“We do not want foreigners in here.”

The Irish Times’ Miriam Lord spotted this outburst by Fianna Fáil TD for Cork East, Edward ‘Ned’ O’Keeffe, during the Dáil debate on the banking system on Tuesday – the same day that the Irish Financial Regulator, Chief Exexcutive Matthew Elderfield, took High Court action against Quinn Insurance. From the Dáil record

Deputy Edward O’Keeffe: Why should AIB be told to sell its assets in the next 30 days? It should be given space to sell its assets and they will get more on the market. If the world economy is on the up – which it is – the bank will make substantial money on those assets. AIB may then become the free bank in our society and may not be dependent on the State and Mr. Elderfield telling us what to do. We do not want foreigners in here. Michael Collins, Liam Lynch, Patrick Pearse, James Connolly, would not have those foreigners running our business. It is about time we looked after our Irish people who are well educated.

And, in a similar vein, the Irish Independent reports the director of the Gate Theatre Michael Colgan’s reaction to critics of his acceptance of an honoray OBE. From the Irish Independent report

Mr Colgan, whose current production ‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses’ has also sparked controversy due to scenes of full frontal nudity, said that when he received a previous honour, the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters from the French government, “no one wrote to the papers about it”.

Some indignant critics have said Mr Colgan should surrender his Irish passport given his decision to accept the honour.

“These (honours) are not to be taken literally. They are gifts. When an outside state says to me and my theatre, “well done for what you have done for Harold Pinter and cultural relations between our two islands”, I think it’s bad manners to say you don’t want it,” Mr Colgan said.

Announcing the awarding of the OBE, British ambassador Julian King said: “Michael has made an exceptional contribution to cultural relations in the arts between the UK and Ireland.”

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  • Alias

    It’s a bit late to be talking about a sovereign independent state after they have given most of their sovereignty away. 82% of the depositors in Anglo Irish Bank were foreigners, yet the State deem it expedient to regard their debts as sovereign and to force the Irish nation to guarantee their money after they had lost it. Likewise, the State is acting to protect the eurosystem by regarding the systemic risk to it as being as important as the systemic risk to Ireland, forcing the Irish nation to assume responsibility for debts that belong to others. Again, in contravention of what they were told when they agreed to the Maastricht Treaty (i.e. that all debts are sovereign), this bankrupt State has to give Greece 250 million euros to bail the Greek nation out of its problems. The idea that this state exists to protect and promote the interests of the Irish nation is over, replaced it the idea that it now exists to protect and promote the interests of other nations at the direct expense of its own. They abandoned nationalism and not they’re finding out the hard way exactly what that means…

  • I always understood that investers took risks. The risk being the investment might fail, in which case they would lose their investment. When did that change?

    As for the giving of gifts or titles from other countries, why not. It is recognition for ‘job well done’. It does not change where you live or who you vote for. We have got to stop being so paranoid about the Brits. it makes us look silly.

  • The para. before was much more interesting but clearly not to Miriam Lord:

    “I wish to address the issue of Anglo Irish Bank. I am a farming businessman. I would not hold Anglo Irish Bank in my portfolio but I would have it liquidated tomorrow morning and sold off. It is going to be a sore and a boil on the Irish Government and the financial system of this country so long as it is left in existence. It has been a disgrace to Irish banking, to the Government and to the Fianna Fáil Party. Along with other colleagues, I was one of the first to say that this bank would cause great trouble in the days and years ahead. I also said that the construction industry would bring tears to the people and the families involved and how right I was. My then Taoiseach, Deputy Bertie Ahern, said that people saying those things should commit suicide. I did not commit suicide and I probably never will but it was an outrageous statement when our whole economy was falling apart.”

  • Cynic2

    Those foreigners …. they come over here eating our food, staying in our hotels, drinking in our pubs, sleeping with our women, taking the jobs we weren’t prepared to do anyway….. while their friends stay at home in them foreign places buying out computers, insurance products, butter, cheeses

    Its a disgrace. All that cheese should be going to young Irish people not them foreigners making them grow up big and strong so they can come over here eating our food …………………

    ….some f ’em are even black you know

  • Cynic2

    And all 4# has what to do with letting a parasite bank go splat?

  • Pete Baker

    pippakin & Mark

    This post is only superficially about the banks.

    And less about the European Union than Alias appears to believe…

  • Pete Baker

    I think it is about a lot of things. The first being the AIB, the second being our own sense of inferiority, and the third being the all consuming aversion to anything from the UK. Oops sorry that aversion does not extend to sterling, silly of me. There may be others but we all have to decide when to stop digging.

    One thing I agree with you on: this has nothing to do with Europe.

  • Pete Baker

    pippakin

    Your interpretation of the original post is noted.

    But you do realise that you’re attempting to read my mind in regard to what my post is actually about?

    And mind-reading doesn’t work.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Those Irish patriots or important names from Irish history(if you prefer) would shoot most FF politicians and their banking cronies.

    They would be right.

