“But Sinn Féin is different from the other political parties…”

He has only just moved there, after all…  but RTÉ’s 20 minute interview with the Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead, Gerard Adams, is worth listening to in detail.

Mick’s already noted the claimed introduction of a “warm weather payments” in the last (Stormont) budget.

The Irish Times notes that

SINN FÉIN president Gerry Adams has said that telling the IMF “to go home and take their money with them” remained his party’s policy.

His said his party, in government, would close Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide, and amalgamate AIB and Bank of Ireland. Depositors would be protected by legislation.

Apparently, after that unilateral move, “astute bondholders”, not the ones to be burned, but others, will be there to “do business” “no later than 2012″…

The IT also reports Adams’ claims about Sinn Féin’s position on the 2008 bank guarantee scheme.

Mr Adams, who was speaking yesterday on the RTÉ radio programme, This Week , again insisted that the party had not supported the blanket bank guarantee in the Dáil. Sinn Féin, he said, had wanted to protect the rights of depositors and voted in principle for it in the first vote.

However, the party had voted against it when it failed to get guarantees relating to depositors and credit for small and medium businesses.

Sinn Féin, said Mr Adams, had refused to support the substantive blanket guarantee.

Here’s what the party’s ‘rising star’, and current Finance spokesman, Pearse Doherty, TD, told the Seanad at the time [scroll down]

Senator Pearse Doherty: I intend to support this Bill as my party colleagues did in the Dáil when the vote was taken there in the early hours this morning. We do this because the Bill is in the national interest but we do so with reservation because we know that the Bill could be much better. It is disappointing that the Minister for Finance did not accept my party’s amendments and those of other parties which would have strengthened the Bill.

When we debated the economy in this Chamber last night I said there is an onus on the Opposition not only to highlight the problems in the economy but to propose and support sensible solutions. My party understands that the Government must intervene to stabilise the economy and the financial system and that is why we will support the Bill. The logic behind this move is to undermine the bear market and lead to investment in our banking system.

This legislation is about more than the banks. It is about offering security to ordinary citizens and to investors in Irish businesses which in turn means jobs. As the media speculated, other states may well follow this move by our State.

The concern on the street in recent days is about what we will get out of the move. What will the Government extract from the banks in return for this legislation? That is where the Bill falls short. [added emphasis]

And, as the RTÉ interviewer pointed out, when Sinn Féin TD, Arthur Morgan, outlined the reasons why SF had withdrawn their support for the scheme there was no mention of bondholders or, for that matter, depositors. From KildareStreet [17 October 2008]

[Arthur Morgan] During my contribution to the debate on the budget, I set out the terms and conditions Sinn Féin would seek in the scheme. They included a windfall payment to the State, the introduction of a banking levy and the imposition of an onus on banks to negotiate as much as possible with home owners facing repossession. I strongly advocate the establishment of a State bank as well. However, there is no return for the taxpayer from this scheme.

Of course, the reason there was no mention of concern about depositors then is because the same Credit Institutions (Financial Support) Bill raised the depositor protection guaranteed sum to €100,000 (just under £80,000).

But the potential implications for depositors, as opposed to bondholders, in Irish banks in the aftermath of the implemention of Sinn Féin’s unilateral proposals has been raised.  At the weekend by a Fianna Fáil TD following Gerry Adams’ previous ‘burn the bondholders’ interviews on the 25 January 2011…

Adds  Which might explain why he couldn’t provide any figures for the cost of recapitalising the banks.

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  • Sinn Fein want to grab money from the banks – who didn’t see that one coming?

    More seriously, a banking levy which is in the form of depositor insurance and an FDIC style resolution scheme for FUTURE individual failures would be welcome.

    Instead I suspect a levy as proposed is merely punishing new banks like NationwideUK who weren’t carrying business or prudent lenders who did not create a significant burden on government should not have to pay into the future for the failures of AIB, BOI, Anglo et al. If we are to attract a foreign bank to set up another entrant in the banking market to replace the imploded Anglo and AIB, we can’t set an immediate barrier to entry at no benefit to them.

    We saw what happened with the Insurance Levy – extended way beyond the proclaimed aim of repaying the State for the Insurance Corporation fiasco.

  • Pete Baker

    “Sinn Fein want to grab money from the banks”

    That was then [2008], Mark.

    Now they want to burn the bondholders.

  • The Irish Times says that Sky News has made a bid for a five-way 90 minute prime time debate which would be “broadcast live throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia”. It would “focus mainly, but not exclusively” on global and Irish economic issues.

    RTE has apparently only bid for a three way debate.

    It’s almost worth getting Sky.

  • ranger1640

    Before the good people of the Irish republic vote for the pious Adams, they should check out and ask what did he do for West Belfast. Read what Squinter from the Andersonstown News thinks of the pious Adams.


  • Nunoftheabove

    Couple of thoughts on this interview.

