You have to remember those corruption indices are about perception rather than any measurable reality.
If you'd asked people about the Catholic Church in the 1950s your have had stories of saintly nuns and general loveliness. Perceptions can be very surface deep and they are highly influenced by culture and access to information.
Again, you aren't Judge Judy
Ireland has its fare share of corruption but public also closes its eyes to it, most take it as it comes. Public sector is the worst and the best for those to make money as its cash cow with all the funds of EU and taxes few manage to rake.
That aside if you talk guards are bad you never left the country, plenty of way worse goverments and corruption all across EU not to mention states etc, country is bad but on its own level compared to other countries Ireland is a saint.
I think the main issue is about complacency and I think that's changed a lot.
People don't stand for lack of transparency these days and I think that's why you're seeing the scandals finally emerge into the light.
Present day Irish culture (and this has been measured scientifically) is actually not very deferential to power or hierarchy. So these things are challenged.
It's noteworthy that the most complained about organisations are all very old and originate in a different era of Ireland.
The management structures in the Guards for example evolved from the old RIC as did the RUC. The RUC was scrutinised and drastically resigned as the PSNI as a knock on of the peace process up North. The same didn't happen south of the border.
The health system gets complained about a lot too and again it's made up of unaccountable trusts and "voluntary" sector agencies, almost entirely state funded and funded from insurance premia, yet highly unaccountable.
Again, it's a vestage of the 19th century and in many cases old Poor Law type organisations that were allows to evolved rather than ever facing serious reform.
Even the planning system issues came down to a total lack of accountability. The structures are or were all wrong.
We need to keep being critical and putting political pressure on to ensure that all of this stuff is reformed and made for purpose in the modern world.
I don't see why Ireland shouldn't be leading the tables on anti corruption. We have all the resources and motivations to be doing similarly well to New Zealand or Denmark on this stuff.
True - since Fianna Fail imploded it's been a lot harder for corrupt politicians to get away with things.
With the guards, again - a lot more things are being reported it would seem, making them think twice.
As to why we're not leading the tables - well, apparently it's the guards (again) and a general lack of comfort amongst potential whilstleblowers.
Full details here:
I`m not Irish and I`ve never heard any stories about Ireland being a corrupt country,on the contrary,Ireland has a good reputation-in regards to the allegations about the Church-well that`s the same in all countries...
Least we forget - here are just some of the major corruption scandals and their aftermath in the last 30 years
In 1995 Denis O'Brien was suspected of bribing Fine Gael government TD and Minister for Communications Michael Lowry. The license procurement, which ultimately made O'Brien one of the richest men in Ireland, was proven to be corrupt in an investigation by the Moriarty Tribunal in 1997.
The McCracken Tribunal was an inquiry into the financial affairs of politicians Charles Haughey and Michael Lowry. It started in February 1997 to investigate reports of secret payments by Ben Dunne to former Taoiseach, Charles Haughey and former cabinet minister Michael Lowry. A report from the Tribunal found that Haughey had given untrue evidence under oath and that Lowry was knowingly assisted by Dunne in evading tax. As a result of the findings and revelation of substantial funds in secret Ansbacher accounts, owned by Haughey, the new Ahern Government established a more extensive follow-up, the Moriarty Tribunal to investigate the financial affairs of the two politicians.
The Mahon Tribunal. The tribunal ran from November 1997 to March 2012 and was the longest running and most expensive public inquiry ever held in the Republic of Ireland. This inquiry was to investigate allegations of corrupt payments to politicians regarding political decisions and planning permissions and land rezoning issues in the 1990s in the Dublin County Council area. Findings of corruption were made against 11 councillors, due to court proceedings only 6 were named
The FÁS expenses scandal happened in Ireland in November/December 2008. The scandal first emerged in June 2008 when the Dáil was informed that gardaí were investigating the alleged misappropriate use of funds by a senior executive within FÁS. A number of high profile resignations followed after revelations that FÁS executives spent hundreds of thousands of euro belonging to the company on lavish holidays to the United States, which included first-class travel and expensive rounds of golf.
The Morris Tribunal in 2002 was a public inquiry to address allegations of the 1990s and early 2000s against the Garda Síochána. Subjects explored included suggestions of corrupt and dishonest policing in County Donegal but its recommendations and conclusions have more widespread consequences and importance.it investigated the case of Frank McBrearty Snr from Co Donegal was the victim of harassment following the death of Richie Barron. He was awarded nearly €2.5 million euro in compensation by the Irish High Court.
