Wednesday 21 February 2018

Stephen Donnelly: We must learn from the past and stop putting the interests of institutions above those of our citizens

It comes as no surprise to Stephen Donnelly that plans to tackle mortgage debt are weighted heavily in the banks' favour

Stephen Donnelly

The mortgage crisis is now so large that it risks financially destroying an entire generation and keeping our economy on the rocks for a decade. Wednesday's announcement of new targets for restructuring mortgages looked like it might help. Predictably, the detail betrayed another sorry tale of Ireland putting institutions ahead of citizens. The plan could be made to work, if only this Government could find the bottle to lead.

We love our institutions. In the Fifties, we institutionalised more citizens than any country in the developed world. Already in this Dail we've had the Cloyne report, the industrial schools and the Magdalene Laundries. You'd think, with all of this, we might reflect on the lesson history is screaming in our face: prioritising the integrity of institutions over the integrity of citizens is an astoundingly bad idea.

Apparently not.

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