17/05/2010

Labour Backs 'Tell All' Bill

People should not be afraid to come forward with revelations about wrongdoing - at whatever level it is uncovered.

There should be a general 'whistleblowers' charter, the Labour Party has said.

Labour spokesman on Justice Pat Rabbitte called on the Government to accept his party's Whistleblowers Protection Bill 2010, adding the party had been pressing for such legislation for more than 10 years.

Mr Rabbitte accused the Government of not proceeding with whistleblower legislation because it was "afraid it might offend the powerful vested interests".

"From the banks to the blood bank to the beef industry, the questions remain the same. Did nobody know or suspect?

"Is it credible that nobody in the system ever stumbled across wrongdoing? Why was nothing reported earlier," he said.

Mr Rabbitte said whistleblower rights were essential: "I believe Ireland's reputation as a lightly regulated economy is precisely what has got us into so much trouble in the first place....If there had been protection for whistleblowers, we may have been spared the worst of the negligence and recklessness that brought down our banking system," he said.

(BMcC/GK)

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