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People believe corruption has increased: survey

Six in ten people believe corruption levels in Ireland have increased over the past three years, according to Transparency International Ireland.

Image: viZZZual.com via Flickr/Creative Commons

INCREASING NUMBERS OF Irish people feel that those in positions of power are affected by corruption, according to a new survey.

Transparency International Ireland has revealed findings that show that six in ten people believe that levels of corruption in Ireland have increased over the past three years – and political parties and Oireachtas members are seen as the worst affected.

Following the release of the harrowing details of the Ryan and Murphy reports, religious powers are also seen as affected by corruption.

John Devitt, CEO of Transparency International Ireland, told TheJournal.ie that he wasn’t surprised about the findings: “I’m surprised that they weren’t worse, actually. This should wake people in positions of power up to the fact that they have to do more than just talk about tackling corruption.”

Devitt said that the findings are linked to recent events in Irish society, including abuses in the banking sector, the religious arena, and within government.

Over the past six years there has been a fall in trust in those in positions of power across society with just one exception; the gardaí. However, over the last three years, trust is eroding there as well.

Transparency Ireland have taken some positive signs from the survey too:

80 per cent of people said that they are prepared to take part in the fight against corruption – and 90 per cent said that they would be willing to blow the whistle on corruption.

Devitt said that the perception of Irish people a not being ‘culturally ready’ for whistleblowing was false: “People aren’t prepared to put up with cover-ups,” he said.

He explained that several things can be done to increase levels of transparency:

  • Introducing a universal charter for whistleblowers
  • Making the Freedom of Information requests easier
  • Cutting the bonds between donations and the political system
  • Increased enforcement of laws by legal authorities and government

Transparency International Ireland is launching a whistleblowers’ hotline early in the new year.

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