Saturday 16 December 2017

Brendan Keenan: Noonan's salvo could draw swift fire from Europe's big guns

A reputation for sudden, unexplained changes of policy can only add to Irish risk premium and may cost us dearly

FINE Gael has form on this kind of thing. It was a Fine Gael Taoiseach, John A Costello, who astonished everyone by declaring, at a banquet in Canada, that the Irish Free State would become a republic.

In terms of momentous decisions, Michael Noonan saying he will burn senior bondholders in Anglo Irish and Irish Nationwide hardly compares, but other similarities are striking.

Historians still argue whether Mr Costello had a cunning plan, or whether he made it up on the spur of the moment and was stuck with it. He was a staunch nationalist, and one version is that he was incensed by the placing of a silver replica of Roaring Meg, the great Williamite gun at the siege of Derry, on the banqueting table and decided to fire a big gun of his own.

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