Corruption Survey: Public's trust in politics declines


IRISH PEOPLE'S trust in politicians is among the lowest of any country worldwide, according to a survey.

Transparency International’s Irish branch surveyed 1,000 Irish residents between June and September this year. The survey, released today to coincide with International Anti-Corruption Day, found people felt corruption to be on the rise in most public institutions. The perception of corruption in politics and the church was among the highest of the 86 countries surveyed.

In a barometer measuring between 1 and 5, at which 5 is the most corrupt, participants scored Irish political parties at 4.4. Only Greece, Israel, Nigeria and Romania rated their political parties as being more corrupt.

Six out of 10 Irish people felt levels of corruption had risen in the past three years. The public’s trust in the church and the Oireachtas deteriorated most dramatically since the last study was carried out in 2007. However, the perception of corruption in business, the media, NGOs, the education system, the Garda and the military also deteriorated. The only improvement was in relation to the legal system.

More than eight out of 10 people believed the Government was ineffective in tackling the abuse of power while 4 per cent claimed they had paid a bribe in the last year.

Chief executive of Transparency Ireland John Devitt said the findings were not surprising. “If anything, it’s surprising the Irish figures are not worse,” he said.

“People rightly fear that nothing much will change and that those responsible for the collapse of our economy will not suffer the consequences,” Mr Devitt said.

“Before this next general election the public needs to send the politicians a clear message that they don’t want to see business as usual. They want to see reform. They want to see politics cleaned up,” he added.