PDF image of Issue No. 1 of Convention newspaper:

Let’s discuss the Lack of Standards in Public Office and the ‘party system’, in Court!

Diarmaid Ó Cadhla (right) has called the Standards In Public Office (SIPO) legislation a fraud and a:

“smokescreen that masks the corruption and backroom dealings of the party system”.

In a statement The Peoples Convention in Cork South Central challenges SIPO to proceed with prosecution against Ó Cadhla because he has refused to return Statutory Declarations arising out of participation in the election last year. The statement says:

“the SIPO legislation is discriminatory and based on Electoral Acts which are unconstitutional and a denial of the rights of citizens to elect and be elected.”

This is an issue of concern to all citizens, it is fundamental to our democracy.

Prosecution of the alleged offence offers the opportunity to clarify this serious matter before a court of law. SIPO has already used Garda time in repeated visits to the home of the candidate, itself a misuse of valuable resources. All that is required is for a summons to be issued, which Ó Cadhla has told the Gardaí he is happy to answer in court.

If the SIPO legislation means anything then prosecution should proceed as provided for, otherwise the law means nothing and the cost of SIPO is itself a waste of public funds.

Despite SIPO, loopholes are easily found to hide political donations. The Fine Gael party itself refuses to disclose any corporate donations at all. In addition, the political party system is funded directly by the State, to the tune of €90m in the 6 years to 2010.

Accounting for these funds by either the parties or SIPO is either not required at all or is so inadequate as to be meaningless.

SIPO treats individuals or organisations of the people with less rights than these private clubs which get State funding.

(Full text of statement is available online)