Subject:
GRECO report on corruption in the Republic of Ireland

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Dear Mr Lezertua, and Mrs Marie-Rose,

I have read the GRECO report on corruption in the Republic of Ireland (GRECO 7: 17-20/12/2001). Worthwhile though I believe this report to be, it nevertheless appears to me that certain extremely important forms of political and legal corruption may have escaped the notice of the team of assessors: possibly because their stay in Ireland was too short, and/or the range of people they spoke with was too restricted?

Through petitions, efforts have been made during recent months to bring some of the "escaped" forms of corruption I refer to above to the attention of the European Parliament, and one of the reasons I am writing to you now is to try to ensure that the GRECO Group is made aware of them: for future GRECO assessments. The two petitions I refer to have been given the following reference numbers by the European Parliament:  809/2001, and 235/2002. Further information connected with these two petitions can be found on the following www Internet pages:

Petition 809/2001
http://homepage.eircom.net/~williamfinnerty/SATURNALIA/Dec_21st_2001.htm

In recent weeks a further long-standing and serious difficulty (not mentioned directly in the above petitions) seems to have become much more clear: and this is the MAIN REASON why I am writing to you now. The difficulty is that the media in the Republic of Ireland appear to be very deliberately and very systematically suppressing ALL information regarding the two petitions referred to above. The most recent example of this - which is just one of many - can be seen by the way the media have treated the information in the ELECTION press release dated March 4th 2002 at the www page address immediately below:
http://homepage.eircom.net/~kellybrendan/e-mail-mar-4-2002.htm

In so far as I am aware, the Republic of Ireland media have completely ignored the entire contents of the above mentioned press release of March 4th 2002.

As you may know, there is a GENERAL ELECTION due to take place here in the Republic of Ireland in May of this year (which is of course just a matter of some weeks away now). Unless something is done about it soon, it looks as though all of the May 2002 General Election voters who depend on traditional media outlets for political news and information will be kept in complete ignorance regarding the very disturbing facts that are connected with petitions 809/2001 and 235/2002. 

Many of the corruption difficulties mentioned in petitions in 809/2001 and 235/2002 relate in one way or another to Article 28A of the Constitution of the Republic of Ireland (the section which covers the crucially important social matters of LOCAL GOVERNMENT, and LOCAL DEMOCRACY).

In general overall terms, my long standing (and growing) concern regarding the Article 28A situation is that ordinary citizens (including myself) are being systematically deprived of MAJOR protections and benefits that have been embedded for us in the Constitution (which is of course the core legal document for ALL citizens of this State). There seems to be no good reason whatsoever for this. As long ago as December 2000, the editors of two local newspapers (The Connacht Tribune, and The Galway Advertiser) were made aware of the unhealthy - and so far completely unexplained - disregard that senior politicians and State lawyers were then demonstrating for the factual presence of Article 28A.  Please see the copies of the registered-letter receipts at the bottom of the following www page: http://homepage.eircom.net/~williamfinnerty/chaplefinnerty/letters3/dec-29-00.htm

As far as I know, the media in the Republic of Ireland have NEVER to date specifically mentioned - let alone examined - ANY of the core difficulties connected with Article 28A which I have tried to bring to their attention on numerous occasions. (Evidence of my several attempts to attract the attention of the media to the various problems can be seen on a number of the Internet pages I have produced.)

Among other things, and as a result of what I see as high-level political and legal corruption, a Waste Management Bill involving super dumps passed into law in 2001: even though it clearly conflicted very badly with Article 28A. The combination of political and legal actions involved in the lengthy journey of bringing this law to fruition appears to have the tacit approval and support of the media throughout the long crawl through all of the legal technicalities discussed in the Senate and elsewhere: with the core issue of Article 28A never once specifically drawn to the attention of the public by the media (as far as I know).  Most amazing of all (as I see it), it appears that President Mary McAleese (herself a lawyer) had no qualms at all about signing the necessary papers which enabled the Waste Management Bill to become Law.

This "super dump" situation appears to me to be unusually bad: partly because of all the negative reports in circulation regarding the serious health hazards for people (especially pregnant women) living close to such establishments. The reports I refer to include the very reputable Eurohazcon Report (of 1998) on landfill sites.

Mindful of all the justified concern that there appears to be regarding the rights of unborn children in this State, and of all the time that the media, the lawyers, and the politicians have spent discussing this subject in public during the past several years, they appear (until very recently) - and for reasons best known to themselves - to have almost completely ignored information of the kind contained in the Eurohazcon Report: which has been available since 1998 ???

If the European Union has any group within its organisation which polices (in "real-time") the kind of ongoing "political / legal / media" type of corruption referred to in this communication, it would be much appreciated if you could forward a copy of this e-mail to them as soon as possible please for their attention.

As I do not know if any EU group of the kind referred to in the paragraph immediately above actually exists, I am copying this e-mail to a number of other EU personnel outside of your GRECO Group: in the hope that one or more of them might be able to help (in some way or another) with what I regard as a very unhealthy social and political situation: which is happening RIGHT NOW here in the Republic of Ireland IN THE RUN-UP TO A GENERAL ELECTION.

I feel I should stress that I believe it would be infinitely better to have a team of anti-corruption investigators look into this matter now: rather than AFTER the May 2002 General Election. 

As I think you will know possibly, we already have a number of TRIBUNALS in progress here that are investigating large-scale corruption (involving senior politicians) which took place in recent years; and, I for one would prefer not to see any additions to the present number of these tribunals: if this could possibly be avoided through effective European Union anti-corruption policing carried out in the "here-and-now" of this "live" situation.

Later today I intend to send a printed (and signed) copy of this e-mail through the registered post to the Directorate General of Legal Affairs (Council of Europe). It would be much appreciated if the recipient could let me have written acknowledgement of receipt for it within the coming 14 days please.  I also intend to place a copy of this e-mail (accompanied with translation facilities) at the following www page address later today:
http://homepage.eircom.net/~williamfinnerty/GRECO.htm

Sincerely,

Mr. William Finnerty.

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E-MAIL:   wfinnerty@eircom.net
WEB SITE:   http://homepage.eircom.net/~williamfinnerty/
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Printed copies of the above e-mail were sent through the registered post
on March 25th 2002 to the three addresses shown on the Post Office receipts below.
Post Office
Internet tracking service for registered letters
Registered letter receipts from the Post Office for three letters containing printed (and signed) copies of the above e-mail to GRECO dated March 25th 2002.

GRECO REPORT ON CORRUPTION IN THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

http://www.greco.coe.int/evaluations/cycle1/GrecoEval1ReportIrelandE.pdf

Please note: PDF software is required to read the information at the above address. Those who do not have PDF software installed on their PCs may wish to know that free copies can be downloaded from the following site:
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