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Whistleblowing in Ireland – not in our nature?

Well, not normally anyway. There’s been a couple of stories recently in the Irish Examiner which feature the possibility of whistle blowing in a couple of scenarios.

It’s not really in the psyche of the Irish to “squeal” on others where we see wrong doing in action. We’ve a part of our own history where “supergrasses” don’t have too popular a history.

The first story shows that this may be starting to change – Insurance fraud hotline receives 3,500 tip-offs. However, this relates to only 272 reported cases for 2007.

The second story, Government denies involvement in alleged price-fixing probe, provides contact details for the intriguingly named Cartel Immunity Programme within the Competition Authority. According to the article:

The spokesman said in any case where people feel there are corrupt practices in place they should contact the immunity programme at 087-7631378. This would include anybody with information on tenders for government contracts.

Note, this isn’t for whistle blowing in general – only where you think there may be cartels in operation. For example, if you think that there’s a cartel in operation in your town where the petrol prices in every petrol station are the same (unsuccessful in the end).

Personally, I believe that whistle blowing (responsibly) should be facilitated and encouraged. Day by day, we’ve seen there were so many dodgy things that have gone on over the past number of years in this country. You’d like to think that there were at least some honourable people looking on who could have done or said something (anonymously even) to bring these to the attention of someone who could have done something about it.

It’s just unfortunate that our current government are not really in favour of such whistle blowing – the Whistle Blowers Protection Act proposed by Labour in 1999 was finally killed in 2005, never to be seen since.

Then again, when you see the behaviour of many within Fianna Fail and their supporters over the years, they’d more than likely have been the primarily people to be brought to book if such legislation was actually in place.

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