The European Commission’s first ever anti-corruption report was published today – and it reveals that eight out of every ten people in this country think corruption is widespread in Ireland.
And it says that further work is needed to prosecute those involved in corruption more quickly.
‘I naturally welcome the publishing of this report,’ Nessa Childers, independent MEP, said today from her office in Strasbourg, ‘but it’s clear that we as a nation have more to do in terms of promoting transparency and fairness in all areas of public and private life.’
‘In particular,’ Ms Childers added, ‘I note that the Commission has highlighted the funding of political parties, election and referendum campaigns and urban planning as areas that are still liable to attractcorruption in Ireland.
‘In this country, we’re all aware of the costly tribunals that have been held since the early 1990s – but it’s important we take action to ensure that the next generation does not have to shoulder the cost of similar hearings; we need to stamp out the culture of corruption still prevalent in certain quarters of Irish life.
‘I’d call on the Government to consider this report carefully, and to promptly tackle the issues raised by it,’ she concluded.
Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, also warned that today’s report shows recent efforts to fight fraud don’t go far enough. She said that she was looking forward to working with Ireland to ensure her office’s recommendations were being observed
In 2012, Ireland ranked 25th out of a total of 176 countries in the influential Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index.This was worse than the Western European average and was our worst ranking since 2003.