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1980s golden circle is alive and well in Irish politics - Government should resign

12 February, 2009

Responding to the revelations surrounding Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Life & Permanent and the government’s failure to hold the banking sector to account Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said, ‘clearly the golden circle of the 1980s is alive and well in Irish politics. Finance Minister Brian Lenihan should be removed and this government should resign from office.” Mr Adams is in Kerry today meeting with community and resident organisations and local businesses.


Mr Adams said:


“The government’s failure to deal with this crisis has meant that this country is linked with corruption the result of which is Ireland’s reputation being damaged internationally. It is clear for all to see that the golden circle of the 1980s is alive and well in Irish politics. Once again it is the actions of bankers, property developers and inept Ministers that has almost brought this country to its knees.


“For a government Minister to admit that he didn’t bother reading critical documents is intolerable. Finance Minister Brian Lenihan should be removed and this government should resign from office. The details that have emerged over the last number of days about the book cooking of Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Life & Permanent are nothing less than corporate corruption. Banking executives in both institutions must be investigated and those who have and indeed still are behaving illegally should be charged and subjected to due process.


Speaking on the run of job losses that have hit Ireland in recent times Mr. Adams said:


“Government spokespersons continually make the point that there is little they can do about the global downturn which is resulting in foreign owned companies leaving the state. However, there is a lot that they could do to offset the worst effects of the global recession by ensuring that local businesses and local employment is enabled to survive and expand.


“Sinn Féin wants to see a government-led plan to get Ireland back to work. Job retention and creation must become their mantra. This must include fast tracking business start ups, front loading critical infrastructure and retraining. We need a stimulus package including immediate reduction in VAT.


“We must stop wasteful spending and duplication while protecting frontline services.

We need to sort out the banks to ensure that Irish businesses can get access to finance and people at risk of losing their homes can get immediate support.


“Finally, the wages of those on low and medium incomes must be protected. They cannot be expected to carry the can for an economic mess they had no hand, act or part in creating. If positive, imaginative and just policies are implemented now they can help turn the economy around.


“Like all parts of this state, Kerry has been severely affected by the recession. However, because of the lack of investment from government and the IDA over a period of two decades, Kerry has been more reliant on the construction, tourism and services sectors which have been the hardest hit over the past eight months.


“There has been an increase in unemployment of 6,000 people in Kerry in just one year.


“On top of the losses in the construction industry, Kerry has also had serious job losses as a result of announcements from Kostal in Abbeyfeale (300 jobs lost), Amman in Tralee (120 jobs lost), and Denny’s in Tralee (50 jobs lost), not to mention the direct and indirect effects of Dell’s cutting 1,900 jobs in Limerick.


There are also the many more small businesses closing their doors every week that we don’t hear about in the news.


“Sinn Féin has been extremely vocal about the plight of Kerry in terms of unemployment and job creation. Martin Ferris recently proposed in the Dáil redirecting resources at small and medium local enterprises through very successful programmes such as LEADER.


 “For some considerable time Sinn Féin and others warned that government over-reliance on the property market and its failure to reform the tax system would result in a crisis in the public finances.


The government chose to ignore our warnings and it is the ordinary people of this country who are now paying the price.


However, I have no desire to dwell on the past and Sinn Féin wants to see policies enacted now that will steer this country and this economy in a direction that prevents further job losses and creates new job opportunities.


Working families across Ireland now need hope for the future. It is the job of all those with political responsibility to provide that hope and to provide solutions.


NOTE: (LEADER is the EU Community Initiative for Rural Development that provides approved Local Action Groups with public funding (EU and National) to implement multi-sectoral business plans for the development of their own areas.)



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