Harney calls bailout cost 'dreadful'
Health Minister Mary Harney has described the cost of bailing out the banks as "dreadful" and stressed the importance of enforcing corporate law "without fear or favour".
Speaking during a visit to Limerick, Ms Harney said it was terrible that Ireland was facing a a €46bn bill as a result of reckless lending -- but insisted the Taoiseach had her full support in how he was handling the crisis.
"It's terrible that we have €46bn of a debt as a result of reckless lending and a failure to enforce regulation by those that had the responsibility to do so. There's no doubt it's dreadful," the minister said.
"There are a number of inquiries under way. I hope they can be brought to a speedy conclusion. It's important that corporate law is enforced without fear or favour because the consequences of corporate failings manifest themselves in the taxpayer having to carry the can," she added.
The Health Minister said the Taoiseach was doing a "terrific job" and had her full support.
Ms Harney refused to say whether or not Brian Lenihan would make a good successor to Mr Cowen given his recent performance in the opinion polls, as this would "be undermining of the Taoiseach".
The minister was in Limerick to officially open CARI's new therapy centre on the Ennis Road. CARI is a voluntary organisation specialising in providing therapy to children, families and groups affected by child sexual abuse.
The new state-of-the-art centre comprises six therapy and counselling rooms and replaces a smaller facility in Garryowen.