Monday, April 4, 2011


I don't know if you know, the results of the Irish Banks "stress test" were announced last Thursday the 31st March 2011.
The results were appalling, but I don't think many were surprised that the Irish Banks needed another EXTRA €24 billion to keep them afloat! However, when reality strikes, it has the capacity to hit hard and this reality did hit Irish Citizen's hard!

Some of the money to foot this bill will come from Ireland's National Pension Reserve Fund! In my opinion, this is theft! My Grandparents along with all those in Ireland at the foundation of the Irish State paid into this fund, then my parents paid into this fund, then my siblings and I came along and we paid in and now my children who are in their early 20's are paying into this fund. My view is, that the Irish Government are now taking this money from the Irish people and are giving it to the banks, who recklessly borrowed from French & German banks during the "Infamous" & Deluded Celtic Tiger days.

Now the Irish Banks are broke and they can not on their own pay back the European banks, nor are they allowed to burn the invisible Bond Holders, who gambled, but won't loose, as the Irish Government decided, (under instruction from the EU/ECB & the IMF), Ah sure, we'll pay and we'll take more tax from Paddy & Bridget to fund the Banks and the Bond Holders Gambling's, we won't allow the elite loose a cent! And it'll be grand, says the Irish Government, Paddy & Bridget can also give up the money they put into the NPRF! Oh and we'll also cut wages, Social Welfare payments, the Health & Education budget to make sure no one in the Irish or European Banks and certainly not the Bond holders get burned! The Irish Citizen is paying for the banqueting days of the Irish & European Banks, Bond Holders, Property Developers and the Government who colluded with them!

The Irish politician decided in all it's wisdom instead, to burn their own Citizens! Doesn't that speak volumes about the Irish Politicians mind set? In my humble opinion, it is immoral & criminal. But then, who am I? I'm just an ordinary Joan soap!

From what I've read, (and this figure changes depending on what you read), the banks have already been given anything from €70 Billion to €100 Billion and now they need another €24 Billion! Here's a kicker, within that €24 Billion, there is €7 Billion that Brian Lenihan, (he was the previous Minister for Finance in the Fianna Fáil Government, before they were unceremoniously kicked out of Government after the last General Election), gave the €7 Billion to the Irish Banks, wait for it, THE DAY BEFORE THE GENERAL ELECTION! There is some story behind that I'd say and I wonder if we'll ever find out the factual truth about why it was given to the banks on that day!

What I don't understand, truly I don't, Why are the banks not allowed to go bust? If I had a business that went bust, I'd have to put the business into liquidation, wouldn't I? Yes I would. So why can't the Banks be liquidated?!? What makes them so special? Again I wonder, is it because they are hiding some dark secrets?!? In truth, I do not know the answers to the many questions I have and it isn't as if I haven't studied and read, I have, to the point where I am almost beaten from it all.

I see my own life, the only debt I ever had was my mortgage and I still have it and I am lucky because I don't have a big mortgage. However, due to a huge wage decrease over the last two and a bit years, I am now in debt. I see my friends who have huge mortgages, maintenance to pay along with utility & food bills struggling each month to see which bill they don't pay. It is generally the utility and food bills that are not paid or are drastically cut! Then you'd hear a Politician on TV or radio glibly say, "Sure we all partied and now we have to pay the piper", I find that so difficult to hear, because it is NOT true, I didn't party, nor did a lot of people I know! True, some people did party and are now suffering the consequences and that is a very tough place to be in. However, I have no sympathy for the Banks, Bond Holders, Property Developers Et al....................In my humble opinion, their bottom line was GREED! (One of the seven deadly sins by the way!)

My need is that the Banks, Bond Holders and Property Developers are burned! Not the Irish Citizen.

And as I sit here in my kitchen typing, I am so aware of the pain and suffering this is causing to me and to my fellow Irish man, woman and child. This inflicted suffering by our Governments past and present, is immoral and criminal. So I thought what can I do? I decided to do nothing would mean that I then collude with our Government, this I can not do! So, I decided to write to Enda Kenny who heads up the Fine Gael Party and who is currently Taoiseach, (Prime Minister). Here is a copy of the email I sent him just before I started this blog.

I want to request that if you read this, would you too please write to Enda in your own words, so that he knows you do not agree with giving the Banks another €24 Billion. If that is how you feel about about it.

