Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Not quiet on the northern front

A good Wall Street Journal op-ed by Neill Lochery overcomes its subtitle gaffe -- "tensions continue to simmer in Ulster" (sic) -- to explain how, contrary to claims of boasting Irish PMs on victory laps, inner Belfast is still a segregated and troubled city.  One notable claim:

What followed the [Northern Bank] robbery was a huge money laundering operation, with pubs and small hotels in Dublin exchanging hands for as much €10 million as the IRA allegedly tried to legitimize its ill-gotten gains. British intelligence agencies heavily monitored this activity, but politicians in London and Dublin were reluctant to do anything to stop to stop it for fear of derailing the peace process.

Did the Irish government know of specific property deals done with dodgy money and not intervene?  Now that's light-touch regulation!

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