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Legislation to protect whistleblowers urgently required – Morgan

17 May, 2010


Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Arthur Morgan has called on the Government to bring forward legislation to protect whistleblowers who report illegal and unacceptable practices in the workplace. Deputy Morgan said the enactment of such legislation is vital to ensure that many of the corruption and malpractices that led to the current economic crisis are stamped out once and for all.

Speaking today Deputy Morgan said:

“There are many cases where information which is in the public interest is not revealed because individual workers justifiably fear penalisation by their employer in the absence of measures to protect them if they make such disclosures. Those workers who come forward despite the lack of protection must be commended.

“The enactment of legislation to protect employees and others who blow the whistle on illegal or other unacceptable practices is long overdue. We have seen enough cases where the absence of such legislation allowed illegal and unacceptable practices to continue unchecked – we are footing the Bill for this now.

“The enactment of such legislation is vital to ensure that many of the corruption and malpractices that led to the current economic crisis are stamped out once and for all.

“In other states whistle blowers have played a vital role in ensuring the public interest is upheld. Frequently it is only through whistle blowing that this information can come to light and can be addressed before real damage is done.

“Would the corruption in planning which was endemic in Dublin in particular have persisted as long as it did leaving us with a legacy of poorly planned sprawling estates and colossal Tribunal bills? Would we be sustaining a zombie bank through billions of euros of taxpayers money had employees been empowered through legislation to come forward?

“This Government can no longer hide behind the apron of private interests who act against the public good. We need to empower employees, we need to protect them and we need to bring forward legislation as a matter of priority.” ENDS

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