption, we are moving away from a culture that tolerates corruption blah blah blah. (Obviously, he hasn’t yet heard about the thieving solicitors)

This refusal to face the reality of corruption in Ireland is not surprising when we consider that the chairperson of Transparency International Ireland, Colm McCarthy agrees with former Finance Minister, Charlie McCreevy, that robbing hundreds of millions through tax evasion is not really corruption, they agree it is stealing, but not corruption.

No wonder I have little hair left.

Missing bodies

One of the problems of reporting on corruption in the Banana Republic of Ireland is trying to cope with the sheer scale of it. Almost every day there is a new revelation to deal with. Sometimes, there is only a brief mention of “unusual’ events and if you miss it, it’s gone.

Here’s an example, last week Fine Gael deputy Fergus O’Dowd revealed how two nursing home patients, who died last year, were buried without death certificates being issued. Medical officials weren’t informed of one death until five months later while they were never told about the second.

The Health Service Executive described the “oversight’ as unacceptable, but obviously it is acceptable because no action whatsoever will be taken against those responsible. Deputy O’Dowd described the situation as extremely disturbing.

Of course it is disturbing but no more disturbing than say solicitors robbing their clients, banks robbing the State and their customers, politicians cheating at elections, politicians robbing the taxpayer, police framing citizens for murder and drug pushing…The list is endless, as is the corruption.

About this weblog

This weblog is an attempt to organise and filter the volume of corruption allegations and reports coming out of Ireland. It is written currently by two people, Anthony and Gavin. If people are interested in this topic, I invite them to email either myself or Anthony with their views. You may be invited to participate in this weblog on a regular basis.

If you have your own story of corruption, or something you feel might be of interest to concerned citizens then please feel free to mail me in fullest confidence to: