Monday, 10 December 2012


 Any of you who may be tempted to believe the fiction being peddled in the last few days from the government spokespeople on the Promissory Notes of 2012, please read this extract from the report from the Comptroller and Auditor General's office on the Gross Government Debt, Item 2.11, page 20:

The level of Government bonds in issue increased in March 2012 when bonds were issued to meet a promissory note payment of €3.06 billion due to Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Limited (IBRC). The bonds issued will mature in 2025 and have an annual interest rate of 5.4%. As the market value of the bonds at the time was just over €88 per €100 nominal, the State issued bonds with a nominal value of €3.46 billion in order to meet the payment. The yield on the bonds and, therefore, the effective interest rate on the repayment of €3.06 billion, is just over 6.8%.

Contrary to the outright lies being told by various Ministers, not alone was the 2012 Promissory Note paid in full to the Central Bank of Ireland, who then destroyed the €3.1bn, it actually cost us as a nation €400,000,000 more than it needed to and we’ll be paying more interest than we needed to, right up to 2025.

Read the C&AG paragraph above; because the 'market value' of the bonds were only €88 per €100 'nominal' at the time, the State (that's us, people) issued bonds of €3.46bn to get their hands on the necessary €3.06bn to give to the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation - Anglo - which Anglo then gave to the Central Bank, which then - under orders from the ECB - destroyed that money. That's the extra €400 million in the amount borrowed.

Compounding the additional cost of what was done last March, and again referring to the above, the effective interest rate on the €3.06bn is just over 6.8%; we could have got that money from the ECB emergency fund at around 3%. So, not alone did we pay an extra €400,000,000 to get the money, we are paying an additional 3.8% per annum on the €3.06bn - that's an additional €116,000,000 per annum until 2025, when that bond is due to mature (the total annual interest on just that one bond is 6.8% of €3.06bn = €208,080,000).

That, my friends, was Michael Noonan's vaunted 'deal', that's what it cost. As stated in black-and-white above, the Promissory Note WAS paid; to give the appearance of a 'deal' however Michael went to a new and far more expensive source for the money, issued a sovereign bond that will NOT be paid by this government or even by this generation but now forms part of the growing debt legacy we will leave our children.

To give the appearance of having done a 'deal' Michael and Enda engaged in their new favourite sport, 'financial engineering'. The only 'deal', however, was on how they got the money; the P Note WAS paid, on time and in full, the €3.06bn WAS destroyed, taken out of circulation, but at much greater cost to us, the people.

Now, they're planning to do the same again. The lies, the lies, the lies, the ongoing betrayal of the people at so many levels - it is almost beyond words.

Diarmuid O'Flynn.

Thursday, 29 November 2012


In all the calculations on the cost to Ireland of the bank bailout, one element is always overlooked - what price a nation's soul?

I could dazzle you with numbers at this stage, the €115bn in bonds that our failed banks have paid out since the ill-advised blanket bank guarantee of September 2008 (and let’s not bother here with the equally ill-advised circumstances in which that guarantee was given), the €69.7bn we have pumped into our banks (including the oft overlooked €5.5bn NAMA donation), which translates to over €15,200 of debt for every resident of this state –  man, woman and child.

I could point to the ironic symmetry that’s developing:First, the €12.4bn in austerity budget cuts/taxes over the years 2012/13/14/15 (3.8+3.5+3.1+2), the €12.4bn total in Promissory Notes over the same period (3.1x4) – for whose benefit all this austerity? Second, the €67.5bn in loans promised by the Troika of IMF/EU/ECB under the Memorandum of Enslavement of November 2010, against the above-mentioned €69.7bn we’ve given to the banks – who bailed out who?

I could tell you about the lies, the massaging of numbers to disguise just how bad things are in Ireland today, the additional off-balance-sheet NAMA and IBRC government debt that runs into the tens of billions, the use of the multinational-skewed GDP figure as opposed to the far more pertinent - and far smaller - GNP, when calculating our true debt situation.

Then you look at the unemployment figures, the notional official number of just under 15%, the real number of over 17% when the various ‘schemes’ are taken into account.

Finally, the emigration numbers, the 7,000 who left this country every month for the last 12 months, taking their own pain with them but also, leaving great pain behind - gaps in homes, gaps in parishes, gaps in entire generations. 

All these thing we can measure and quantify and already, looking at the numbers above, you must wonder – given that we still don’t have a functioning banking system, given also that so many of those at the top within that banking system who got us into this mess are still there and still drawing massive salaries, who in God’s name thinks the bank bailout has been worth all of that?

