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Criticism of Taoiseach's 'mad with borrowing' comments is 'a bit silly' – FG TD

Damien English said that people knew exactly what Enda Kenny meant when he said yesterday that “people simply went mad with borrowing” during the economic boom.

Damien English (L) with Enda Kenny in 2009
Damien English (L) with Enda Kenny in 2009
Image: James Horan/Photocall Ireland

FINE GAEL TD Damien English has insisted that the Taoiseach does not need to apologise or clarify his comments that “people went mad with borrowing” during the economic boom despite criticism from opposition parties.

Enda Kenny has been condemned by Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin for saying at the World Economic Forum in Davos yesterday that “what happened in our country is that people simply went mad with borrowing” and adding that it was a system that “spawned greed” prior to the financial collapse.

But Meath West TD English believes criticism of the comments as “offensive” is “a bit silly”.

He told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland: “Everyone knows Enda Kenny is the most unoffensive person out there – inoffensive person out there.

“It’s not something he would say. He was trying to say this is bankers and a certain character of people who lost the run of themselves, in relation to developers and so on, who left this country in the mess that it’s in.”

English said that Kenny represented Ireland at the forum in Switzerland “extremely well yesterday” and accused the opposition of “jumping up and down trying to find something wrong with the Taoiseach on the world stage”.

“The people in this country are very sensible,” he said. “They know exactly what Enda Kenny meant yesterday and they’re not going to take offence to that because they know he meant a group of people who did cause this and that included, I must say, some politicians that let this happen.”

He went on to say that the opposition’s criticism was “a bit desperate” and that they were getting “excited about nothing”.

Asked if he thought the Taoiseach should clarify his remarks, English said: “Absolutely not, no way”

Taoiseach slammed over ‘people went mad with borrowing’ comments

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Hugh O'Connell

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