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Taoiseach rules out default on eve of €1.25bn repayment to Anglo investors

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has again ruled out defaulting on massive repayments to Anglo Irish Bank investors.

On the eve of a €1.25bn handover of taxpayers' money to unguaranteed bondholders, Mr Kenny said it was not to his liking but there was no alternative.

"What was committed to by a solemn Irish government has now got to be followed through," he said.

Mr Kenny said Ireland's international standing had been boosted recently in terms of investor confidence and commentators because of its commitment to repay debts.

"Believe you me, I have no intention of defaulting on Ireland's position and ending up like the difficulties that the citizens of Greece now find themselves in," he said.

Mr Kenny was responding to charges from Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams that he was forcing savage austerity on to the backs of already suffering citizens.

"At the same time you are giving away tomorrow," Mr Adams said.

The Sinn Fein leader insisted it was not Ireland's debt to repay, and it was not in the memorandum of agreement with the bailout bosses - the IMF, ECB and EU - who said last week they were not opposed to unsecured bondholders being hit with losses.

Mr Kenny refused to answer demands from Mr Adams to name the "anonymous" investors being repaid from the state coffers.

Last November, €720m in public money was used to repay Anglo debts to senior unguaranteed bondholders.