In an unprecedented move, the Governor rang the radio programme on the morning of November 18th 2010 from Frankfurt where he was attending the European Central Bank’s governing council meeting.
“The start of negotiations provided a basis for convincing reassurance, which was clearly needed, and I gave a radio interview to that effect.”
RTÉ sports presenter Des Cahill was the person who picked up the phone when Mr Honohan phoned RTE's Morning Ireland to confirm Ireland was entering a bailout programme.
Mr Honohan said he had learned the previous day there were discussions at a meeting of the Euro group of Finance Ministers and many of them had pressed Brian Lenihan to announce he was going to apply for a loan. He had refused saying he did not have the authority
“There was a sense of alarm in Frankfurt and they were anxious I would convey this to the Minister. They all were at one saying you should be going into a programme.”
The Governor said he phoned Mr Lenihan to discuss it but the Minister was “very cross” and said he could not make the announcement without a government decision.
He said he had not consulted either the Minister or the Taoiseach before making the call to the radio station.
It might have been a courtesy to inform the Secretary General of the Department but “it didn't occur to me in my excitement to get the message across”.
He stressed that the Minister took the action of going into a bailout programme several days later
Although he found the terms of the bailout programme unsatisfactory, Mr Honohan had advised the government to accept it, he said, because without it spending and tax adjustments would have been much more severe.
On the Bank Guarantee he said he had been in favour of nationalising Anglo and INBS immediately and excluding subordinated debt and existing senior term debt.