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Double standards

• It seems that politicians from all parties have been building up a campaign to force Cardinal Brady to resign for not disclosing his knowledge of the Fr Brendan Smyth abuse case in 1975 after he acted as a secretary at the interview, in the same way as any other secretary would record any meeting.

All civil servants, on day one of their employment, are required to sign a pledge that they will not divulge confidential information learned in the course of their work.

The Code of Practice for Government and State Bodies 2009 requires procedures for an employee of a state body to confidentially raise concerns about possible irregularities. And if a civil servant learns of improper activities, eg, fraud, he/she is required to report this to his/her superiors only.

Are we now to understand from these politicians that civil servants should also not be bound by rules of confidentiality?

Are they now free to openly discuss and publicise sensitive matters of government?

The cardinal diligently reported to his superiors those dreadful deeds of which he was made aware. He did this on the understanding that this information would be acted upon by those superiors.

Tomas MacSheoin
Marino, Dublin 3

Irish Independent