Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform Sean Fleming has described as “utterly hypocritical” the Government’s response this week to the Anglo tapes and the publication of new legislation to protect whistleblowers.
Deputy Fleming said: “On Wednesday Minister Brendan Howlin published the Protected Disclosure Bill 2013 which he says “provides for the first time a comprehensive whistleblower protection across all sectors of the economy.” This legislation is intended to safeguard against people, whether they’re in the public or private sector, from being penalised at work as a result of speaking out on possible misconduct. Fianna Fáil welcomes the publication of the legislation and will engage proactively in the Dáil debate on it.
“However the utter hypocrisy of the Labour Party on whistleblowing cannot be ignored. Less than 24 hours after the legislation was published Tánaiste and Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore said the leaking of the Anglo tapes was a “serious matter” and that it was being investigated. The Minister for Finance Michael Noonan also suggested people were “mucking around” in Garda business when he was asked about the Anglo tapes yesterday.
“How can this government on one hand say they want a comprehensive legal framework in place for all sectors of the country in order to protected people who disclose alleged wrongdoing and at the same time start hunting down the people who have done the public a service by shedding light on what happened inside Anglo Irish Bank? The Tánaiste needs to make up his mind – either Labour and the Government want people to blow the whistle on serious cases of possible misconduct or they don’t?”