“The heroes of today are the Irish people” – Michael Noonan
Finance Minister Michael Noonan has praised Ireland’s efforts over the last three years but still insists that there is much more to be done in the months that lie ahead.
“The heroes of today are the Irish people,” he told RTE Radio 1 this morning. “The programme is over, there is still an awful lot left to be done.”
Mr Noonan’s comments come as the Government marks the end of the three-year Troika bailout today, the last working day of the Irish programme.
The programme formally expires on Sunday night, the third anniversary of application approval by the board of the International Monetary Fund.
Over this austere period of budget cuts, the minister said it was difficult to get the Irish people “to vote for what the perceived to be a pro-European treaty”.
But he said the fact that 60pc of the nation decided to vote for the EU Treaty meant that “the heroes of today are the Irish people.”
“If that had gone the other way, it would have inflicted huge reputational damage in Europe on our programme and I don’t believe we would have got the help we got subsequently.”
The finance minister told RTE that the falling prices on family homes was a blow to Irish confidence, but “this is reversing now”.
“We are certainly moving forward in a positive way but we’ve a long way to go yet,” he said.