  • Alias

    So, are the Irish fit to govern themselves? The propaganda of those who denied them the right to govern themselves was that they were not, and that they therefore better served by letting foreign rulers determine their affairs.

    There might be an argument that the collapse of Ireland’s monetary system under self-government proves that the Irish are not fit to govern themselves if that collapse had actually occurred under self-government rather than, as is the actuality, occurred under the governance of those foreign agencies to whom the Irish state delegated the applicable sovereignty, e.g. its macroeconomic and monetary policies and regulation of its banking system. So this is a failure of colonial rule and not a failure of self-rule.

    Now that the national interest is discarded and replaced by a European interest, the state no longer serves the Irish nation but now serves the European nation, and so the government will make the nation responsible for the debts owed to others within the EU because their interests must be given parity of esteem with the Irish nation.

    That isn’t a discretionary position but is constitutionally binding on the government since the treaties that dictate it are part of the Irish constitution, duly ratified by plebiscite. Admittedly, as in the example I gave, the Maastricht Treaty declares that all debts are sovereign, but yet we now find out that all debts are not sovereign after all and that we have granted the Greek nation parity of esteem with the Irish nation and so we assume a pro-rata share of the cost of bailing that nation out of its financial problems.

    Perhaps the answer is that the Irish are fit to govern themselves but that their political parties are not fit to govern them. I don’t know how to get around that problem because the only people who can reform the system are the muppets who control it. These muppets even played on their own incompetence to get the people to convert themselves into a non-sovereign nation by approving the Lisbon Treaty, with the spiel being that it is better to be ruled by the EU than to be rule by them!

    At any rate, if there was to be a revolution in this state then I wouldn’t oppose it.

  • Pete Baker

    I made no attempt to ‘read your mind’ I can think of few more boring pastimes.

    I told you what I thought your post was about. I mentioned Europe and agreed with what I read into the post, that may have been wrong, but thats allowed and has nothing to do with mind reading!

    Get off your high horse I am not impressed, intimidated or abashed.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    1 Fianna Failer out, 10 foreigners in.

    I need say no more.

  • Henry94

    Michael Colgan who I admire greatly is well within his rights to accept a gong from the British and other people are within their rights to disagree with his decision. Many Irish people have politely and privately turned down such awards.

    One does not have to be anti-British to refuse them. British people do occasionally
    refuse
    them too often because they disagree with what they represent.

    Having a republican position on the baubles of monarchy does not make one anti-British and attempts to frame the issue in terms of national maturity are themselves a sign of a childish understanding of the questions involved.

  • Cynic2

    Pippakin

    One of the problems with AIB and the others was that they were inbred. You had a small coterie of people from the same backgrounds running the whole lot in a small country on the edge of Europe. Any surprise that deals were done, assets loaned to bolster ratios at year end?

  • Henry94

    I completely agree with you. Problem is some people do see accepting a gong from the Brits is some how anti Irish.

    Cynic2

    I know but they were investors and if the investment failed they should have lost. We cannot say this is a purely Irish problem. In the US and the UK the bloody banks were bailed out. I do think AIB was one that could have been allowed to fail without damaging Ireland. It may even had shown some where the buck stopped.

    All countries are run by relatively small groups of people and we are all susceptible to temptation. The laws must be in place to counter the temptation. I will take mine in two large carrier bags, used notes please.

  • Cynic2

    Pippakin

    I agree completely.

    But my comments was targeting the speech by Deputy O’Keefe

  • Cynic2

    I did read it you know!

  • Cynic2

    sorry B/B cut me off in mid flow.

    Mr O’Keefe seemed to be saying that AIB should be left to its own devices so long as the directors are Irish. Far from displaying confidence in Ireland or the people, he is instead displaying a sense of inferiority and fear of competition in the work place.

  • LabourNIman

    let them sink, the economy in the republic will recover in about 30 years.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Far from displaying confidence in Ireland or the people, he is instead displaying a sense of inferiority and fear of competition in the work place.

    And a lack of awareness that AIB actually invests in foreign countries. Including the UK, Poland and the USA.

    I lived in Dublin for a year about ten years ago. Since free banking is de rigeur in the UK one thing you would immediately notice is the bank charges, the high interest rates, and the slow adaptation of technology especially Internet banking. That’s before you get into the scandals around tax avoidance and overcharging. All that time, the large banking institutions were turning over huge profits. Competition seemed to be somewhat stifled. I suspect the enforced slimming down at AIB and Bank of Ireland will ultimately lead to takeovers from larger multinational banks. It’s all downhill from here in Mr O’Keefe’s world.

  • PJM

    Nice reference to O’Keefe by that well known Irish native James Connolly. Maybe he should add his party founder de Valera. Funny how there were no complaints about foreigners when they were wining and dining Bertie in the Old Trafford area or McCreevy at Cheltenham.

  • sammyMehaffey

    There is a difference between investors and depositors. Investors should lose if their investment fails. Depositors should be protected up to the legal limit of the guarantee.
    Sean Quinn should be jailed for his foolishnes in trying to be the big boy who beat the markets.