Go raibh mile maith agut,


Dear Enda,
I am absolutely disillusioned and heart broken that you and your party along with the Labour party, intend to give the banks another €24 billion.
I want to let you know that I object to this action, as I believe, the banks need to be allowed to go into liquidation, like any other business
that fails. I see no logic or sane reason why the Irish Citizen pays for the mistakes of the previous Government, the banks, property developers, the
bond-holders and now it seems you too!
Stop this bloody madness now please. I do not want another cent of Irish tax payers money or the National Pension Reserve Fund go to the banks.
I am actually in despair for Ireland and her people. I can not understand why you are all behaving insanely.
Some day Enda you will answer for your actions, can you face your creator and say I took honest decent action for the people of Ireland?
Will you in old age be able to live with your conscience?
I don’t know your answers, only you know them.
Can you not see the suffering the families of Ireland are already enduring? Ordinary men, women & children are suffering. Look at those who voted Fine Gael
into Government, in the hope of honest change. The results of last Thursday stress test on the banks and more especially your decision to give them another
€24 billion is immoral and criminal in my opinion. You have not offered honest change Enda, you are going the same road as your predecessors Fianna Fáil.
I needed to write this to you to voice how I feel and think, I can not stand back and do nothing. If I do nothing, then I am colluding with your madness and
immoral actions. This I can not do because I am just one, who is struggling too. I see my friends juggling their merger finances to try and pay their bills, mine
are paid with my visa card! I have not lived the high life, I rarely go out........................ Why am I bothering to tell you, you and your party don’t give a damn!
Why can you not work with the likes of David McWilliams, Brian Lucey and Paul Sommerville? Be creative and think differently, allow your focus to be on
what is for your fellow Citizens, do not work against us, PLEASE. Giving the banks more money, IS working against most Irish men, women and children and
our future generations.
I personally don’t care what the EU / ECB / IMF think of us as a nation. I do care about each individual in my country who are suffering at the hand of the Irish

Email address for Enda is

Please add a comment if you wish.


  1. Trich, nice blog about the sad and sorry state of the nation. I do like that you have done something about it and enabled us, the reader to do something, no matter how small about it.

  2. Hi Trich,

    Completely understand where you're coming from. I'm self employed and a firm believer in the market system. Which is why I've been slightly sceptical about the "let the banks go bust" issue.

    Sure, it sounds like the right/only solution - we let the Irish banks go and then the blackhole shifts to the French and German banks.

    I would worry then about the greater ramifications. Iceland stood up and let their banks go - but now the UK and Netherlands have an option to literally sue the whole country. If Ireland did allow its banks to go bust, the whole "honour system" in place that allows other banks and banking systems to lend us money allows us borrow would probably leave us quite isolated. And we can't afford that. Our own internal market is just too small. We really need to be a part of the wider global market.

    This is just my opinion on it and I'm not trying to force it on anyone.

    Just AFAIK, The National Pension Reserve Fund was created by the excess payments that were made to the Social Welfare by PAYE/PRSI workers from 1998 -> 2005 (approx). These were put in a future fund (similar to Norway) that was based on shares (which actually collapsed). Oddly, it was the huge excess in payments generated by the construction industry.

    I know I'm not an economist or politician but as a part of the Irish Diaspora who returned to Ireland (and oddly create jobs here but still not allowed to be "Irish") - I remember loking at the employment configuration and thinking 30% employed in the construction industry -v- a 15% pan-EU average (when many parts of Europe were booming too) - that was just a disaster waiting to happen.

    I'm with Nyberg. I blame Irish culture and lack of responsibility taking - its wide and rampant. I'm not saying every single man/woman/child. I mean 90%. Every sector. Politicians, Auctioneers, Bankers, developers, civil servants who bought 5,6, 7 houses, - collectively.

    Not every child of the next generation is doomed to pay it off either - many will emigrate. Its the people who are left/make up the Ireland of the next 70 years will somehow have to take charge of this.

    It isn't, in my mind, a finalisation either. We haven't at any point tried to re-calculate the value of the land (which is really a notional value - it will most likely bounce back and over-inflate all over - thats normally what happens)

    There is also an inflation win - no doubt that in 20 years time, €70 billion as a fixed sum will seem a whole lot smaller. In fact, just 20 years ago the Irish GDP was a fraction of what it is now.

    Don't get lost in large numbers, get lost in how to start a conversation that says lets identify 1) how did we build a national idealogy that says everything we did in the last 15 years was ok and 2) how do we creatively figure a way out of this that preferably doesn't involve the government.

    Selling assets and taking them under control of a central government while also making them responsible for job creation is, in my mind, communism by the back door. Sounds great but the results are awful :)

  3. Hi David,

    Many thanks for you post, I sincerely appreciate it. Firstly, I did think that the NPRF was in place since the foundation of the state, given most working people in Ireland pay PRSI, you are correct, the NPRF came into effect in April 2001

    However, it is still the Irish people's money, it is not, in my opinion, the Governments right to pump this money into the black hole that is the Irish banking system, given the Government has not asked the Irish people what we want to do with this money! (This could be achieved by referendum.) The money could be used for job creation!

