Go away and give careful consideration to the manner in which you are giving evidence said the judge to Marie Farrell.
And in case there was any doubt whatsoever in Ms. Farrell’s mind the judge added:
There are very severe penal sanctions for people who commit perjury.
And the judge is right, there are severe penal sanctions for those who lie under oath but, and it’s a very important but…the severe penalties only apply to the little people, to the peasantry.
Politicians, bankers, government officials, and other members of the ruling class do not have to worry about such niceties when it comes to giving evidence under oath.
For decades we have watched such people, time after time, lie under oath without even a warning from a judge.
For example, it is almost certain that Bertie Ahern lied under oath to the Mahon Tribunal.
Much of the explanation provided by Mr. Ahern as to the source of the substantial funds identified and inquired into in the course of the tribunal’s public hearings was deemed by the tribunal to be untrue.
In a functional democracy Mr. Ahern would, at the very least, be put under immediate investigation. In Ireland the DPP and the Garda Commissioner are still sitting on the tribunal report a full two years after the final report.
Why is this? Well, again judge Mahon gives us a hint.
It (corruption) continued because nobody was prepared to do enough to stop it. This is perhaps inevitable when corruption ceases to become an isolated event and becomes so entrenched that it is transformed into an acknowledged way of doing business. Specifically, because corruption affected every level of Irish political life, those with the power to stop it were frequently implicated in it.
So we can ask the question – what are the chances that the current Garda Commissioner will act on the Mahon Tribunal Report.
Well, let’s put it this way. Politicians promoted Commissioner O’Sullivan and as a recent tribunal concluded – loyalty comes before duty in our police force so Bertie has nothing to worry about but Marie Farrell should watch her step.