The Scandal in Ireland has now taken on a heavy political cast. The head of an independent commission set up by the government is accusing the government of Prime Minister Bertie Ahern of rendering her inquiry powerless.
For Ahern’s part, he says that part of the problem is that there has been a constitutional challenge to the law under which the commission was set up. Victims’ groups say the government is reducing the power of the commission to call witnesses and compel the production of evidence in order to slow down the commission’s work so that a report won’t be issued for years yet.
For what reason would the government want to impede the commission’s work? Critics say that it’s because attention is shifting from the Church’s role in sex abuse of children to allegations that institutions controlled by the Education Ministry were also involved in abuse and that there was cover-up by government officials.
See, it’s one thing for politicians to get all righteous and indignant about the Church’s failings and to call for a complete investigation and penalties for the perpetrators and their enables, but it’s another thing when it’s themselves who are being accused of the same thing.
Hypocrisy is not limited to politics, but it certainly seems to have a home there.