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Peadar Kirby on Culpable Ignorance of the Irish Government

The Irish use the adjective ‘ignorant’ in a particular way – much more pejorative than simply lacking knowledge. It is the ‘i’ in our current Taoiseach’s nickname – well named according to Peadar Kirby writing in Progressive-economy.

..Yet Dan O’Brien’s revelation in The Irish Times on Monday last (June 28th) badly holed the argument that what was lacking was expert knowledge, this time in the Department of Finance.

O’Brien referred to an EU report of 2007 which showed that Ireland came last out of the 19 countries studied for its deficiencies in having arrangements in place to manage the public finances. Furthermore the report found Ireland to have a total lack of foresight capacity, having not one of the five measures that insulate the public finances from crisis or set warning lights flashing if one approached. So the Department of Finance was alerted to the deficiencies of its regulatory and supervisory arrangements and did nothing about it. The question therefore is clearly not lack of expert knowledge but rather why the knowledge available was not acted upon. To this extent, there is a neat parallel between the crisis of ecclesiastical authority in the Catholic Church, where senior churchpeople didn’t act on their knowledge of the activities of sexual predatory priests and brothers, and the inaction of senior officials in the Department of Finance and the regulatory authorities.(link for full article)..

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