It was former Taoiseach na hÉireann, Charles Haughey, who coined one of the more famous phrases in the lexicon of Irish politics when he described a contemporary political and judicial scandal as a “…bizarre happening, an unprecedented situation, a grotesque situation, an almost unbelievable mischance“. From the controversy arose the acronym “GUBU“, Ireland’s equivalent of the “Watergate” analogy or soubriquet in US politics. Well, we certainly seem to be in GUBU territory again as our island nation lives up to its reputation as a stereotypical post-colonial state. Has nothing been learned over the last forty years? Corruption and cronyism at all levels of society seem as prevalent now as they were during the dark years of the 1980s and early ’90s. Morality, public service, civic duty and the rule of law are as hard to find in modern Ireland as a virgin in a whorehouse. Bankers and financiers ignore or transgress the law with impunity, knowing that they will never face any serious repercussions for their misdeeds. Hospitals, medical clinics and charitable organisations use funds donated by the government or general public to pay their boards of management exorbitant salaries, bonuses and unaccountable “top-ups”. Citizens of influence and power disregard laws they view as mere irritations, calling upon networks of contacts to erase their legal transgressions from the record. Meanwhile whistle-blowers and those who expose official misconduct in policing or the judiciary are vilified and threatened by those that supposedly uphold the law, while government and legislature act with complicity or cowardice.
“GARDA Commissioner Martin Callinan is to seek clarification from the Ombudsman Commission after a confusing statement from the watchdog appeared to implicate the Garda in the alleged bugging of its headquarters.
Mr Callinan said he was gravely concerned that the Ombudsman’s statement contained a clear indication that An Garda Siochana was in some way suspected of complicity in the matter.
Speaking this morning, Public Spending Minister Brendan Howlin said the Garda Ombudsman needs to clarify to the public in clear understandable language if its offices were bugged.
Mr Howlin said he was “concerned” about reports of bugging of the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission and was “anxiously awaiting” a report from Justice Minister Alan Shatter.
The commission said yesterday an investigation by a British security consultancy firm had confirmed the existence of three “technical and electronic anomalies”. But it did not say what those anomalies were and acknowledged they could not be conclusively explained.
The commission said the anomalies had raised concerns about the integrity of its communications security but it was now satisfied that its databases had not been compromised.”
Ninety years of independence, ninety years of sovereignty, yet the patronage-based political culture laid down by the old Irish Parliamentary Party and others who collaborated with Britain’s historic colonial administration in Ireland is as virulent as ever. Nothing has changed but the names of those parties and those people who carry on the corrupt tradition of the Fear Gaimbín.
We sacrificed all for this…?