In 2014, material revealed by two Garda Síochána whistleblowers, Maurice McCabe and John Wilson, as well as the handling of the material and of the whistleblowers, led directly to the resignation of Ireland's then Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter. It was also part of the background leading up to the resignation of the Garda Commissioner, Martin Callinan. It was also part of the reason for the retirement of his successor Nóirín O'Sullivan.
In the period 2009- 2017 it was revealed that Gardaí had exaggerated the number of breath tests carried out by 1.45 million over a seven-year period, a report found that 3,498,400 breath tests were recorded on the Garda’s Pulse computer system, when only 2,040,179 were recorded on alcohol testing devices.This represents a discrepancy of 1,458,221 breath tests.
A number of former executives of Anglo Irish Bank were charged in July 2012 with unlawfully helping a group of investors to buy shares in the lender in 2008, falsely inflating the share price before the bank was nationalised in 2009. The bank later collapsed, a key reason Dublin was forced to accept a €67.5bn bailout from the EU and International Monetary Fund.
Also Seán FitzPatrick head of Anglo Irish Bank from 1986 until 2008, resigned after it emerged he had taken secret loans worth €155 million from the bank, hiding them from auditors for 8 years. He later defaulted on these loans due to the Global Recession and has since been unable to repay his debts, although he retired from his position with a pension of €4 million a year
And so it goes on ...
And this is only a partial list and notably excludes those who were not caught or where corruption remains uninvestigated.
Have a corrupt wank
In some cases they even write it.
Nobody is saying there was no corruption in Ireland, but let's just compare to say New Jersey since 2000.
Between 2000 and 2010 almost 150 of the states senators, mayor's, county executives and council members were arrested and charged with corruption.
A investigation found that New Jersey government spent $42 million so far this decade to cover up some 200 claims into deaths, physical abuse and sexual misconduct at the hands of rogue police officers.
Chris Christie the former governer was involved in numerous incidents like Bridgegate, closing all beaches to public while he and his family were photographed on one of said closed beaches. A member of his team was charged with bribing an airline to fly direct to South Carolina so that he could get quicker access to his vacation home.
Italy must be the most corrupt country in Europe.
The south is practically run by the mob. They infiltrate all sorts of high level commerce and public institutions.
I think what happened to Maurice McCabe and other honest people who tried to expose corruption in Ireland tells you more about the dept and extent of it here than any "corruption index".
Great post. A trip down corruption lane...
Police corruption happens all over the world. It doesn't excuse it in Ireland, but it's far from unique to here.
What is key is that we find out what happened, learn from it and actually change the system and bring people to account. There's no point in just being outraged by it. The system needs to be held accountable where it's failed.
No system is perfect and police corruption is, sadly, far from unusual, even in very developed countries.
I mean look at France, you'd a situation where there were incidents of police being involved in drug dealing.
See : Le Nouvel Observateur (L'Obs)
and there's been far worse than that too, particularly involving police brutality targeting ethnic minorities.
Over in England, the Met is currently investigating its anti-corruption unit for corruption:
Then if you've a look at the USA you've not only police corruption but also extreme violence and Robocop like approaches to everything.
There are plenty of places, including in parts of Europe (at least according to research done by the EU), where it's not unusual to be asked to pay bribes by public officials. Ireland wasn't one of those.
Corruption needs to be tackled, but I just think we also need to see it in context. It's a problem that's quite solvable and I think this notion that it's somehow unique to Ireland or cultural, is just nonsense. Systems that aren't transparent and aren't accountable are prone to being abused and that's just the reality of it.
You solve the problems by removing the dark shadows and nobody should ever have absolute power. It's pretty obvious that it corrupts absolutely. There are countless examples of this.
Have a browse of the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police_corruption - I know it's just Wiki, but it's a good aggregator of the issue around the world.
Yeah I get it - however it's not a competition. Between 1995 and today practically every elected government of the country has been involved one way or another either investigating or defending corruption and accountability. Numerous scandals involving elected councillors, state agencies, religous institutions including the death and abuse of children etc etc have been outed with many yet to be properly investigated. It's still going on and appears to be little will or desire to change the status quo especially where it encourages a few to benefit at the cost of many.