This is about more than numbers, however. There is that one element I mentioned above, an element always overlooked, an element unquantifiable. What price our freedom, what price our independence, what price the soul of a nation?

We have swapped one Empire for another, one form of serfdom for another. What was being done from Dublin Castle is now being done from Leinster House, a new set of Agents collecting tithes for our new Masters. This government has repeated ad nauseum its ambition to say goodbye to the Troika but that same Troika will leave with a smile on its face. Why? Because they will have achieved what they came to achieve (in particular the EU/ECB duo)  – they have made us a nation of debt slaves.

Fianna Fáil and the Green Party, now Fine Gael and Labour, they have signed away our soul, they have become the new Overseers, collecting and forwarding the 30 pieces of silver.

What have we done? What cost to a nation’s reputation? The Fighting Irish? The Proud Irish? The Indomitable Irish? I was at a an international debt conference in Brussels last week  with nearly 20 countries represented – when I outlined the numbers above there was almost universal bemusement that a government would accept such abasement of its own people.

We are not a meek people, we are not a weak people. As evidenced by the fact that earlier this year nearly a million homeowners willingly and voluntarily criminalised themselves by refusing to register for the Household Charge, evidenced further by the number of protests of various kinds across the nation, there is massive and growing anger. Rather than belittling and berating those who thus take a stand this government would be well advised to be aware of that anger, and to beware. A reckoning is coming.

This is week 92 of the Ballyhea and Charleville protest against that bank bailout – it’s time you all joined us. Every week we march, in Charleville this Sunday (Library Plaza 11.30am). We refuse to become debt slaves, paying for loans we never took out, loans from which we never benefited. We are not looking for better terms and conditions on those loans, we want to shatter the shackles of serfdom, beginning with the weakest link, the Promissory Notes – burn them, now. Time to reclaim our soul my friends, time to reclaim our ancient fighting spirit.

Regards, Diarmuid O'Flynn

Thursday, 18 October 2012


The men who have led Ireland for twenty-five years have done evil, and they are bankrupt. They are bankrupt in policy, bankrupt in credit, bankrupt now even in words. They have nothing to propose to Ireland, no way of wisdom, no counsel of courage. When they speak they speak only untruth and blasphemy. Their utterances are no longer the utterances of men. They are the mumblings and the gibberings of lost souls. A quote from the writings of P.H. Pearse that has resonance still.

With one greedy grasping fist this government  - as did the last - takes from the young, the old, the needy, the most vulnerable, from those of us huddled in the middle; with the other feeble hand it feeds the greed of our new banking masters, the ECB. The men who have led Ireland have done evil, and they are bankrupt.

Then, with their mumblings and their gibberish, its ministers, party members and media apologists try to justify the utterly unjustifiable, impoverishing their own people while enriching foreign financial investors and institutions through the payment of failed private bank bonds. They are bankrupt in policy, bankrupt in credit, bankrupt now even in words. 

Terrorised and intimidated by the threats – spoken and unspoken – of those cold new masters, our leaders have poured tens of billions of our money into the banks to pay failed bonds. They have nothing to propose to Ireland, no way of wisdom, no counsel of courage.

They then negotiate ‘deals’ which will see our children and our children’s children pay reparations for decades for that bank debt, reparations for a war we never fought, and they will present this as triumph. When they speak they speak only untruth and blasphemy, their utterances are no longer the utterances of men.

Our leaders have been cowed, they have been bullied, they have been beaten, they have been subjugated, supplicants reduced to pleading and begging. They have accepted on our behalf a debt that isn’t ours, was never ours, will never BE ours. 

We must now again arise, we the people. Not in arms, not in blood, but in anger nevertheless. We’re told that the ECB won’t even talk to us, never mind consider restoring the tens of billions forced from us. The reason? The same reason they considered themselves able to inflict this burden on us in the first place – we’re a small nation. Well yes, we are, but when it comes to toppling empires, we have a bit of history.

To finish, another quote from the same work of Pearse: Ghosts are troublesome things in a house or in a family, as we knew even before Ibsen taught us. There is only one way to appease a ghost. You must do the thing it asks you. The ghosts of a nation sometimes ask very big things; and they must be appeased, whatever the cost.

