Thursday 8 December 2016

Charity has been tainted by arrogance and avarice

Membership of State boards should be honour enough without the honorarium, writes Emer O'Kelly

Published 09/10/2011 | 05:00

Did we ever think to see the day when the words "public service" would be met with distaste and suspicion"? In the past couple of years, public service employees have brought their various professions and trades into disrepute, to say the least, by their determined greed and equally determined indifference to the plight of the wider economy and the people working in it.

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That's one aspect of it. The other is even more shocking, and it is particularly highlighted, unfortunately, by the revelation (under pressure) from the Presidential candidate Mary Davis that she has "earned" almost €400,000 over the past 10 years through her membership of State boards.

Those boards, let us remember, are referred to as "public service" boards. Appointment to them is meant to be a matter of good citizenship, a combination of State recognition of your expertise in a given area, and your willingness to make a voluntary contribution of that expertise to the current and future welfare of the nation state.

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