Irish law permits all Irish citizens to report frauds against the U.S. Government under the False Claims Act, or violations of the provisions of the Securities & Exchange Act, Foreign Corrupt Practice Act, or Commodities Exchange Act.
What disclosures are currently protected?
Ireland currently has a patchwork of whistleblower laws protecting citizen disclosures including reports of: breaches of the Ethics Acts; violations of competition law; matters relating to workplace health & safety issues; corruption or malpractice amongst police; threats to the welfare of patients in health care; threats to consumers; breaches relating to chemicals; and violations of charities law. Ireland’s only comprehensive “whistleblower protection law” is the Public Disclosures Act of 2014, which allows both public and private employees who report a wide range of misconduct to be protected from retaliation including coercion, harassment, or discrimination as well as civil liability and criminal prosecution.
However, there is no reward provisions for successful whistleblowers in Irish law and law enforcement and government agencies in Ireland still lack comprehensive whistleblower programs. Therefore, whistleblowers may be better off reporting to U.S. regulators, at least until the transposition of the Whistleblower Directive is complete.
Can Irish whistleblowers receive rewards?
There is no law in Ireland providing whistleblowers rewards, however, they may receive rewards through U.S. laws.
Recent updates or future legislative developments
Ireland is currently in the process of transposing the EU Whistleblower Directive and just closed its public comment period for the new law that will be enacted. Given the broad protections already in place for protecting whistleblowers from retaliation, whistleblowers and advocates alike are optimistic about protections to be offered in the new legislation.
Can/should Irish whistleblowers report to U.S. officials?
No law in Ireland currently prohibits Irish citizens from reporting frauds against the U.S. government under the False Claims Act, or violations of provisions of other statutes including the Securities & Exchange Act, Foreign Corrupt Practice Act, or Commodities Exchange Act. Therefore, Irish whistleblowers can and should report relevant violations to U.S. officials under these laws.