    I have a few questions, why do we need to be part of a wider global market? Don't people create their own markets? Why do we need this current banking system? Why not change the banking system to something different, more accessible & human? Couldn't we, if we put our hearts & heads together come up with a more humane alternative to that of the current credit / banking system?!?

    I don't do blame, because once I get involved in blame, people automatically become defensive. It is a human being's way to protect self. So rather than blame, why not have kindness, compassion & love for all those who made mistakes & brought Ireland to it's current financial trauma. Once blame is not on our agenda, that in turn will facilitate those individuals to feel safe, thereby encouraging them to be responsible & accountable to and for their actions. Ireland in the past has bred society not to be either responsible or accountable. This shows how immature we are as a people. However, once we individually become responsible and accountable, gradually, like ripples in a pond, we will grow to maturity.

    The financial crisis is an opportunity for all of us to grow and learn and to find compassionate ways to live & work together. This may also include debt forgiveness for every world individual and country!

    I can not make any one human being responsible or accountable, that needs to be an individual choice. This will be the first sign of maturity within any society.

    I believe our national assets are there to be shared! No one body has the right to take control, as this leads to Greed! (As is very evident now.) A sharing of all national assets may be a different way forward, as the way we've lived to date is now being challenged to change. I feel it is vital we look at creative and positive ways forward for the collective good. Maybe a middle ground between capitalism & communism is what we need to invest in?!?

    Currently we have an opportunity to change to become more loving, kind and compassionate towards each other, on a world wide scale, if only we hold each other with all that is good and great in our world.........LOVE.

  4. There are many deeply rooted points that aren't necessarily in a logical flow, so its taken me quite a while to distill them out but I'll see if I've got it right, I'll go backwards if I may.

    1. We certainly need to create a more loving, caring as responsible world. You have a very deep, caring and selfless trait there - that is wonderful to see and if only it could be more appreciated.

    It would be a perfect, utopic world to live in if we all shared those same traits - and your point assumes that these traits are skills that can be acquired - and certainly they somewhat can be. But you have to admit that out of the 16 MBTI personality types (to use 1 example) there are clearly cases where people just aren't wired that way and display introverted and sometimes selfish traits through no fault of their own.

    2. "Responsibility is automatic" is the de facto premise on which all legal systems are based - forget Anglo Roman law if you want (our legal system) and go back to Brehon law if you want. We are all automatic for our actions and notwithstanding that not everybody is honest all of the time - we have to devise laws on this practice.

    3. I'm jumping to conclusions a bit but I'd guess that going with your thinking that you believe that profiteering could be wrong [?] but this is where the points become opinion and its impossible to [argue] discuss the pro's and cons of one's opinion but some factoids that may help:

    1. the cross between capitalism and communism is quite simply socialism and Europe is a heavily Socialist continent. As someone quipped, on TV, in china if your'e sick and poor you will die as you have to pay your own medical fees but walk into an NHS hospital and it's all free - you pick the communist nation!!!

    If you want more "socialism" - then more communism is in the mix really.

    4. Re: Markets. If you want to know why Ireland "needs" to be a part of a wider, global market, you don't need to look to far. Eamon De Valera built Ireland on self-sufficiency and all metrics (bar those of the Church, which enjoyed record church attendences) would indicate that this was a failure. There was very little different between Ireland of the 1950's and North Korea with the single exception of Democracy which I believe led us to the EU and globalisation.

  5. If that doesn't satisfy your question - then put in pure economic terms. Ireland doesn't have any natural resources that we can sell - we require everything to satisfy our energy demands and then we have to import the rest from Norway, the UK and Libya (oil actually, did you know that 90% of ours comes from here, 90% of Libyan oil goes to Italy...).

    So if we're not selling anything, how can we buy it in?

    Interestingly we don't produce enough tomatoes, citrus fruits, etc because of the climate but we over produce milk, beef, and alcohol - so it helps to have somebody buy those. If we were to exit the market, we'd face import duties (imposed by the other market) that then makes our produce more expensive than (other members) producers in that market even though we dont benefit.

    Quite literally, we'd become a North Korea in the North Atlantic.

    There are 3 IT companies in Ireland that pay 15% of Irish tax (that's quite a lot) in 2000AD, when they were all firmly established in Ireland, none of them had an "Irish" Marketing team - in other words they were purely trading into the EU Bloc (i.e. UK, France, Germany and the other guys).

