Tuesday 17 January 2017

Brendan Keenan: Yet again, Honohan proves that he isn't shy and retiring

Published 02/02/2012 | 05:00

Patrick Honohan, Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland. Photo: Tom Burke
Patrick Honohan, Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland. Photo: Tom Burke

EXQUISITE timing would be one description for interventions of Patrick Honohan, Governor of the Central Bank. Not in the sense of delightful, but the other meaning of keen and penetrating -- as in "exquisite pain."

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That may well be how government ministers felt, reading Mr Honohan's remarks on the early retirement scheme in the public finances -- on the day when the deadline for applications expired.

They will have recalled the governor's RTE interview 13 months ago when he confirmed that a bailout was under way, while Fianna Fail ministers were still denying such a possibility. The two occasions could not be more different. Monday's comments were at the launch of an English translation of a book of Irish religious folktales and legends -- hardly 'Morning Ireland'. But the subject matter may have had a certain significance. Many officials in Dublin, Brussels and Frankfurt, along with members of the troika, think that Irish attitudes to the bailout are often the stuff of folktales and legends.

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