Leaking a confidential document

 

A chara, – On February 15th, 2017, there was a debate in the Dáil surrounding then-taoiseach Enda Kenny’s handling of the fallout of the Maurice McCabe whistleblower affair.

To acknowledge mistakes of the past and instill hope for the future conduct of our public representative, the then-minister of social protection added the following to the record. “We need to bring an end to a culture where wrong is done but nobody is held to account. Systems failures, administrative errors, endless reviews and prevarications, lost records, putting on the green jersey and alleged lack of resources are all too often used to justify and excuse wrongdoing. This should no longer be the case. Our Republic can and must stand for something better. Let us get down to the business of doing that.”

These are admirable words and, I think, proper standards for the public service to live by. Has so much changed in the three years since then that the Tánaiste is failing to measure up to and stand by his own words? Has this era of “new politics” failed to start or has it been nothing more than a pipe dream?

Most importantly, will there be any accountability whatsoever, not for the actions of a disgruntled Civil Service, not for an administrative error by a department, but by the direct action of the then-leader of the country? I won’t hold my breath. – Is mise,

PAUL McCARRICK,

Athlone,

Co Westmeath.

Sir, – What would Leo Varadkar demand if an opponent handed over officially confidential documents outside the proper processes?

It seems reasonable to require Mr Varadkar to do what he would demand of an opponent in similar circumstances. – Yours, etc,

LIAM MULLIGAN,

Letterkenny,

Co Donegal.

Sir, – If there is any scandal in this whole episode it is that the then-government deliberately excluded the organisation representing the majority of GPs from the negotiation of a new GP contract.

I hope Mr Varadkar will tell us in the Dáil why he chose to do that, when he is trying to explain away his other difficulties. – Yours, etc,

Dr PAUL BYRNE,

Dundrum,

Dublin 16.

Sir, – Hasn’t Leo Varadkar ever heard of medical confidentiality? – Yours, etc,

Dr JOHN DOHERTY,

Gaoth Dobhair,

Co Dhún na nGall.

Sir, – Politics is a dirty business. I wonder will we now see the Greens throw the Tánaiste under a zero-emission, solar panelled bus? – Yours, etc,

EAMON FARRELL,

Sandymount,

Dublin 4.

Sir, – Will it take a Village to raze a Tánaiste? – Yours, etc,

DAVE O’SULLIVAN,

Athgarvan,

Co Kildare.

Sir, – Regarding the views on the broadcast media that Mr Varadkar is “likely to survive” the brouhaha in Leinster House, one must ask when is a political crisis not a political crisis?

Why, when it’s an Irish political crisis, of course. – Yours, etc,

PETER DECLAN

O’HALLORAN,

Belturbet,

Co Cavan.

Sir, – If politicans never leaked any information, what would your political reporters do? – Yours, etc,

MARY L KAVANAGH,

Dublin 8.

A chara, – The Government can probably mop up the damage caused by Leo Varadkar’s leak but it won’t be as easy for the Tánaiste himself to restore the squeaky-clean image he has enjoyed up to now. – Is mise,

JOHN GLENNON,

Hollywood,

Co Wicklow.

Sir, – In the words of American author James Reston jnr, “A government is the only vessel that leaks from the top”! – Yours, etc,

OLIVER

McGRANE,

Rathfarnham,

Dublin 16.