Coalition needs to tackle Moriarty but more importantly its causes

Fine piece of observation on the melee currently gripping the Republic on the publication of the final report of the Moriarty Tribunal from James Downey:

The tribunals supply no answer, if only because their findings are out of date before they are published. Other means must be found.

Many people point to the brisk and efficient proceedings of the Dail Public Accounts Committee under the chairmanship of the late Jim Mitchell when it inquired into the scandal of bogus offshore bank accounts. But afterwards the banks got worse, not better.

In addition, a court ruling prevented Oireachtas committees from making findings which reflected on the reputations of named individuals. Lately we have been promised a referendum to change that. Must we have a referendum every time a court makes a decision which a government, or an electorate, dislikes?

And he concludes, despite some determination from Fianna Fail to use the report to embarrass the new goverment, that no one should miss the real point here, ie, non application of the rules and regulation already in place (why for instance was some 23% of current hotel stock built between 2005-08):

In the end, though, the method of inquiry into corruption is not of prime importance. What matters most is the political will to find the facts and stamp out the malpractices.

Ireland being Ireland, the Moriarty Report yesterday gave birth to some wry amusement. The person on whom a harsh spotlight now shines is a former Fine Gael minister, not a Fianna Fail minister. Does this embarrass the coalition parties? It need not, and it had better not.

The voters who abandoned Fianna Fail in their hordes last month did not act in the hope of favours, at a national or a constituency level, from the new regime. They supported the alternative as a protest against Fianna Fail’s appalling economic legacy.

But they also voted for clean government. They had had enough of crony government, at every level. Fianna Fail had let them down. Fine Gael and Labour must not let them down.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

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