Friday 28 October 2016

Letters: Why are we following Coalition’s narrative on bailout cost?

Published 08/08/2014 | 02:30

There is a strong sense that the inquiry will focus too heavily on the events running up to the night of the state bank guarantee, when the late Brian Lenihan, pictured, was finance minister. But there are other key areas that need to be thoroughly explored.
There is a strong sense that the inquiry will focus too heavily on the events running up to the night of the state bank guarantee, when the late Brian Lenihan, pictured, was finance minister. But there are other key areas that need to be thoroughly explored.

Reading Daniel McConnell's article on the falling cost of the bank bailout (Irish Independent August 5), I cannot help but ask, why should we follow the Government's narrative on the cost of the bailout?

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For starters, while it is true that the banks have paid out €4.3bn in fees for the bank guarantee, we should not regard these fees as repayments towards the €64bn bailout.

The bank guarantee was, and is, an insurance policy, not a loan repayment scheme. After all, these same banks do not accept life and home insurance premiums as part-payments on a homeowner's mortgage.

If we cast our minds back to that infamous night of September 30, 2008, we will recall that the executives of Allied Irish Bank and Bank of Ireland met with government and state officials to argue that if Anglo failed, it would bring them down with it.

The bank guarantee and subsequent bailout was thus for the Irish-owned banking sector as a whole, not for each individual bank. The surviving banks, therefore, are collectively liable for the whole €64bn bailout, not just their own portion of it.

Each of the surviving banks, not the taxpayer, should be made to pay their share of the Anglo Irish and Irish Nationwide bailout cost. Plus interest.

The only money the banks have actually paid towards the bailout is the €6bn received from the sale of assets and the approximately €4bn Bank of Ireland has paid back.

There is still another €54bn plus interest to go, not €40bn, as the Government would like us to believe.

On no account should the Government accept the value of its holdings in the banks as down-payments on the bailout.

The Irish banks owe the people of Ireland a huge debt for the damage they caused to both the economy and people's lives.

Whenever the Government cashes in these holdings, it should divide the money raised between each citizen as compensation 
for the damage caused by the banks.

After all, they owe us big time.

Henry Gaynor


Co Kerry

FG should rebrand as 'FF Nua'

Although I would normally heartily concur with Thomas Garvey's views (Letters, Irish Independent, August 6) regarding a TD's loyalty to the party on whose ticket he or she rose to power, may I respectfully suggest that the party to which he refers is, de facto, no longer in existence?

Ivan Yates was a member of the Fine Gael Party, with the ethics personified by Garret the Good, among others - integrity, honesty, and trustworthiness among them.

Nowadays, Fine Gael in power is nothing better than the corrupt Fianna Fail of the Haughey, Ahern, and Cowen eras which it replaced - indeed, it may as well rebrand itself as 'Fianna Fail Nua'.

D K Henderson

Dublin 3

Are Daly et al anti-war or not?

I do hope one of your readers can explain the following to me: Clare Daly TD; John Molyneux, secretary of the Irish Anti-War Movement; and others posed for pictures proclaiming that the Irish people should remember lost lives and not glorify war (Irish Independent, August 6).

And yet each of these people has been publicly associated with supporting Hamas in the Middle East.

One cannot be "anti-war" and for peace and non-violence and yet support terrorist organisations or wars generated by duly-elected governments.

If one is truly anti-war, one must begin by saying: "I will not kill and I will not associate my name with those that do."

Vincent J Lavery

Chair, Peace and Justice in the Middle East


Co Dublin

1916 leaders had no alternative

The revisionist contribution of John Bruton (Irish Independent August 4) is worrying and shows that a cohort of individuals still believe that 1916 was totally unnecessary, suggesting Home Rule was inevitable.

Therein lies the deceit. Mr Bruton, as a former Taoiseach, is well aware that the British have never moved on issues unless it's in their own strategic interest. The 1916 leaders had no alternative but to initiate an armed rebellion in the face of perfidious Albion.

No doubt, the debate will continue during the centenary of commemorations, but we are where we are and a debt of honour is owed to a previous generation who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Peter Mulvany


Dublin 3

A sanitised view of fox hunting

The lavish spectacle that is the Dublin Horse Show is again attracting huge crowds and showcasing our multi-million-euro equestrian industry. Sadly, this annual event also serves as a major PR boost to fox hunting.

We see representatives of various hunts in action, jumping fences and negotiating natural obstacles that replicate to a degree the rugged 
and challenging sweep of the Irish countryside.

We are also treated to displays of traditional hunt pageantry: packs of hounds on their best behaviour, wagging their tails as they canter before the horses in ceremonial postcard fashion, with the evocative, haunting sound of a hunting horn added for effect.

A benign image…but something is missing from the pretty picture: the fox.

He fails to make an appearance at this high-profile event.

In a true-life hunting scenario, the pomp and pageantry quickly descends into a frenzy of blood lust and mayhem as the pack closes in on its prey.

Instead, we get the sanitised version of fox hunting, neatly packaged and presented to whitewash one of the world's most barbaric blood sports.

John Fitzgerald


Co Kilkenny

Taking on the Russian bear

So little old Ireland is punching above its weight?

We (just 4 million) have declared 
economic warfare on Russia (142 million). I wonder who will starve first?

Austria has done a deal for oil 
with Russia, but it has a government 
which puts its citizens first.

William Ryan

Dublin 7

Hugs more hygienic for peace

I was very surprised to read that the Vatican has ordered Catholics to replace hugs and kisses with handshakes when they are offering the Sign of the Peace.

Pope Francis is banning hugs and kisses at Mass and has told bishops to draw up strict guidelines.

The circular said churchgoers should be offered "practical measures" to help them perform the gesture with more sobriety.

Anyone would think that Mass-goers were having a love-in every time they attended Mass.

It's much more hygienic to hug and kiss than to shake hands. We all know shaking hands can spread germs everywhere.

And what about the holy water fonts? They are a breeding area for 

I'd prefer a kiss or a hug any day.

Pope Francis, I'm afraid you're losing it - and I was just getting to like you.

Terry Healy


Co Kildare

Irish Independent

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