Saturday 24 February 2018

This is our shameful legacy

Madam -- On Sunday last we in the 'Ballyhea/Charleville Says No' group marched for the 69th week in protest at the continuing bank bondholder bailout. In the march with us was six-month-old Patrick O'Brien, brought along by his parents John and Clara, who in turn had been alerted to our protest by John's parents Pat and Frances.

On Monday, Irish Nationwide Building Society (INBS) paid out two bonds which between them came to over €600,000,000; on Tuesday and Wednesday, Anglo paid out two bonds which between them came to over €500,000,000. Both those banks are zombie banks, now owned entirely by us, kept open for the single purpose of paying off bonds; all four of those bonds are unsecured, unguaranteed.

On Monday I was 59, which puts me in the same generation as Michael Noonan, Enda Kenny, Eamon Gilmore and Pat Rabbitte, the same generation as Brian Cowen and Brian Lenihan of the previous government. I look at the legacy my generation is passing on to the generation of John and Clara O'Brien, to the generation of young Patrick O'Brien. And I am ashamed, ashamed and angered. Instead of confronting a problem that is of this generation -- even if not fully created by ourselves -- we have allowed ourselves to be blackmailed and bullied into a situation where we are now raising generations of debt-slaves and/or emigrants.

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