Whatever one’s feeling about the past business affairs of Mick Wallace, there is no doubt that the Independents 4 Change politician has, as they saying goes, done the state some service. In fact, the workings of our democracy have been greatly enhanced by the investigatory tenacity of TDanna like Wallace, Catherine Murphy and others on the broad Left. They have brought to light some of the seedier irregularities in Irish political, legal and financial life. Irregularities that the elected members of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour have not only shied away from but in many cases have actively sought to conceal. In the century old contest between the political traditions of the Irish Republic and the Irish State, of a Liam Mellows and a Kevin O’Higgins, it is safe to say that the likes of I4C, the SocDems, the AAA-PBP and so on are philosophically closer to the former.
Here is an impassioned Mick Wallace in Dáil Éireann discussing the latest revelations emerging from the operations of the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA), a glorified government-run bad bank that has become a by-word for suspect business practices.