Elaine Byrne: Inaction over National Party gold bar farce highlights Sipo’s ineptitude

Incident reveals staggering lack of curiosity by Standards Commission about internal financing of a party that has never submitted annual accounts

Justin Barrett of the National Party contacted gardaí about claims that bullion worth €400,000 had been stolen. Picture: Fergal Phillips

The Standards in Public Office Commission (Sipo) is not fit for purpose. The farce over the whereabouts of the National Party’s gold bars raises serious questions, yet again, about the capacity of the ethics watchdog to promote transparency and accountability in Irish public life.

In the same week that the far-right party’s leader, Justin Barrett, contacted gardaí about claims that bullion worth an estimated €400,000 had been stolen, Sipo published its annual report.

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