THE RED CROSS STORY keeps raising its head in national broadsheets. It's one of several stories that recur this week, along with speculation about what went wrong in the Irish property market, how the government is going to impose equitable austerity, and what Wikileaks has done for journalism.
Today's news updates come from the southern face of the Rock of Cashel, so there's some ambient wind noise that sets the mood.
The bosses of semi-state companies "are to face unprecedented scrutiny of their salaries and bonuses when a new review group meets in the autumn." For example, the chief executive of the Dublin Airport Authority had a total package of nearly EUR 570,000 last year. Taxpayers fund this kind of pay and benefits with their boarding charges, landing fees and parking rates.
Several papers rewind the story of poor governance inside the Irish Red Cross. On the front page of the Nationalist, the National Red Cross Vice Chairman says the EUR 150,000 collected in Tipperary for tsunami relief has now been spent. A few days later, on the front page of the Sunday Times, Lawlor emphasized that the money hasn't been spent. In a related online item, the Irish Red Cross is trying to stop Irish bloggers from commenting negatively on the way it handles its business.
On the front page of the Sunday Business Post, John Burke and Ian Kehoe point to "Failte Ireland's high-risk spending." Auditors have discovered sums up to EUR 600,000 "were being paid out in sponsorship for sports events for which there was no approval by the Failte Ireland authority."
Jennifer O'Connell gives over her Sunday page to WikiLeaks. "Whatever people feel about WikiLeaks--and opinion is greatly divided--its scoop last week of the War Logs has shaken conventional journalism to the core." Its very existence changes the way people think about journalism, information and power.
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Last Month: "Sindo, Times, FT and Post", 27 Jun 10.