    If they then had to pay EU import Tarriffs - they'd merely setup in another EU country. We'd lose 15% of our tax take and then some.

    A very unpopular statistic, especially for Union and Communist/Socialist promoters (and I'm not lumping you in there, I'm leaving it open) - some 30% of our tax is paid by just 1% of the population. We quite literally (see Ronan Lyons for this) have the lowest Marginal tax rate in Europe. BTW the top 1% of earners are either self made (capitalists or free marketeers) or work for the biggest companies (mostly American; again I refer you to open market policy).

  6. So if you think we can do without 45% of our tax take and then possibly lose another 50% of GDP (which would be about double our tax take) due to import duties - and survive, then you are a much better mathematician than I am and I would probably have to join the emigration queue.

    While many claim that free markets provide some people with the ability to make loads of money (see Messers Gates, Buffet, Dell, Trump) and that its unfair, just remember that in an open market, we are all afforded the right to be one. In a communist market (or more left field of where Ireland is) we are afforded nothing except to be miserable together.

    China's only success is its special economic zones. After that ever communist country is a failure, not because of Communism but because of market economies and people. Ultimately its the corruption of people (please see Messers Mugabe, Gaddaffi, Amin, Stalin, Lenin and Hitler) which happens to a lesser degree within open economies because of democracy.

    Also, please note that Messers Gates and Buffet in the last 3 years have donated €100 billion to charity. Thats more than our tax take.

    Money is actually a limited resource. That's why economics is so named. It's dealing with limited resources - thats the heart of economics. Debt forgiveness to "every" country - certainly worth exploring in Africa, actually removes responsibility because it removes accountability.

    If people weren't held to account (by a system that others uphold, therefore making it accountable) then who will? Do you think that everybody will automatically "do the right" thing?

    I definitely don't. Sorry

  7. This bit might be missing:

    If they then had to pay EU import Tarriffs - they'd merely setup in another EU country. We'd lose 15% of our tax take and then some.

    A very unpopular statistic, especially for Union and Communist/Socialist promoters (and I'm not lumping you in there, I'm leaving it open) - some 30% of our tax is paid by just 1% of the population. We quite literally (see Ronan Lyons for this) have the lowest Marginal tax rate in Europe. BTW the top 1% of earners are either self made (capitalists or free marketeers) or work for the biggest companies (mostly American; again I refer you to open market policy).

  8. Wow, some cans of worms there - it's funny but I don't remember you (Trich) espousing that we take on communism, Chinese or otherwise - I believe you were speaking about socialism. Why is it that people get angry at the notion of socialism replacing the greed system that got us into this mess?
    I'm not an economist and I don't wish to be, I have not an ounce of economics in my head and I am not going to debate economics with anyone. I do however find it very interesting that your post has attracted a few replies that seem to assume that your wish for a more self-responsible, socialist approach equates with you wishing for a Chinese communist system.
    I noticed that David feels that Europe is already a heavily Socialist continent which I find confusing - it is not my experience. A friend of mine recently took her wee ones to a playground in the London area and had to pay a fee, per child, before her children could play on the playground - that's certainly not an example of a Socialist Europe.

    We could debate this over and back - the fact is that some people were insanely greedy and tried to make huge profits, mostly in the housing market, enabled and encouraged by greedy Bankers. It's not illegal, it could be argued that it is not ethical - how much money does one person need? Is there ever enough? Why do some people feel the need to keep making more money?

    Most people in politics and in big business are totally disconnected from the life of the average person with two kids who has lost their job and is struggling to manage to buy food and clothing for the family. Can you even imagine Enda Kenny trying to survive for a month on dole payments and pay the bills? Now that would be reality tv...

  9. Scribhneoir, I don't believe in either communism or socialism, history has taught me, neither work! As with capitalism, it has shown itself not to work either. All three are wide open to abuse, corruption & greed as we've seen!
    I don't know, nor do I have the answers, that would enable people, to bring about a more equal society for all. That is actually what I was trying to get to when I wrote that piece.
    I'd love to see all politicians & folk who are multimillionaires go on the dole for a year & experience for themselves what the reality of the dole is like. I read a quote recently & I'm afraid I don't know the author, but it went like this.. "There are enough resources in the world for every mans need, but not every mans greed"! I think that about sums up, my response to the current Global Financial Crisis! I hope I have been clearer in my response to you? By the way, I have nothing against politicians or people who have a lot of money. I don't often like the decisions politicians make and I suppose I'd like to see politics gone from the world, as all they do is play games! There would be no need for game playing, if people were honest and admitted when they made mistakes & indeed took responsibility for those mistakes! That is what being a mature human being means! I live in hope!