Ireland’s Bailout-‘A very sad day for our country’ Senator Joe O’ Reilly Cavan/Monaghan

Order Of Business-November 17th    

People have a real issue with the denial, obfuscation and distortion of the facts over a number of months. I do not refer to the highly dramatic denial that took place on “The Week in Politics” television programme the other night but to the denial, lack of information and lack of clarity that preceded it. People needed to know where they stood and need the truth at least but are most angry about its absence.

Despite the nuances and statements that are being made in this Chamber this morning, Members should not kid themselves. This does involve a loss of sovereignty. Ireland will not be getting bailout money without serious strings attached. This is a very sad day for Ireland that compromises the entire governmental process and independent decision making here. Members should neither deny nor dress that up but must confront it straight up. Moreover, I believe we should fight it to the end. I consider a bailout to be a last resort and while I have great respect for my colleague, Senator O’Toole, I do not agree with this acquiescence in the loss of sovereignty. It should be like Custer’s last stand and we should not accept the money until there is no alternative.

While I will not labour the point, it is clear that Ireland got its banking strategy wrong from the outset.

Moreover, it is clear that we got it dramatically wrong in the case of Anglo Irish Bank and that the people are angry about this. In the midst of all this, the issue that impinges on me from my work every day is that we must have a jobs strategy. Ireland must come out of the next few days with a job strategy based on green energy, food processing, a sectoral approach and on tourism. Food processing, agriculture and the value-added factors therefrom, as well as tourism and green energy, are the vehicles that can bring about jobs and that must be dealt with.

One should not be happy to lose sovereignty.

It adds a sad tenor to this debate. With the Cathaoirleach’s indulgence, I join with those Members who raised the mental health issues because I am a founding chairperson of a mental health association and consider it to be vital.

Senator Joe O'Reilly representing Cavan & Monaghan 2010. | An ExSite website