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