War of the words

Ireland's Freedom of Information Act was meant to make the government more accountable, but it is not keen to let people know how things are run, writes Gavin Sheridan.

24th February, 2013
Gavin Sheridan: 'If we really want a reformed Ireland, we must make a decision: secrecy or transparency?' Photo: Maura Hickey

"Freedom will be bereft of all effectiveness if the people have no access to information," wrote Abid Hussain, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, in 1995.

"Access to information is basic to the democratic way of life. The tendency to withhold information from the people at large is therefore to be strongly checked." Few people make the connection between freedom of expression rights and rights to accessing information, but one follows logically from...

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