By Jack Holland
It seems, at first glance, that the democratic system in Ireland is as healthy as the economy. The public interest is being protected by no less than two public tribunals.
One, chaired by Justice Feargus Flood, is probing the distribution of so-called brown envelopes, generally containing lots of crisp currency, to politicians for anticipated "considerations." The second, chaired by the Rt. Hon. Michael Moriarty, relates to much the same sort of thing, financial contributions to politicians of one sort or another, for expected favors.
The first is particularly focused on the Fianna Fail North Dublin T.D. and former minister for foreign affairs, Ray Burke. The second came about as the result of alarming disclosures concerning Fine Gael T.D. Michael Lowry, who received thousands of pounds from the rather eccentric department store tycoon Ben Dunne.