Thursday 8 December 2016

This looks like a deal between those in power and those who managed our banking system

Published 03/04/2010 | 05:00

It seemed excessive, Eamon Gilmore accusing the Taoiseach of 'economic treason' in the Dail. Yet whether you call it treason, treachery or betrayal, it is how a majority of people regard Fianna Fail and its leaders, notably Brian Cowen.

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Treason? Did Eamon Gilmore choose the best word to express his evident -- and in my view justified -- fury at what is being done to this country's economy? Treason is an old-fashioned concept, no longer a crime in Ireland. You cannot be indicted for treason though its meaning lives on. Treason is 'the violation by a citizen of his allegiance to the authority of the State'. You may not be charged with it. You can be guilty of it. I believe Eamon Gilmore judged correctly in his accusation.

A further definition is required as to what 'the authority of the State' may be. In our democratic Constitution, in which we have no figure to whom we express allegiance, that ultimate sovereign power is the people. This power expresses itself in democratic elections, which normally suffice.

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