This Sunday the Ballyhea protest will take place in Charleville, meeting as per usual at the Library Plaza at 11.30am, week 86. The following Saturday, however, October 27th, we’re again taking our protest on the road, heading up west on this occasion. The itinerary outline is as follows:

Charleville:  7.45am, meet at the Library Plaza;
Ennis:        9.15am, meet O’Connell Monument, march O’Connell St;
Galway:      10.45am, meet Bus Station cnr of Eyre Sq, march around the square;
Castlebar:   12.45pm, meet Military barracks just off main roundabout, march Main St;
Sligo:        2.30pm, meet at the end of O'Connell St, march to GPO for 3pm protest;
Donegal town: 4.45pm, meet at the Lidl supermarket carpark, march to The Diamond.

We would appreciate local organisers/support in each of those locations. Contact us on
Twitter - @ballyhea14;
Facebook – Ballyhea bondholder bailout protest;

Regards, Diarmuid O'Flynn.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

YOUR €15,000 GIFT

Many times through the last 83 weeks of our protest in Ballyhea and Charleville we've had people tell us that they don’t see what we’re protesting about, that unless the government is actually taking money directly from their pockets, as in the controversial Household Charge, they won’t protest. But the government IS taking money from their pockets.

Here’s how it works. If you went through your bank accounts to discover that money is being taken from your various accounts every week without your permission and with no indication as to where it was going, how would you react? If you went to your bank manager to investigate and discovered that without ever being either asked or told, the bank had slapped an extra loan of €15,000 not just on you but on every single member of your household, and that you were now paying back this extra ‘loan’ with interest through your various different accounts – a few bob taken here, another few bob taken there, all under different headings – how would you react? Last Monday, for example, AIB paid an unsecured unguaranteed bond of €1bn - that's our money, money we sank into AIB over the last couple of years, over €200 for every man, woman and child in the country for one bond in one day.

Denise O'Toole's courageous one-woman stand on Monday last in Sligo

If you delved further to discover that it wasn’t just in your case this subterfuge was happening, that your local bank manager was settling further disputed debt by taking out interest-only loans at inflated rates in the names of your children, and of your children’s children, the principal to be paid a decade hence, another decade hence, yet another decade hence, spread over the next 40 years, debt that is NOT yours but debt that has now been passed on to future generations of your family, how would you react? Because again, this is EXACTLY what was done with the 2012 Promissory Note and what’s being planned for all the future Notes.

We are being robbed blind by the ECB, and I mean blind – we’re not being told. They have intimidated our own government – this one and the last – into acceding to their policy of placing banks and other financial institutions above people, they have fooled our major mainstream media into cheerleading that same plan. 

Fear and fog have been their major propaganda weapons. Fear, in moving the question on a level from where it should be. Instead of questioning the morality, the ethics, the legitimacy, even the practicality, of what they’re doing, they have succeeded with both the media and with our government in moving the question on a level – what will happen to us if we DON’T do as they demand? Fog, the truth lost in the mist of lies, half-lies and semi-truths we’re being fed to disguise what’s happening. 

Recent examples? The so-called 2012 Promissory Note deal that transformed a very arguable €3.06bn loan ‘guarantee’, for which we could have borrowed that same €3.06bn from one of the ECB emergency funds at about 3% while we continued to argue over it, into a very solid Sovereign debt for which we had to actually borrow €3.46bn on the markets – that’s an extra €400,000,000 my friends – and on which we’re paying over 5% per annum until our kids have to pay the full amount of that bond when it ‘matures’ in 2025.

You want another example? How about the ‘seismic shift’ announced after the EuroZone leaders’ summit last June, Enda’s and Eamon’s blather, all the money the various national newspapers then trumpeted we were going to get as a result; where is that seismic shift now? As Constantin Gurdgiev put it so succinctly on the Vincent Browne Tonight show on TV3 during the week, it’s merely a ripple in a bath-tub.

We’re told to gird ourselves for the cuts and taxes coming up in Budget 2013, that all the low-lying fruit has been picked. What fruit is more low-lying than the salaries, expenses and pensions of our politicians themselves? What fruit is more low-lying than their own numbers and the numbers of similarly overpaid representatives on our 34 local authorities (29 county councils – Dublin with three, Tipperary with two – and five city councils)? 34 local authorities to deal with a population of 4.58m? What fruit is more low-lying than the number of salaries of the various advisers in the various government departments? God above, what fruit is more low-lying than the pensions we pay to our ex-politicians? 

Has the Troika touched any of that? No. Why not? Because these people are now the reincarnation of the old British Empire Agents, they are our new overseers delivering to us the list of demands from our new Masters, the ECB/EU.

