Friday 9 December 2016

Time for a conversation on mandarins

Cardiff's response to this €3.6bn error may prove a defining moment for the way our civil service is run, writes John-Paul McCarthy

Published 13/11/2011 | 05:00

Kevin Cardiff's controversial testimony before the Oireachtas finance committee was a classic of a certain mandarin genre.

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Most histories of our civil service tend to collapse into fawning empiricism before too long. Words like 'dedicated' and 'selfless' are invariably inscribed on sundry mandarin tombstones.

And the weary reader is often left asking: "Where were the psychos and the drifters in all this?"

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