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Taoiseach deserves credit for triumphs


• Ireland could play it cool on clearing that €64bn over 20 years. The deal is not carved in stone, the future's not ours to see and nothing is more natural than change.

Last Saturday morning, as I glimpsed the Irish Independent front page headline on a news stand -- "Germans make Kenny return empty handed" -- a soft voice brushed over my shoulder: "They're only a Punch and Judy Show -- a pity Dev is not around still," it said.

Could there be a flourish of truth in the remark, I thought? After all, it was the 20th summit to address the eurozone crisis in less than two years.

As fully fledged members of the EU, the Irish Government delegation are trudging back and forth between Dublin and Brussels and apparently getting no more acknowledgement than kids.

Alas, how wrong we can be and how quick to pass judgment. The headline in Monday morning's Irish Independent, read: "Now victory for Kenny as Merkel rides to his aid."

After a flurry of phone-calls over the weekend between Berlin and Dublin, our Taoiseach secured a commitment from his 'secret admirer' Chancellor Angela Merkel that the Irish case for relief on our mammoth bank debt was indeed a 'special' case.

Adding icing to the cake, Ms Merkel has also reiterated something we all hoped for, her promise at the EU summit on June 29 of breaking the link between bank and state debt.

And remember, that is along with cutting a deal for Ireland which potentially includes refunding to taxpayers some of the €64bn injected into the banks from EU bailout funds.

Give it to Taoiseach Enda Kenny: he gracefully accepts the challenges and now deserves the exhilaration of victory.

James Gleeson,
Thurles, Co Tipperary

Irish Independent