Just as there is a transcendent power to set an example, failure to provide one is equally debilitating. But when it comes to standards in public office, compromises are non-negotiable. It is for this reason that the Robert Troy debacle has damaged not only the reputation of politics, but also its character.
or both Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tanaiste Leo Varadkar, having supported him to the last minute made it that much worse.
Their judgment has been skewed, as has the notion that transparency and accountability are at the heart of government.
Mr Troy’s storming off the stage and attacking the media suggests he still fails to see the need to protect the Dail’s good name.
Standards In Public Office (SIPO) obligations are designed to protect TDs and the public.
It is also clear that they are unfortunately toothless. Journalists were not responsible for Mr Troy’s breaches in disclosing the full details of his 11 properties.
His mistakes were rightly brought to the attention of voters.
As such, his apparent sense of martyrdom is not only inappropriate, but an insult to anyone who thinks politicians should be held accountable like everyone else. Claims that he was slandered for being a landlord are also a distraction. His serial flaws made his service at the higher levels of government untenable.
He also insisted he would not apologize for being a landlord. But no one asked him to.
His problem was the continued inability to specify the extensive nature of his property interests, which he was obliged to do.
Valid questions can be asked about how an acting minister can focus on his work while managing 11 properties; that’s another matter. Mr. Troy is not the first TD – nor will he be the last – to have found himself in hot water over disclosure.
The main lesson from this controversy is that the SIPO requirements are not fit for purpose.
Routinely demanded reforms are rarely implemented.
There is still no real sanction against a member who disobeys them.
Despite this, Mr Troy had the audacity to question the “ethical” work of journalists who followed his story “relentlessly”.
It would not be history if a politician’s full interests were on record for all to see.
There must be legal ramifications for those who disregard their duties if any meaningful standards are to be enforced.
Had Green Party leader Eamon Ryan not cried “enough”, the government’s reputation and the integrity of the policy would in all likelihood have been further eroded.
For the past seven days, the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste at Béal na Bláth have extolled the high values aspired to by the founders of the state.
However, the dingy events of the last few days show once again how much easier it is to preserve character than to restore it.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/editorial/government-transparency-has-taken-a-battering-in-robert-troy-debacle-41938060.html Government transparency took a hit in the Robert Troy debacle