For those who would succumb to the propaganda of fear, I have one word – Iceland. The people of Iceland, due to the courage and integrity of their President who – for the first time in Iceland’s history – refused to sign the legislation that would have enslaved them for generations to bail out their banks as we’re being enslaved now, were given a choice, a referendum. Just as we’re being now threatened they  were threatened by their own media with the prospect of Armageddon if they rejected the ‘agreement’. They did reject it, and only a couple of years later they are thriving.

Protest. March with us. This is now week 84, we’re In Ballyhea this Sunday October 7th 2012 at 11.30am, meeting at the church carpark. Join us.

Regards, Diarmuid O’Flynn.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012


If – like me – you did the Lotto this week you're obviously hoping for a big win but you'd settle for any of the consolation prizes. This coming Monday, however, AIB will pay an unsecured unguaranteed billion-euro bond – that’s the equivalent of winning every Lotto every week (that’s two a week of €2m each) every year for almost the next five years, 500 consecutive Lotto wins. 
You didn’t know? How could you. As part of the policy of playing down the negative our national media is continuing to deliberately ignore ALL bank bond payments, thus you don’t know either that this billion will make it €18bn that our banks have paid in bonds so far this year; you don’t know there’s still another €2bn to go, and yet another €17bn next year.

You will know of course that Budget 2013 is being planned at the moment, the cuts/taxes of €3.5bn mandated by the ECB/EU/IMF troika. 

If you're young, elderly, sick, poor, weak, you'll be worried about what further cuts/extra costs can be applied to education, home help, hospital care, universal charges, allowances. If you're one of the masses, in employment or out you're worried how you're going to cope next year.

If you're a politician, either national or local, if you're one of the many advisers to one of those politicians, if you're a top civil servant, if you're a judge, if you're a top administrator with any of our many local authorities, you're not worried, not in the least.

You know that eventhough you should be up there at or near the top of the list in any objective summary of overpayments and overstaffing, that eventhough you should be among the first to feel the blade in any cost-cutting measure, you're safe. Why? Because those who give the orders in the new European Empire are not about to cut those whom they rely on to carry out those orders.

It has taken less than a century but we’ve managed to exchange one set of Masters for another, and one set of Overseers for another. These new Overseers have their lists, the targets that are set for us by our new Masters, they have their whips, which they’ll use to impose those targets on us; as reward for all that they are on extra rations, they are kept sweet.

Those who should be fighting our cause have abandoned us. The union leadership? They too are bought off. Most of them tied to top civil service salary scales, they too are insulated from all the cuts. The media? They have surrendered their independence, regurgitate undigested all government claims, play down any protest, any unrest, even in Europe – the masses must be kept in the dark. They ignore the reality of what’s happening, the insanity of this bank bailout and what it’s doing to Ireland.

A few of us ARE protesting, however, and have been doing so for over 82 weeks now. To mark the payment of that billion-euro AIB bond this Monday, the Ballyhea & Charleville bank bailout protest group are organising two events.

This Sunday, and simultaneously with our march at home (it’s in Charleville this week), we’ll be in Dublin again, meeting at the Garden of Remembrance at 11.30am then marching to Croke Park at noon. Hopefully the hurling supporters of both Galway and Kilkenny who offered encouragement and support from the footpaths the last time will fall in with us on this occasion.

On Monday we’re calling for people nationwide to protest nationwide, to make up a few simple signs proclaiming the fact that this bank on this day is paying €1bn of our money to mystery bondholders, go to their local AIB branch at noon, and mark this occasion. It may be for only a few minutes, it may be only a few of you, but this should be done. For Whom The Bell Tolls, that's what we're calling it, the noonday bells.

I know that to many of you, public protest is alien - to most of us on the Ballyhea protest that is the case; to many more of you, it’s futile. Believe me though when I say, in some circumstances, in circumstances such as this where the people have been abandoned by all those who are supposed to represent them, public protest is the ONLY way.

Regards, Diarmuid O'Flynn.

Monday, 17 September 2012



Dear Enda;

  • Hit the young – cut the education budget.
  • Hit the old – cut home-help hours, attack the free-travel pass. 
  • Hit the sick – cut the healthcare budget, frontline staff and services badly affected. 
  • Hit the most vulnerable – cut the Special Needs budgets across the board. 
  • Hit the poor – introduce universal tax after universal tax, from increased VAT to Home Tax


