“Fine Gael has repeatedly squandered opportunities to deliver meaningful anti-corruption reforms and back them up with resources and expertise to vigorously prevent, detect and prosecute corruption and white-collar crime.”

The Social Democrats today blasted as ‘pathetic’ the government’s anti- corruption efforts and renewed its call for an Independent Anti-Corruption Agency to tackle white collar crime and corruption.

Party co-leader Róisín Shortall TD said:

“A new United Nations report recommends a set of common-sense anti-corruption reforms which are incredibly obvious and very long overdue. The UN calls for increased staffing in at the recently established Garda Anti-Corruption Unit, saying there are only three members attached to it. This is just pathetic.

“In a parliamentary question last January, I asked the Minister for Justice for information about the resources of this unit and received a reply that it was not possible to provide the specific information requested.

“Fine Gael has repeatedly squandered opportunities to deliver meaningful anti-corruption reforms and back them up with resources and expertise to vigorously prevent, detect and prosecute corruption and white-collar crime. Today’s UN report highlights once again the government’s minimalist and apathetic attitude to rooting out corruption in public and private life.

“The Social Democrats proposed the setting up of an Independent Anti-Corruption Agency in a private members’ motion brought to the Dáil more than three years ago. Our motion was rejected by the then Fine Gael/Labour government. Had our proposal been supported we could have had an agency up and running by now with the appropriate resources and powers to make a real difference.

“When we consider the enormous costs to the Exchequer and to society of successive tribunals and inquiries, the investment in setting up an independent and proactive agency would be well worth it.”

ENDS

15th April 2019

PQ Response to Róisín Shortall TD 9 March 2019