Wednesday 21 February 2018

LRC chief's 'despair' at state of the nation

John Walshe and Colin Gleeson

THE head of the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) has spoken of his "despair" over the state of the nation -- and likened Ireland's precarious economic position to the fate of the Titanic.

LRC chief executive Kieran Mulvey said: "I'm an eternal optimist but over the last few weeks, I've begun to despair.

"I've begun to think we're on the Titanic, we're seriously holed, and there aren't enough lifeboats. I'm also worried about Greece because if you think about the domino effect -- if one country in the eurozone goes, we're at the wrong end of the table there."

Mr Mulvey, who co-authored the Croke Park pay agreement, led the public charge last week in opposition to the €1.5m pension top-up plan for Bank of Ireland chief Richie Boucher.

"It's my view that people have been extraordinarily rewarded for what is effectively bad behaviour. To put the word 'bonus' and 'reward' beside Michael Fingleton, for example, is to abuse the English language," he said on 'The Dunphy Show' on Newstalk.


"The unions that have been involved in debating the Croke Park agreement haven't been debating the agreement -- it's all about bankers and the venality -- the sheer greed.

"Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs. How can you reconcile equality, morality -- and request people to make sacrifices to make this country work -- when those who have brought us to our knees are making no sacrifices at all?"

Speaking on Saturday at the Irish Federation of University Teachers annual delegate meeting, Mr Mulvey also called for gardai to be more active in pursing those responsible for causing our current economic problems.

And he called on professional bodies to take disciplinary measures against those who approved or oversaw corporate and financial failures.

Mr Mulvey added that Irish society and its political system needed reform. "We can change from a society of greed, focused on the accumulation of property and wealth to a more inclusive and less vacuous society with more redeemable, tangible and shared values."

Irish Independent

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