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Corruption levels have significantly increased, according to Irish public

Public perceptions of corruption in Irish politics and the church amongst the worst in the world

Dublin , 9 December 2010 – A global survey published by Transparency International (TI) today finds that more than six out of ten people believe that corruption levels have risen in Ireland over the past three years.

The Global Corruption Barometer also found that political parties and Oireachtas members are still perceived to be those sectors most affected by corruption. However perceived levels of corruption in the Church have worsened the most compared to sectors over the past three years. Levels of trust in Irish political parties and religious bodies are now amongst the lowest measured anywhere in the 86 countries surveyed.

More than eight out of ten people also believed the Government was ineffective in tackling the abuse of power, while four per cent of respondents claimed they had paid a bribe in the last year.

The survey was conducted with 91,000 people in 86 countries and overall views on corruption trends and experiences were negative across Europe and North America. 73 per cent and 67 per cent of people respectively think corruption has increased over the last three years.

“Given everything we’ve seen over the past few years, the findings are not all that surprising. If anything, it’s surprising the Irish figures are not worse”, said TI Ireland Chief Executive, John Devitt.

“What is most worrying from an Irish perspective is the inability to hold people to account for wrongdoing and a refusal to change or accept responsibility for what has gone on. Many of the faces in the banking sector are the same, while not one public servant has been dismissed or disciplined for their role in any of the church or banking scandals. People rightly fear that nothing much will change and that those responsible for the collapse of our economy will not suffer the consequences.” added Mr Devitt.

Despite the negative findings of the survey, almost eight out of ten respondents said they would be willing to get involved in the fight against corruption, while more than nine out of ten respondents said they would blow the whistle on wrongdoing.

TI Ireland called on any new Government to introduce radical political reforms which would break the financial link between political parties, candidates and large donors. It has also called for the introduction of a universal whistleblower charter; more powers for law enforcement agencies tackling white collar crime; the introduction of a compulsory register of lobbyists; a new Freedom of Information system; and strengthened powers and discretion for Oireachtas members to question and challenge government decisions.

The anti-corruption group also appealed to the Irish public to support its work, which will include a new free public helpline and legal advice service for whistleblowers and victims of corruption.


  • Notes for editors

· The Barometer is distinct from the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) which is also conducted by Transparency International and used to evaluate expert and business attitudes to corruption.

· The publication of the survey marks International Anti-Corruption Day, with 9 December designated by the United Nations General Assembly.

· The Irish survey was conducted by ICM Research on behalf of Gallup and Transparency International between June and September 2010.

See attachment #1 above for tables