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Enda game

Have the troika-infested waters resulted in Enda Kenny developing the memory of a goldfish? A mere seven weeks since his state of the nation address, where the Irish people were told the financial crisis was not their fault, an international audience of economists at Davos is told that Ireland's problems are a result of "people going mad with borrowing".

Mr Kenny's contradictory explanations of Ireland's financial travails at home and abroad represent a cynical strategy to extol domestic and European audiences in order to maintain popularity on both fronts. We elect government to govern and regulators are appointed to regulate.

Above all else it was both executive and financial oversight that resulted in the mess Ireland now finds itself in. The failure to identify the primary culprits for Ireland's woes to an international audience at Davos and instead to suggest the Irish 'people' bear a collective responsibility is a despicable public betrayal of the Irish nation. In the words of Robert Burns: "Such a parcel of rogues in a nation."

Dr Peter McGuirk
Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

• As an ordinary citizen, working in an ordinary job and struggling to provide for my family, I was utterly dismayed to hear Mr Kenny's commentary in Davos.

Hundreds of thousands of Ireland's citizens did not benefit from the Celtic Tiger, nor did I engage in reckless borrowing or speculation; rather, I had to endure rampant inflation without benefit.

I listened to Mr Kenny's state of the nation address and thought that at least he understood the plight of the ordinary citizen who he was elected to represent. How gullible was I?

"It's not your fault," has morphed into: "It's totally your fault."

How could he betray citizens in such fashion in front of an international audience? Maybe it is not possible to achieve debt writedown, but at the very least I expect my Taoiseach to show fortitude and backbone and stand up for his citizens.

A man of substance would have railed against the utter injustice of the situation we find ourselves in, paying back bonds of a private bankrupt bank now under criminal investigation, having first highlighted the role of Europe in fuelling the credit bubble and making it crystal clear the Irish taxpayer saved the European banking system from meltdown by shouldering the enormous burden of this private debt.

All I can really say is: shame on you, Taoiseach. You have betrayed your people and totally abdicated your responsibility. You may dismiss me as a crank but I assure you I am an ordinary citizen, non-political, but who voted for Fine Gael in 2011. I now find myself totally disillusioned.

Daniel Casey
Address with editor

• For the best part of a year now, I've been defending the Government's austerity plans at the dinner table, because I see them as a necessary evil. I've gone so far as to offer the opinion that I did benefit indirectly from the Celtic Tiger economy, because the taxes raised helped to build and improve infrastructure, schools and hospitals, and reduce personal taxation.

Like many people, I did not engage in wild, credit-funded spending. I cut my cloth, so to speak, and lived sensibly. I refused to be drawn into the 'over-priced second home on an easily obtained mortgage' con-trick and I didn't upgrade the family car every two years.

So, why the hell has Mr Kenny accused me and those like me of ruining the country? Not only that, he says it on the world stage in Davos. Well, I was never going there for my holidays anyway, so I won't have to worry about being pointed at in the street and hearing: "He's one of those spendthrift Irish, I bet we're funding his holidays."

While I still understand the need for austerity, I feel let down by the man who is supposed to be showing leadership and giving encouragement to the people who must suffer these hardships -- people like me, who voted this Government in so we might be able to restore our country and our pride.

I really don't know what else to say.

Andrew Callaghan
Artane, Dublin 5

• Excuse me, Mr Kenny. I never borrowed a cent during the boom, I live in a modest house, drive a small car and have not had a holiday in years because I could never afford it on my meagre wages.

Now, you have decided that I am also to blame for the state of the country . . . are you for real?

Another classic case of those who are totally cut off from the realities of day-to-day life for ordinary people in Ireland.

And, to add insult to injury, I am being made to pay for the sins of others.

You have some cheek -- and all this said at the World Economic Forum, where the wealthiest of the planet meet every year to drink fine wine and eat good food.

"Let them eat cake" comes to mind.

Michael Kelly
Dublin 15

• Mr Kenny has told the World Economic Forum how we, the ordinary people, lived it up during the Celtic Tiger years. Has he forgotten, or was he not aware, that in May 2006, the Central Statistics Office stated that 741,000, or about 38pc of the workforce, were employed in the low-wage sector of the economy? This figure did not take into account those working in the black economy.

Simon O'Donnell
Rathmines, Dublin 6

Irish Independent