Sunday 25 March 2018

How can we find billions for banks, but nothing for Priory Hall victims?

Stephen Kinsella

Stephen Kinsella

Deputy Stephen Donnelly is one of Ireland's finest parliamentarians. Educated at UCD and Harvard, he could have had an easy life as a management consultant, but he chose public service –and a substantial pay cut – instead. When he speaks, I listen.

On Sunday's Marian Finucane Show, in the context of a discussion about the death by suicide of Fiachra Daly, a Priory Hall homeowner, Deputy Donnelly (pictured below) expressed in the clearest way the frustration all of us feel with the inequality of treatment between the banks and the citizens. Donnelly simply reminded us that billions could be found for bondholders, banks, and international organisations, but thousands could not be found for citizens in difficulty like those in Priory Hall.

Why is that? Is our fiscal capacity so low that we cannot afford to help those in need, through no fault of their own? It sometimes seems so. Priory Hall is a good example, but at each turn, we see the Government attempting to bring in decreases in supports for the disabled, children with special needs, those at the edges of our society. Yet we are treated, in the same week, to the spectacle of bankers running rings around the Dail's Finance Committee (on which Deputy Donnelly sits), demanding full repayment of their loans.

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