Category Archives: Comment

Two problems with the Banking Inquiry report

I’ve been thankfully out of the country for the launch of the Bank Inquiry report, and am only now catching up with the report itself, and the analysis from the media. It’s interesting to watch it from afar – it adds a sense of perspective to the entire exercise. My conclusion is what it was… Read More »

What’s wrong with Ireland?

This is an analysis piece I wrote on March 15 for the Sunday Business Post to go with a story around a PWC report in late 2008 that analysed the loan books of Irish banks: It’s now more than six years since Ireland made a decision which would have devastating consequences on its people. Yet… Read More »

On Howlin, FOI reform and facts

We were very interested to read a blog post/speech by Public Expenditure & Reform Minister Brendan Howlin yesterday. It contains some very curious statements, and we assume the blog post was not actually written by Howlin (we’d be happy to find out), but rather by recently appointed press officer(s). The post refers indirectly to this… Read More »

Was this website targeted by the State?

Now that the Government’s intention to proceed with the current fee regime seems clear (and indeed add new fee provisions) we should give our view on what his happening to FOI in Ireland. And unfortunately what we outline below is not an April Fool’s joke. Back in 2009, TheStory.ie was established by myself and Mark… Read More »

That GSOC UK 3G network

In a statement to the Dail last week Alan Shatter said: The third issue related to the security firm reporting the detection of an unexpected UK 3G network in the area in the locality of the GSOC offices which suggested that UK phones registered to that network making calls would be vulnerable to interception. Importantly,… Read More »

The connection between fees and human rights

The CJEU has issued a very interesting judgment (Case C‑486/12) in the context of the Data Protection regime. A dispute arose when a Dutch public authority wished to charge €12.80 to a person for seeking information about themselves under the Dutch Data Protection law. The person in question refused to pay the fee and appealed… Read More »

International NGOs call on Ireland to #abolishFOIfees

Access Info Europe and the Centre For Law and Democracy have called on the Irish government to abolish FOI fees entirely. In an open letter written to Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin, Helen Darbishire from Access Info and Toby Mendel from the Centre for Law and Demcoracy wrote: Various arguments have been put… Read More »

Tweets of the week on FOI

I’ve collected some of the best tweets from last week here: Any more suggestions let me know [View the story “FOI in Ireland” on Storify]