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  1. #1
    David Cochrane David Cochrane is offline
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    Enda Kenny's speech to the Macgill Summer School

    Below is the speech given by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny to the Magill Summer School this evening.

    Taoiseach Speech to the McGill Summer School – July 24th 2011

    John Hume


    There’s an iconic image of John Hume.


    Not where he ascends the stage in Oslo to accept the Nobel Peace Prize or jokes in the White House with President Clinton.


    This is a black-and-white photo of a young man with dark hair, in a dark suit leaning against a wall on a Summer’s day.


    But he is not leaning in the usual sense.


    His hair is not dark in the usual sense.


    Nor his suit.


    This young man is spread-eagled against that wall by a British Soldier, having been arrested after the demonstration at Laburnum Road.


    The suit and hair are especially dark because as a Civil Rights leader, he has just been water cannoned by the British Army.


    It was the 26th August 1971.


    40 years on, the peace that came dropping slow on our island is still fragile, making it even more precious.


    And there’s a certain gallows satisfaction in saying for a generation of young Northern men, the most striking aspect of this photo..... is not political or sectarian....but sartorial: its subject is wearing socks with sandals.


    Ireland can never begin to imagine or repay its debt to John Hume.


    And I am honoured to be invited to give the MacGill lecture in his name today.





    Patrick MacGill


    Patrick MacGill might have wondered about the accrual and repayment of moral debt when it came to the First World War, where he fought with the London Irish Rifles.


    As it happens, on this day in 1927, the Menin Gate Memorial was opened at Ypres. Inscribed with the names of the Missing.


    Tonight...and every night.... at 20.00 hours six French volunteers will stand there to play the traditional salute to the Fallen Warrior.


    The Last Post seeking out the names of the Dead and Missing, scattered in the Braille of war not alone over the Gate itself.... but in all the international ‘theatres’ of war.....in the hearts of families these men would never know.


    Families who now make pilgrimages to Europe from every part of their world in honour of their dead.


    Patrick MacGill collected the songs of the soldiers. Noting how his friend rifleman Bill Teakes said


    “These 'ere songs are no good in England. They 'ave too much guts in them."





    EU


    And guts - of another kind - are what we need now both as a European country and as a European Union.


    Because if there is one good reminder why we should work to keep our Union, to preserve our peace, to cherish our European ‘community’, it is that memorial at Menin..... or those at Messines or Beaumont Hamel or Thiepval.


    Our European Union has brought us what has been called one of the most sustained eras of peace on our continent.


    A Union all the more remarkably because it came so soon ‘after the possibility of there being no Europe at all’, post Second World War.


    This week’s new deal for Ireland was hard-won.


    It will reduce Ireland’s bailout costs by up to €800 million euro a year and improve our debt sustainability, which in Ireland’s case, was largely the legacy of 14 years of lazy, arrogant government.


    A Government that rode a wave of cheap money until it crashed on the rocks and it drained away into nothing.


    But the debt crisis is equally a European problem requiring a European solution.


    I’m glad my call for European leaders to put aside national politics and lead instead in the interest of all Europeans on this crucial issue, had some impact on the emergence of this new deal.


    And I pay tribute to all those who worked behind the scenes for months, with quiet, determined diplomacy to secure this deal while other advocated fist banging and chest beating.

    Rejecting Default


    Some of these same people now repeatedly parrot the term 'default' as if it was some harmless silver bullet solution to all of our ills... No one should be seduced by trusted tones offering sound bite promises of easy solutions with no consequences. It simply doesn't exist.

    Let me be unequivocal. Ireland does not need nor seek a default. To do so would be an economic calamity. The consequences of which would be a millstone hung around Ireland's neck and that of its citizens for decades. The price of default is to immediately risk the ongoing funding of the State and could overnight close down vital public services: schools, hospitals, Garda stations.

    It would definitely shut us off from the private debt markets for even longer. The Troika would become an indefinite presence in the country. An economic calamity.

    We welcome last Thursday's agreement as another step in improving our debt sustainability. We will honour our debts. We will regain our economic sovereignty.



    Mandate & Decisions


    But while the deal does take some pressure off our debt burden, it is simply another step.


    Despite this success, the fact remains there are difficult decisions and times ahead.


    We were elected with a serious mandate to turn around the fortunes of this country.


    This involves making difficult, unpalatable choices.


    Making difficult, unpalatable decisions.


    Now, for the first time in 14 years Ireland has a government that can be trusted to do what is right.


    Not what is popular.


    Government popularity of the past has mortgaged our children’s future.


    But... no more.


    For a country that lived with plague of emigration, more than ever in the 21st century, our children have a right to live and work and rear their own children in their own country.


    And while too many of this generation is being forced to leave..... it’s the bad economics and politics of the past.... that have forced them into emigration


    As a father concerned and ambitious for the welfare and future of my own children, I hope with the instincts of a father, that those who are leaving will be able to return to a better, more equal Ireland.... this time....a truly prosperous Ireland.


    A prosperity not only measured in euros and cents, but in self worth and community. A land where children are cherished, the sick treated with dignity, the elderly valued.


    As Taoiseach I want to assure those who left that the government is working to do everything we can to make their return and those better circumstances not just possible, but inevitable.


    It’s a long road. But we will get there, decision by decision.


    We have inherited an unprecedented challenge but we will make unprecedented efforts to meet it.



    Agenda


    Over the course of the next five years we will radically shake up the systems of politics, public life, health and banking to make sure they are working radically differently and radically better for all our people. Let it be known that there are no scared cows on this road to recovery.


