By Patrick Brogan
At the time of writing, Jonathan Sugarman is still answering questions at the Oireachtas committee investigating banking. His opening statement was eloquent and succinct. It was also slightly depressing listening to what he has had to endure.
He claimed his life was destroyed and he hasn’t worked for 10 years and is unemployable because he was trying to uphold Irish law. He said that the bankers are immune “from any form of sanction” and people trying to do the right thing are “vilified”. It is the poor people of Ireland that always suffer.
Does any of this sound familiar? There are elements of the Gardai whistleblowers story in all this and Mr Sugarman even mentioned this. His statement that “official Ireland destroyed every whistleblower” regardless of what area their complaints were in.
Jonathan Sugarman blew the whistle in a sector that really needed it. He pointed out that breaches in banking regulation are criminal acts. Being found guilty of these breaches may result in a fine and a five-year prison sentence. Possibly his most important point was that the regulator is also guilty as the body or person overseeing these actions.
When will Ireland finally praise these brave people and take their claims with the seriousness they deserve? They certainly didn’t do this for themselves as their lives have been destroyed. They did it because it was the right thing and ordinary people were suffering. And then the ordinary people turned their back on them. This has to change if we want to enjoy any standard of living, and more importantly, it is the human thing to do.
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