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Gilmore accused of hypocrisy over 'green jersey' remarks

Eamon Gilmore’s call for support from opposition parties drew the ire of the Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin yesterday.

Eamon Gilmore
Eamon Gilmore
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

TÁNAISTE EAMON GILMORE has been accused of “hypocrisy” and “amnesia” following his comments to the opposition parties that they should “put on the green jersey” and support the government in its negotiations with the Troika.

Gilmore was responding to criticism of the government’s dealings with the EU, ECB and IMF partners who yesterday completed their fifth review of Ireland’s bailout programme.

Speaking in the Dáil yesterday, Gilmore urged Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald to “put on the green jersey”.

“Deputy McDonald and other colleagues in the House spoke to the troika during its visit here,” he said. “It would be helpful if on this occasion she put on the green jersey and assisted the Government in dealing with the negotiations we must have with the troika.”

His comments drew criticism from Fianna Fáil’s foreign affairs spokesperson Seán Ó Fearghaíl who pointed to Gilmore’s Labour Party colleagues and their remarks while in opposition.

He cited current Social Protection Minister Joan Burton saying the country was “banjaxed” and current Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte remarking that Ireland was “an economic corpse”.

“The hypocrisy and apparent amnesia was breathtaking,” Ó Fearghaíl said of Gilmore’s comments.

Fianna Fáil have consistently put the national interest ahead of any political considerations and were responsible for the very difficult series of corrective budgets that Minister Gilmore opposed but now claims credit for.

“Minister Gilmore’s Labour Party, when in opposition 12 short months ago, could be accused of many things, but pulling on a green jersey in the interests of the country is not one of them.

“Lest we forget, this is the same Labour Party that told the country and the world that Ireland was ‘banjaxed’, that Ireland was ‘an economic corpse’ and that Ireland was ‘in the pawn shop’,” referring to previous remarks from Gilmore.

Responding to the Tánaiste’s remarks in the Dáil, McDonald said that it was “utterly perverse” for Gilmore to ask people to pull on “the green jersey” amid cuts in health and education.

“That is not the stuff of the green jersey, it is the stuff of seeking a gold star on a copybook from the Tánaiste’s friends in the troika,” she said.

The phrase ‘green jersey’ has other negative connotations with it infamously used by executives of Anglo Irish Bank during their attempts to cover up huge losses before the bank was eventually bailed out by the State.

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Hugh O'Connell

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