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It's all just a bit too much for tearful Wallace

DON'T cry for me Mick Wallace.

Budget Day is often one when emotions run high but crying politicians is a first.

Fresh from a court case where he was fined for not paying pension contributions to his construction staff on time, it all became a bit much for Mr Wallace.

It appears that the Budget changes announced by Michael Noonan on top of the €7,000 fine pushed Mick over the edge.

His tearful speech about the effects of the austerity measures on hard-pressed families caught many by surprise.

But he told the Herald today that "it all came from the heart".

During his speech in the Dail, the Wexford developer welled up, choking during his few minutes under the spotlight. "I'd rather be poor in La Paz in Bolivia than be poor in Dublin," Mr Wallace sobbed.

Abandoned

The scruffy-haired politician looked directly at Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Education Minister Ruairi Quinn, asking them what kind country will Ireland be if "we keep going this way". He continued: "You look at what others have and you look at what you have, you look at what your kids have in comparison to other kids." His voice began to crack.

"People think you can't be poor in a country where most people have mobile phones and you can watch television but it isn't like that. This country joined the EU thinking that it was joining a family of nations and they would be treated well within the group."

He added: "Decisions are being made for us and we have no say in this matter. We no longer expect a democratic right from the great rulers of Europe."

And speaking to the Herald today, Mr Wallace said he abandoned his original speech as he felt he needed to "address the Taoiseach from the heart".

"To be honest I didn't expect for it go like that as I had a completely different speech ready. I just started to talk about the budget and emotions took over. To be fair to them (Mr Kenny and Mr Quinn) they listened. You can't speak from the heart using a prepared speech."

The Wexford TD added that the "continued austerity" will cripple struggling families. "There is no fairness in this Budget. The Government has for years put the interests of business before the interests of the people and I can't stand by and accept that."

Just 24-hours earlier Mr Wallace pleaded guilty to not paying pension contributions to his construction staff on time. He was prosecuted by the Pensions Board in Dublin District Court which said that more than €49,000 was owing on dates between 2008 and 2010.

All the money has since been repaid.


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