Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Ireland and the Freedom of Information ActFOI@15$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Maura Adshead and Tom Felle

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719097188

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719097188.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 17 June 2021

Two steps forward and one step back

Two steps forward and one step back

political culture and FOI

(p.32) 2 Two steps forward and one step back
Ireland and the Freedom of Information Act

Maura Adshead

Manchester University Press

This chapter gives particular consideration to the political culture in which Irish approaches to governmental secrecy and freedom of information evolved and developed. It notes that openness and transparency in government institutions were not high priorities for the fledgling Irish state. Fresh from fighting the War of Independence and in the midst of Civil War, the Free State government that was established with Irish independence was driven by an expedient imperative to maintain control. From these beginnings, many have noted that the Irish state system that subsequently evolved was characterised by a centralised and secretive approach to government – governed more by pragmatics than principle. It is from this starting point that Chapter 2 documents the political and administrative culture of the Irish state as it evolved throughout the last century, demonstrating that once institutional norms are established, they take a great deal of effort and directed political intention to shift them. The chapter looks at Irish attitudes to FOI and illustrates the unevenness of reform efforts over the years, as well as the prospects for a future re-orientation.

Keywords:   Political culture, Government secrecy, Historical background

Manchester Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.