Thursday, 11 April 2013


Today we heard a former IMF Chief-of-Mission to Ireland, Ashoka Mody, state on RTE's Morning Ireland what we in Ballyhea have been saying for two years, that the bank bondholders should have been burned. Better late than never, and we believe it's still possible to work our way out of this mess.
Here is what we in Ballyhea and in the various 'Ireland says NO!' campaigns propose as a solution to Ireland's current ills:
  • Destroy the €25bn in sovereign bonds currently held by our Central Bank in lieu of the Promissory Notes, Notes/bonds issued to cover a flagrant abuse of the Emergency Liquidity Assistance fund when €31bn was pumped in to two already insolvent institutions, Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society, abuse the ECB itself approved;
  • Restore to the Irish Exchequer the €6bn already destroyed on the basis of those Promissory Notes;
  • Swap all of Ireland's remaining interests in the various Irish banks for a) the €20.7bn taken from our National Pension Reserve Fund to bail out those banks and b) write off the remaining €13bn or so borrowed from the various emergency funds to bail out the Irish banks.
The first move above will ease the long-term debt burden, making Ireland more attractive to the damned markets; the other two measures will put money back in the national accounts, money that can be used to invest in infrastructure, to kick-start this ailing economy. Do this and Ireland will soar.

We'll be told of course that it can't be done, that it's not in the remit of the ECB/EU. So what?
For years we were told that bondholders couldn't be burned, until it happened, in Greece.
We were told that was a one-off, couldn't be applied anywhere else, til it happened in Cyprus - so much for that one-off.
In Cyprus you had the initial proposal to burn all depositors including those under €100,000, a proposal agreed to by the Eurozone finance ministers despite a supposed EU-wide guarantee to the contrary and (shamefully) welcomed immediately afterwards by our own government; when the proverbial hit the fan those same Finance Ministers (including our own Michael Noonan) all did a Pontius Pilate, washed their hands of a decision they had approved when they should never even have allowed it be debated; it took an outpouring of popular protest for the proposal to be overturned - another one-off, though this one was stymied by the people.

In the second Cyprus proposal we did see depositors burned, another first (albeit above the €100,000 guarantee threshold) but again, according to the ECB/EU, a 'one-off'.
So, how many 'one-offs' is that? Where, we ask, is Ireland's 'one-off' deal? So many times we've been told we're 'special' - let's see the money. Our government may not be fighting for it; we are, the ordinary people of Ireland.
In Ballyhea, in Charleville, in Tralee, Killarney, Skibereen, Fermoy, Clonmel, Nenagh, Tulla, Galway, Dublin, in mighty Ratoath, in a growing number of villages/town/cities across the country, every week we're marching, every week we're fighting. Don't offer us legal arguments as to why we have to pay this odious debt; when immorality is made legal, good people have a duty not just to refuse to be bound by such law, we have a duty to overturn it.

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Thank you,
Diarmuid O'Flynn