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Dublin: 9 °C Tuesday 21 October, 2014

Government criticised for poor turnout at ‘burn the bondholders’ debate

Minister of State Fergus O’Dowd was the highest profile Government representative present as they were asked to request a debt writedown by Independent TDs


(Youtube/TheJournal.ie)

INDEPENDENT TDS have attacked the Government parties for not being adequately represented at a debate tonight on the promissory note repayments.

Several members of the Dáil Technical Group and three independent TDs tonight tabled a Dáil motion calling on the Government to ‘burn the bondholders’ or ‘at least ask’ the ECB for a writedown on some of Ireland’s sovereign debt.

The Government were represented at the debate by Minister of State Fergus O’Dowd and a further three backbench Fine Gael TDs.

This was criticised by Independent TD Catherine Murphy who said that “this motion was supposed to be inclusive” and expressed disappointment that at the Government’s presence.

Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan who was present at the debate but didn’t speak, tweeted his annoyance at the Government for ‘evacuating the Dáil’ as the private members motion began.

O’Dowd defended the Government’s representation by saying that Finance Minister Michael Noonan was involved in the committee stage of the Finance Bill and could not be present. The Minister, he said, retained a genuine interest in the debate taking place.

Tonight’s motion was commended to the Dáil by Joan Collins TD who had earlier lost her High Court challenge on the legality of the Anglo promissory note deal.

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Joan Collins TD speaking during tonight’s debate. (Pic: Oireachtas.ie/Screengrab)

Collins said upon introducing the motion that the Government have failed in their role by not “exposing the role of the Central Bank” in the negotiations that saw the Irish state taking on the debts of Irish financial institutions.

The tabling of the motion has come on the back of work undertaken by several Independent TDs with the Ballyhea Says No group which has been marching every week for the past two years in protest of the Government’s position on bond repayments.

Deputy Collins praised the group for their work in asking questions of the Government.

The Ballyhea Says No group were also referenced by Richard Boyd Barrett of People Before Profit who says that the Cork based marchers they “cannot believe that you won’t even ask” for a writedown of Government debt.

Read: ‘It’s odious debt’: Dáil to debate ‘burning the bondholders’ tonight and tomorrow >

Read: High Court dismisses TD’s challenge to Anglo promissory note deal >

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