Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy TD has said the government needs to wake up to the disturbing findings of a new poll that shows more than two thirds of people consider the problem of corruption to be widespread in Ireland.

Deputy Murphy was commenting on the latest Eurobarometer public opinion survey by the European Commission which shows that 68 per cent of Irish people believe the problem of corruption is widespread. This is much higher than citizens of other countries including France, Belgium, the UK, Denmark, Poland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Deputy Murphy said:

“This survey ranks Ireland against other EU countries and it shows us in a very poor light compared to our neighbours when it comes to public perceptions of the extent of corruption in public life and in business.

“It is particularly worrying that 65 per cent of Irish people think that corruption is part of the business culture here – that’s above the EU average and it is very damaging for our international reputation as a good place to do business.

“The survey also shows that 75 per cent of Irish people think that too close links between business and politics in the country leads to corruption.

“Clearly, people can see through the government rhetoric about tackling corruption and white-collar crime. The culture of cronyism and, in many cases, blatant corruption in Irish public life has decimated trust in our political and corporate institutions. The failure of high profile prosecutions arising out of the banking crash means that the public have little confidence that criminals will be brought to book.

“The government needs to wake up to these findings and that means being proactive about detecting and prosecuting corruption in all walks of life. The Social Democrats have put forward proposals for an Independent Anti-Corruption agency to help stamp out rotten behaviour which damages politics and drives away investors who want to be part of clean business.”

ENDS

27 February 2018

The Special Eurobarometer 470 is available to download here

Corruption in Business (page 47)