[Sinn Fein]

4ú Aibhrean 2002

Report says 'Ireland is Corrupt'

MacManus accuses government of absolute failure

Sinn Fein Sligo Leitrim general election candidate Councillor Séan MacManus has accused the government of failing to address corruption and inequalities in this state. Councillor MacManus was speaking following reports of a study on justice and social issues to be published by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust today. Cllr. MacManus said:

"Today's report has found that corruption is a central theme of Irish life and politics and that human rights standards are below internationally accepted levels. For those of us who have been campaigning for a change of focus in government policy, this will come as no surprise.

"However the level of criticism is such that if real action isn't taken now then Ireland may soon have a reputation that will turn off international investors and tourists from coming to Ireland. Sinn Fein has highlighted for some time that while this state is becoming one of the richest in the EU it is also possibly the most unequal.

"Criticisms raised in the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust report include the inadequate treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, lack of police accountability and difficulties for poor people in getting access to justice.

"The government must act on this report. For too long corruption and inequality have been the hallmarks of Irish politics. Now is the time for change."

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