Letters: With friends like these, who needs enemies?
* "Twenty-thirteen was a good year for Ireland," proclaimed Jose Barroso in UCC where, in granting the European Commission president an honorary doctorate, one of Ireland's oldest and most respected institutes of learning reverted to the old Irish practice of forelock-tugging to our masters.
"A successful exit from the economic assistance programme," continued Mr Barroso, without a touch of irony; and then, in the final blow, "And you had precious solidarity and financial support from the European Union and its member states."
When you're already one of the smallest and weakest in a group, a friend doesn't take advantage of your weakness, doesn't force you to accept the debts of others as a condition for coming to your aid. Yet, that was the kind of 'solidarity' we received from the EU, the European Commission and the ECB.