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Mistrusting the Elite

edmond_01This week readers of the Irish Times will have noticed three articles on successive days by Edmond Grace. He is an Irish Jesuit with legal training, who has lectured in the College of Industrial Relations and in recent years has directed a think-tank, Conversation on Democracy in Ireland, a patient and reflective ministry, involving him with some of the movers and shakers of our society. In these articles Edmond examines the crises in three Irish institutions: banks, politics and the church. “The crises relate to the breakdown of trust between elite groups and the wider population. In the past that trust was generated by a confident facade behind which problems were resolved in secret. People were happy to live under the imposing shadow of both church and state, but the facade is now crumbling in Ireland and throughout the world.”