The Social Democrats welcome Minister Simon Coveney’s belated support for its idea to set up an independent anti-corruption agency.
Party co-leader Róisín Shortall TD said: “While imitation may be the best form of flattery, it is unfortunate that Minister Coveney is only now putting forward these proposals as part of his Fine Gael leadership bid.
“The Social Democrats proposed the creation of an Independent Anti-Corruption Agency as far back as November 2015. Our detailed proposals are based on best-practice internationally and cover corruption in both the public and the private sphere.
“Minister Coveney’s planned commission is much less ambitious as it is confined to corruption in the public sector. Does this mean that he believes corruption only happens in the public sector?
“If Minister Coveney was really serious about the need to root out corruption in our society, he would have supported the Social Democrats’ original proposals. Yet the Dáil record shows that he did not vote when our motion to establish an agency was before the Dáil on 9th December 2015. That motion was rejected by the then Fine Gael/Labour government. Had our proposal been supported we might have an agency up and running by now.”