Political Corruption in Ireland 1922-2010, A Crooked Harp?

Posted by Elaine Byrne

Below is an extended chapter outline of my book, Political Corruption in Ireland 1922-2010, A Crooked Harp? published by Manchester University Press, launched last week. Outline of my book. Buy it on Amazon. The book is about to enter its second print run. Thank you for all your support to date.

I am very grateful to the Irish political science and historical academic community for the time they contributed to this project, particularly Michael Marsh, Kevin Whelan, Sean McGraw, Maurice Manning, Stuart Gilman, Michael Gallagher, David McCullagh, Eoin O’Dell, Raj Chari, Peter Murtagh, Ronan Fanning, Felix Larkin, Patrick Holden, Myles Dungan, Maura Adshead, Tom Lodge, Gary Murphy, Eunan O’Halpin and Jac Hayden. The work of Transparency International Ireland, especially John Devitt, on the National Integrity Study was hugely constructive.


1: Introduction
Towards a new definition
Towards a new definition – clientelism and brokerage
Towards a new definition – mediated corruption

2: Why so little corruption? 1900s-20s
Administrative legacies of British rule: conditions for Irish probity
Context: ministers and the £4.9:6 civil war restaurant bill
Unsung heroes: A civil service obsession with probity

Continue reading

Should we postpone the referendum on the Fiscal Compact?

The Change is Now!

Posted by Eoin O’Malley (26 April, 2012)

François Hollande had made it clear in campaigning for the French presidency that he was no fan of the Fiscal Compact and indicated that he would be against French ratification of the Treaty. Now that his election looks more than likely he has again stated his opposition to the Treaty. In today’s Irish Times he is reported as saying

“There will be a renegotiation. Will the Treaty be changed? I hope so. Or another Treaty arranged? That is up for negotiation. But the Treaty, as is, will not be ratified.” Continue reading

Lobbying legislation

Posted by Elaine Byrne

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform are currently engaged in a process of consultation in order to introduce a regulatory system for lobbying in Ireland. Department officials will publish a policy paper on the process in May and the anticipated legislation is due early next year.  I believe that this is one of the most significant political reform initiatives of this government. The attempt to legislate for influence is not an easy task. The approach by Minister Brendan Howlin and his team is very welcome and perhaps a model in how consultation and legislation should be introduced in the future.

I met with the Department’s civil servants last week to discuss my submission on lobbying. My colleagues Gary Murphy and Raj Chari have been very much involved since the early stages of the process. The Department has received over 50 submissions from different organisations and interests.

Key issues for lobbying regulation

  • -How ambitious should the legislation be? Would an over regulated system actually prove counterproductive because of cost issues and the administrative burden on those engaged in lobbying?
  • -How do you define *lobbyist*? Transparency International argues that the term lobbyist is misleading and too narrowly defined. Is the President of the IFA, for example, a lobbyist although he is not paid?
  • -What exactly should be regulated?
  • -How influential are PR firms in the lobbying process?

Any observations on these or other matters related to lobbyists are greatly appreciated. I hope to write on this shortly.

Water’s going on? Party and European referendum support trends; Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI (19/20 April)/Sunday Business Post-Red C (29 April) polls

Adrian Kavanagh, 20th and 29th April 2012

A series of polls point to a drop in support for the two government parties in the wake of the Household Charge and Water Charge proposal controversies with Sinn Fein and the Others grouping appeating to be the main beneficiaries and likely to make significant seats gains should these results be replicated in a general election contest, based on my constituency level analysis. This anaysis, relating to the most recent of these polls (Sunday Business  Post-Red C poll) would estimate party seat levels as follows: Fine Gael 69, Sinn Fein 29, Fianna Fail 26, Labour 20, Green Party 0, Independents and Others 22. Polls on the European stability treaty point towards weak leads for the Yes side and towards an increased likelihood of the referendum being defeated at the May 31st vote. Continue reading