Tuesday 21 October 2014

Letter of regret

Published 08/11/2012 | 05:00

• When Eugene Sheehy was asked if he felt responsible for the collapse of Allied Irish Banks, he replied: "I issued letters of regret." Well, that settled that. He also said he is entitled to his €529,000-a-year pension, and settled quickly that issue as well.

Apparently, neither he, the AIB, or those we elected to do something about it, can actually do anything at all, or will either, even if they wanted to. The only leverage left apparently, is to appeal to morality, a faith-based attempt to court a banker's conscience.

The deeper reality is this: If any government dictates new laws against bankers and their pensions, they cannot single them out as a group, and can only enact a national law. This in turn will effect a precedent that will work against many another fatted pension or two in government alone. The endless line of obscene pensions that would then fall would prove to be a treasure trove for the hard-pressed taxpayer.

The Government knows this already, and will not change the law, such is the instinct for self-preservation even against the survival of their own party, people or indeed species.

In crisis, to do something is good, for to do nothing is absolutely the worst thing to do.

Barry Clifford
Oughterard, Co Galway

Irish Independent

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