Thursday 23 November 2017

It could only happen here...

Muzzling media a suspicious step

Madam –On the morning of September 30, 2008, I was quietly sitting at my breakfast table, happily eating my porridge and listening to the radio. Unlike Bertie Ahern, I never actually did any harm. My private bliss was shattered in such a manner that I feel sure my ancestors and descendants felt and will feel the shock waves. The Taoiseach of the day, Brian Cowen, had spent the previous night privately selling Ireland into penury, after having been visited by a bunch of bankers, we are told. He took no notes of the meeting. The whole sorry act of subversion of this State was a very secret affair.

So it was with an incredulity, second only to my last Brian Cowen-inspired state of incredulity (see above), that I read in this newspaper last week that Mr Cowen is setting himself up as a defender of privacy. Only in Ireland could a generation of politicians avoid any kind of accountability for staggering incompetence. Only in Ireland could a prime minister (Ahern) set up a tribunal, repeatedly state that he would both co-operate with it, and that he couldn't comment on revelations of alleged political shenanigans, on the basis that the tribunal was ongoing, and then, when the same tribunal reported negatively on the prime minister, treat it with defiant contempt.

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