Our Fr Ted Republic
It is certain that if a Mahon Tribunal-like report were published in any self-respecting, functional democracy there would have been immediate arrests and police investigations. In Ireland the response was predictable.
A copy of the report was sent to the DPP, the Revenue Commissioners, the Garda Commissioner and to the Standards in Public Office Commission.
There was the usual fake anger from politicians mouthing meaningless Fr Ted-like utterances such as ‘down with this sort of thing’ before heading off on their two-week Easter holiday.
Some commentators called for heavy fines to be imposed on those named in the report, some called for the Criminal Assets Bureau to investigate while others called for pensions to be withdrawn.
None of these suggestions will be acted upon, that’s not how things are done in our dysfunctional democracy.
We can see this from the response of the above-mentioned state authorities to the publication of the Moriarty Report last year.
At the time we were told that these authorities would, as a matter of urgency, examine the report for potential criminal charges.
Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan said an examination of the report by a team of detectives would be finished sooner rather than later.
Unfortunately, he did not provide us with his definition of the term ‘sooner rather than later’.
The failure to properly respond to the Mahon Report and countless other reports and scandals in the past tells us, and the rest of the world, exactly what we are as a country; a two-bit, backward, banana republic.
This will not change until arrests are made, charges are brought and justice is seen to be done.
Cobh, Co Cork