Republic of Ireland Country Profile

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Business Corruption in Ireland


The Ireland country profile provides a detailed analysis of the country’s corruption environment and its effects on doing business. The country profile’s Regulatory Environment and General Information sections provide comprehensive information on business and corruption. This profile's General Information chapter provides an overview of anti-corruption activities and corruption risks in relation to Ireland's political, business and regulatory environments.

As a response to political corruption and the financial crisis, the Irish government has launched a number of new regulatory safeguards against corruption:

  • The Criminal Justice (Corruption) Bill 2012 and the Protected Disclosures in the Public Interests Bill are awaiting enactment in Parliament. When adopted they will strengthen and unite Irelands many anti-corruption laws and introduce whistleblower protection for both public and private sectors.
  • The Electoral Act has been amended to regulate political donations.
  • The Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Bill 2011 has strengthened and expanded the Central Bank's powers to impose and supervise compliance with regulatory requirements. In addition, the statutory Code of Corporate Governance 2011 sets out minimum requirements for banks and insurance companies.

However, certain challenges remain:

  • Reduced budgets and increased workloads have strained law enforcement agencies and led to under-enforcement in some areas.
  • Corruption prevention in local governments has seen little progress.
  • Business and household surveys reveal that many believe that connections between business and politics are among the main reasons for corruption in Ireland.

Detailed descriptions of the level of corruption in a number of sectors are outlined in the profile's Corruption Levels. For a more detailed analysis of government, media and civil society anti-corruption activities, visit the Public Anti-Corruption Initiatives and Private Anti-Corruption Initiatives chapters.

Publication date: December 2013

Data verified by GAN Integrity Solutions

European Commission