Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Sinn Féin forces O’ Donoghue’s resignation
Earlier today the four Sinn Féin TD’s called on the Ceann Comhairle John O’Donoghue to resign. They did so because his position was untenable. Labour and Fine Gael followed suit. He has eventually announced his resignation and rightly so. He must go further and pay back expenses which he unnecessarily claimed. However the point has to be made that this cannot be seen as the end. John O’Donoghue should not be a sacrificial lamb. His actions were a symptom of a much deeper problem in the Irish political system. The lavish and outrageous expenses he enjoyed are enjoyed by many in both houses of the Oireachtas. His resignation must herald a new beginning of accountability, transparency and proportionality when it comes to the spending of tax payer’s money.
There is much talk of the need for the banking system to be cleaned up. It is now time to clean up our political system once and for all. The entire system of salaries and expenses to elected representatives at every level must be overhauled. One resignation is not enough. There are many more John O’Donoghue’s and Rody Molloy’s. However at the end of the day it is the system which needs to change. All political parties must now commit themselves to achieving this and bring about a new era of transparency and accountability in Irish politics.