    Weak answer on the cost of amalgamating AIB & BoI (once they’d closed Anglo) and in particular adequately capitalizing them such that they could start lending to SMEs – to my mind he came close to implying that once all of the combined bad debt was ‘dealt with’ that that wouldn’t be an issue and as such wouldn’t cost that much – although he avoided stating what the number was or where the money would be found.

    He also seemed less than sure-footed on the issue of the extent of the commitment already made on the pension reserve and shows an under-appreciation of the likely cost of borrowing once they’d torched Anglo, told the IMF to feck off and kneecapped the bondholders.

  • Hedley Lamarr

    Many people living in West Belfast read that Squinter article. They must have balanced it with their own experiences with “the pious Adams” before voting him in again.

  • Jimmy Sands

    To be fair I seem to recall Squinter being informed almost immediately by his employer that that was not in fact his opinion at all.

  • Macanna

    Pete could you show me a link that shows gerry adams accepting the job of baron as I still can’t find it. I know you wouldn’t play the man by using the title as that would be against sluggers rules.

  • Macanna

    Sorry crown steward (not baron)

  • Pete Baker


    We’ve been through this before. If Gerry wants to contest his disqualification as an MP because of his appointment to the office of Crown Steward then he is free to do so.

    But, at the minute, he is the Crown Steward.


    Could we focus on the actual topic[s]?

    Which include, among other issues, the difference between what Adams says his party’s position was in 2008 and what his party spokesmen actually said in 2008.

  • Cynic2

    “Sinn Fein want to grab money from the banks ” – just in a different way from the past perhaps

  • Macanna

    sorry pete, Gerry did not accept the appointment and cannot be made to accept it so he cannot be the steward.So at the minute he is an ex mp and nothing else. And this is the actual topic because you persist in using the title when refering to gerry. So I will continue to press you for a link showing his acceptence of the title where you continue to use the title. Your attitude does look more than a little childish so an an appropriate spanking is in order.

  • Pete Baker

    “so he cannot be the steward”

    You keep telling yourself that, Macanna.

    Meanwhile, in the real world…

  • EdgarDavids

    I am sure Fianna Fail and other parties will want to make the various problems in West Belfast known in Louth so the people are more informed at least prior to voting.

  • Mick Fealty


    I know the local press buckled on that point, but it’s not a real one. Gerry did the right thing. The price of his release is he becomes the Steward of blah, blah.

    Pete is right (as he generally is), but in any objective terms it doesn’t really matter.

  • Macanna

    Sorry pete did I touch a nerve, I am in the real world looking for your link, but guess what, still no sign.
    Mick if Pete is right then maybe you can provide the link.Surely it can’t be true just because pete says so.

  • ranger1640

    Welcome to North Korea, Shinner-style
    Sinn Fein’s economic policies would crush the chances of growth in Ireland, writes Jim Power.

    OVER the coming weeks an army of snake-oil salesmen will try to seduce the citizens of Ireland on their doorsteps by offering all sorts of promises in return for their vote. We’ll need to be very careful about what we believe.

    The facts on the Irish situation are very clear. The economy is still in the middle of a very difficult situation; public finances are unsustainable on the basis that we spend too much running the country and the base from which we collect taxes is too narrow; the ECB is providing the funding that is keeping our banking system alive; and the conditions of the IMF/EU bailout fund has put very strict constraints on the manner in which the economy will be run during the potential lifetime of the next government.

    In short, there are no easy options — and anyone who says there are is living in cloud cuckoo land.


  • ranger1640

    Hark I hear the first cuckoo of spring and it’s called Sinn Fein.

    And like all cuckoos Sinn Fein are trying to lay it’s economic illiterate eggs in Fianna Fail nests.

  • Nunoftheabove

    It’s Maskey time, everyone…….yawwwwwwwwwwn….

  • Pete Baker


    “Sorry pete did I touch a nerve”

    Hardly. You’re the one who keeps complaining.

    But let’s go through this once again.

    I’ve previously pointed to the appointment of Gerard as the Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead.

    That wasn’t an offer. It was the granting of office – following the interpretation of his letter of resignation as a request for that office.

    And the granting of the “office of profit under the Crown” is also why Gerard has been disqualified as an MP.

    If he wants to contest the granting of the office of Crown Steward then he is free to do so.

  • Pete Baker

    And I’d like to apologise for the continuing derailment of the discussion of this post away from the original topic…

  • Brian


    Why describe him as Baliff and Steward and then complain when someone wants to question/comment on it? It’s irrelevant to the topic (as you say) so why add it? The impression it leaves is that you add it solely to insult and belittle Gerry and his supporters…so don’t be surprised when people take the bait.

  • pippakin

    Gerry Adams attempting to rewrite history again. Not exactly new and not exactly unexpected. He is one of those, er, politicians, who really believe the electorate are fools all of the time.

  • Macanna

    I am commenting on the content of your post sorry if you see that as a derailment. Also I don’t think I was complaining, rather asking for proof that gerry had accepted a position of profit to dsqualify him from office.

  • Macanna

    Also you said his resignation wast “he interpretation of his letter of resignation as a request for that office”.I think you will find he never asked for the position and said he was not taking it so once again , how is he the steward?