  • Hit the political class – slash numbers, salaries, allowances, pensions at national & local level. 
  • Hit the high earners – introduce (even temporarily) a third rate of tax. 
  • Hit the multi-national corporations – increase (again, even temporarily) the tax rate. 
  • Hit the overpaid in the upper echelons of the public sector – take on the Croke Park agreement and reduce numbers, salaries, pensions and conditions of those in upper and middle management. 
  • Hit the Irish Financial Services Centre, one of the many centres in which international money-laundering and multi-national tax avoidance is enabled and where the only ‘markets’ that now seem to matter live and thrive – even a minimal tax on every transaction would be a major boost to our coffers. 
  • Revisit and rewrite the licensing agreements for recovery of OUR oil and gas. 
  • Invest in public infrastructure – broadband, water distribution, roads, railways, schools etc. 
  • Reform the social welfare system – there HAS to be a floor, and current base-line rates shouldn’t be touched; there should also be a ceiling, a maximum going into any household. Further, there should also be real incentive for people to return to work, with benefit transition periods etc. 
  • Take on the ECB. Oh yes, take on the ECB, expose them to the world for what they’ve done in forcing on Ireland a bank bailout policy that even the EuroZone leadership now acknowledges has failed, and demand repayment to this state of the €69.6bn (that’s over €15,000 for every resident), which that policy has so far cost us.

EASY DECISIONS, TOUGH DECISIONS. Since your election in late February 2011, despite all the get-tough pre-election promises and your hollow post-election spin, this Fine Gael/Labour coalition government has followed exactly the line of the failed Fianna Fáil/Green government that you succeeded, taken only the easy decisions.

This was NOT  a situation you ‘inherited’; an inheritance is a bequest, you requested this job – in fact you demanded this job. Well, on the back of the promises you made we gave it to you. Unless you were utterly incompetent you knew what you were getting into. Now, 82 weeks into the job, 82 weeks into our protest, we’re asking you – stop complaining, do your job.

The Ballyhea/Charleville Bank Bondholder Bailout Protest relates specifically to the final item in the above lists. For 82 weeks we’ve been marching against that ECB-enforced extortion of tens of billions from the Irish people. On October 1st, for example, AIB (which we own 99.8%) pays an unguaranteed bond of €1bn. This year, 2012, the total bank bond payments will be just short of €20bn; next year it’s another €17bn, in the years 2012/13/14/15 it’s a total of over €55bn, the lifeblood being drained from the Irish economy through the banks, the people being crushed.

You say you’re taking the tough decisions – let’s see you take on the ECB. Get out from behind the coat-tails of Spain and Italy and do your own negotiating for your own people. If you’re unable to do that, do the honourable thing and leave the stage.

At the end of June you and your government announced a ‘seismic shift’, what we like to call the eruption of Mount Enda (you'll pardon us a little levity in these bleak times). Take that opening line from that statement and run with it -  We affirm that it is imperative to break the vicious circle between banks and sovereigns.

      That vicious circle, imposed on us in a blatant abuse of its own financial muscle by the ECB, has cost Ireland €69.6bn. On our behalf, on behalf of the people who elected you to fight our cause in Europe, demand that money back.

  • Demand that the remaining Promissory Notes, all €30.6bn of which was printed to pay off bondholders in two zombie banks, not a cent of which went to the Irish people, be destroyed. 
  • Demand that the billions destroyed from the two Notes already paid be reprinted. 
  • Demand that the €21bn taken from our Pension Reserve Fund to bail out banks be repaid, either from the ESM or by allowing the Irish Central Bank print that money. 
  • Demand that any outstanding bank-debt-related loan from Europe be written off, and all interest paid be returned. 
  • Demand an end right across Europe to this odious practice of ‘socialising’ private bank debt – there is nothing more anti-social.

Do that, Enda, and you'll be doing the job you promised to do, the job you were elected to do; that was your mandate.

In the week in which 600,000 hours of home help hours are cut a bond of €600,000,000 is paid by Anglo; on next Monday week, October 1st, AIB pays a bond – unsecured, unguaranteed – of €1bn; you can stand over this, these are the values for which you want to be remembered?

Stand up and fight Enda, stand up and fight for all of this and we’ll be behind you. Stay hiding behind the coat-tails of Mariano Rajoy and you don’t just dishonour your pledge, you dishonour your people.

Frances O'Brien                                                       Pat O'Brien
Phillip Ryan                                                             Darragh Ryan
Pat Moloney                                                             Cathleen Quealey
Fiona Buckley                                                          Rob Fitzpatrick
Ellen O’Regan                                                          Ellen Morrissey
Diarmuid O'Flynn                                                    Diarmaid Ó Cadhla
David Walsh                                                            Eileen Walsh
Michael O'Brien                                                       Linda Bowles
Derek Griffin                                                           Lynette O’Farrell
Johnny Ryan                                                            Dave Ryan
Eithne Keating                                                         Dolly Madigan