A mass uprising against the Irish Government would be joined by more than half of young people in the country, a survey has indicated. 54% of 18-34-year-olds said they would take part in a “large scale uprising against the generation in power if it happened in the next days or months”. Over 30% percent of these people viewed that most politicians were in fact corrupt. ‘Now, why would they think this’, I here you ask.
Well, where do we start? There has always been the idea of the “brown envelope” here in Ireland but corruption is much more than that simple analogy. Cast your mind back to 1997 The Flood tribunal (a Public Inquiry) set up to investigate corruption in the planning laws in Ireland. This investigation later morphed into the Mahon tribunal. The investigation found dozens of politicians had received payoffs from businessmen for favors granted during the 1980’s and 90’s. This little investigation cost the Irish tax payer the sum of €155,183,141 . The final findings of this little tribunal were published in 2012 and the real winners here were the legal community of solicitors, barristers etc. who made a fortune. ‘That’s it’, you may think. All that naming and shaming, the cost to the tax payer, we have all learned our lesson. There will be no more of that. Roll on March 2014. The Fennelly Commission set up to investigate the taping of phone calls at Police stations and the circumstances around them. We also have the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation from January 2015, set up to examine the death of babies at 14 Mother and Baby Homes and four county homes between 1922 – 1998. Then we have the Commission of Investigation into (IRBC) Irish Bank Resolution Corporation. Set up in June 2015 to examine transactions involving IRBC including the sale of Siteserv to Denis O’Brien Millington expected to finish sometime later this year. And then to add insult to injury, in a country that prides itself on its sportsmanship, after all our soccer supporters have won admiration around the world. In September 2016 an Olympic Ticketing Inquiry was set up to investigate ticket touting allegations after Olympic Council of Ireland president Pat Hickey was arrested in Rio at the Olympics . This number of tribunals and investigations among others surely points to a level of corruption and there is more in the pipeline as it is expected that there will be an inquiry into the sale of the now infamous “NAMA,s Project Eagle loan portfolio (Government owned property). Is it any wonder that over 30% of 18 – 34 year olds think that politicians are corrupt? Corruption is much more than a sneaky brown envelope or two, it’s the cover-ups and the destruction of files and phone tapping, among other things, that leave the younger generation cynical. Not just about politics but the establishment that has shaped elements of our country over the years. Are we corrupt? ‘Not a bit of it’, ‘sure, we’re a good little catholic country and sure what’s a few brown envelopes between friends’.

by Nasreen Habibnejad