Belfast Telegraph

Just 12% trust TDs to tell truth

TDs are the least trusted group to tell the truth while public faith is strongest in doctors, a new survey suggests.

Some 1,008 people were quizzed on who they trusted to be truthful, with Dail deputies lagging at the bottom of a list that included gardai, judges, priests, journalists, civil servants and business chiefs.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has pledged to restore public confidence in politics but the results indicate he faces an uphill battle. But he can take some comfort in the knowledge that the nationwide survey was carried out before the new coalition Government took power.

The face-to-face survey by Millward Brown Lansdowne on behalf of the Medical Council quizzed people for their views on 16 professional classes and whether they felt they could trust them to be truthful.

But the survey threw up a few bizarre results, with television newsreaders more trustworthy than scientists, with the latter securing 61% support versus 63%.

Journalists managed to convince just 37% of people they could be trusted, while civil servants won over 45%, trade union bosses 32% and pollsters - those who gauge public opinion in surveys - securing just 25%.

TDs secured just 12% support, while business chiefs got 27%, and priests 50%. Teachers were the second most trusted group on 79%, followed by professors on 72%, judges on 71% and gardai on 64%.

The survey was carried out between February 9 and March 3 - in the days before and after the election campaign.

Professor Kieran Murphy, Medical Council president, said trust is the cornerstone in the relationship between doctors and patients.

"The results of this survey are welcome and the enhancement of the role of the Medical Council will help to maintain and build trust in doctors in the coming years, while driving patient safety in Ireland," he said.

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