IT is that time of year when details of our lawmakers' declared interests are published. The annual publication of TDs' interests has been a healthy development in our democracy and helped in some measure to reassure citizens that our politicians act independently.
It is also helpful that details are now available on the Oireachtas website and easily consulted by a wide public.
The details in this newspaper today show that, for the most part, our TDs go out of their way to make full disclosure. Some commendably go even further than the letter of the law obliges them.
That approach signals to us that they have absolutely nothing to hide. It also tells us that they have the utmost respect for our democratic processes.
For the most part these declarations show that our legislators are reasonably well-off rather than fabulously rich.
The essentially middle-class picture is unsurprising but a little disconcerting when one considers the dire problems faced by a sizeable minority of the nation at present.
But the perfectly legal non-declaration by Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams of return Ireland-US flights paid for by his party, and the estimated US$30,000 medical expenses paid by his friend, is disconcerting. Sinn Fein asserts, quite rightly, that its leader has complied with the letter of the law.
However, now that Sinn Fein insists it is 100pc committed to politics, perhaps Mr Adams and his colleagues might pay more attention to the spirit of the law?