The Social Democrats have said the government’s appalling record on tackling corruption has led to it being rebuked today by the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption body, GRECO.

The party co-leader Róisín Shortall TD was commenting on a GRECO report which found that Ireland’s level of compliance with its recommendations were “globally unsatisfactory”.

The anti-corruption body said Ireland had satisfactorily implemented or dealt with only three out of eleven recommendations that it made in 2014 relating to corruption prevention in respect of judges, prosecutors and members of parliament. Three recommendations have been partly implemented and five recommendations have not been implemented.

Due to the “overall very low level of compliance” with its recommendations, GRECO has asked Ireland to provide an updated progress report next year. The Department of Justice published the GRECO report on its website today.

Deputy Shortall said:

“Today’s report is a testament to this government’s inertia when it comes to preventing and tackling corruption in all its forms. GRECO is particularly critical of the government’s lack of progress in relation to setting and promoting high standards for judges and investigating complaints when it comes to the conduct of individual judges.

“For the past few weeks the political system has been in spasms over a bill to reform how judges are appointed. In the meantime, the entire system of how we set standards and hold judges to account for their conduct has been neglected by the Department of Justice. This government has also dragged its feet on promised ethics legislation, the Public Sector Standards Bill 2015, which was a key recommendation of the Mahon Tribunal. That Bill has been stuck in the system for years and there is no sign of it being expedited before the summer recess.”

Deputy Shortall added: “The publication of this report on the day when the Jobstown trial verdict was delivered is a highly convenient way for the Department of Justice to try to avoid any scrutiny of its findings. In a statement today, the Minister for Justice says the GRECO report is ‘disappointing’. In fact what this report amounts to is a shameful indictment of this government’s record when it comes to corruption prevention. Many promises have been made but nothing has been delivered.”


The GRECO Report is available here.

29 June 2017

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