    I want to overcome a certain coarseness and shallowness that evolved in the era of the Celtic tiger.


    Where people were treated as passive consumers as opposed to as active citizens.


    Divided into columns marked profit and loss.


    Too many of yesterday’s taxpayers are today’s welfare recipients. And through no fault of their own.


    We have a moral duty and a political duty, to make sure that these people get back to work.


    Because work is not just about money. It is about our sense of self, respect and human dignity.




    By 2016


    My vision is that by 2016, Ireland will be internationally recognised as the best small country in the world in which to do business.


    The measures announced as part of Jobs Initiative were just a down-payment on my promise to make jobs this Government’s top priority.


    In the coming months, we will announce more measures to cut red tape costs for employers, to improve credit and financial conditions for start-ups and small businesses and to deliver on our NewERA programme of financing vital modern building projects to make Ireland a better place to do business and to create jobs.





    Jobs/Skills


    This month, we are seeing the impact of the government’s Jobs Initiative on the ground.


    The is just the first step of the government’s plan to get Ireland working again (PRSI cut on low-paid staff ; VAT cut to 9% on tourism-related services, the restoration of the minimum wage, the JobBridge internship programme, and the visa waiver scheme bringing in more tourists.)


    The next immediate priority is to proceed with


    • The filling of 20,900 education, training and work experience places for jobseekers
    • Reforming the JLC system to make it more responsive to the needs of a modern, 21st century economy
    • The introduction in the autumn of a loan-guarantee scheme for job-creating SMEs
    As economic recovery strengthens, we must engage more intensively with those who have lost their jobs in construction and other declining sectors to ensure that they have the necessary skills and incentives to be the first in line for the jobs that are being created in manufacturing, international services and other growth sectors.


    In the 1990s it took almost a decade of strong economic growth before the numbers depending on weekly welfare payments began to fall significantly.


    We cannot again allow such a waste of talent and potential effort.


    To this end, the Government will, over the coming months, be announcing the most radical shake-up in our welfare, employment and training systems and services in a generation.


    We have to make sure people are better off in work than on welfare and to focus our limited resources on those with genuine need.



    Spending


    We will be completing a comprehensive review of all Government expenditure in October that will lay the foundation of not just the next budget, but also our deficit reduction plans for the next three years.


    I have tasked Ministers and Departments to take responsibility for a forensic examination of every budgetary programme for which they are responsible, within both Departments and Agencies, and I expect them to deliver on what has been asked.


    My vision is of a more effective and efficient State that can once again live within its means.


    We cannot tax our way back to economic recovery.


    Some of the services and entitlements the State is now providing we can no longer afford, either at their current levels or at all.


    Other services we can continue to provide only if we make them cheaper to deliver through radical reforms in the way the public service works to cut out waste and duplication.


    Yes, decisions will be difficult. No, we will not shirk from them. I cannot guarantee that everybody will regard them as fair. But I can guarantee that they are absolutely necessary and will help to get the country working again.



    Banks


    It’s hard to imagine a more detested word in this country than... ‘bank’.


    A key challenge set out by the Government was to make our banking system an engine of economic recovery by (i) restoring public and market confidence in its financial health, (ii) ensuring management competence and (iii) restoring lending to the Irish economy.


    By the end of July, we will have recapitalised the state supported banks in line with the recent Central Bank stress tests. This will further underpin the stability and the financial health of the banks.


    Management and board renewal across the banking system is proceeding at a strong pace.


    By end of the year, we will have completed the replacement of all non executive Directors originally appointed before the night of the guarantee at the end of September 2008. Only four remain. Moreover, already almost 90% of the directors no longer serve on the boards.


    Even as our two pillar universal banks – Bank of Ireland and AIB - dramatically shrink in size by selling overseas assets from now until 2013, they are committed to supporting economic activity at home. As part of the recapitalisation and restructuring announcements in March they can now lend at least €30 billion in new loans to Irish home-buyers and SMEs over the three year period of downsizing from this year.


    The Government intends to hold the senior management and boards of these banks to account for delivering on these commitments.


    But bank lending terms and conditions must remain fair. Banks cannot simply blame the private sector for not making loan applications or refusing ones with overly tough conditions.


    Of course, there are two sides to every coin. Those clamouring for new lending must remember that lending would be greatly facilitated if more Irish business leaders listened to Ireland’s call instead of U.S. ratings agencies and left their corporate deposits in Irish banks, which are now among the best capitalised banks in Europe.



    Microfinance Fund


    For the Government’s part, we will introduce in the Autumn a new Microfinance Fund for start-ups and a partial loan guarantee for businesses to help encourage bank lending in cases of market failure.



    Political and Constitutional Reform


    Change has to start at the top. The political system had to respond when the public lost faith in a broken system.


    • As such we are committed to overhauling the way politics and government work.
    • Politicians of the 31st Dáil will work harder than ever before.
    • Gone are the days of Garda drivers, severance payments for ministers & pensions being paid to sitting TDs. Instead, longer Dáil sitting times, more accountability and input, and fewer TDs in the next Dáil.



    Following 14 years of a complete absence of reform, new legislation to be passed in the next Dáil term will stop the unhealthy relationship that has existed in the past between politics and the business.


    All political donations will now be done in an open and transparent manner. It will effectively ban the acceptance of corporate donations by political parties



    Families


    I spoke this week about our children.


    I believe that we have made it clear about the lengths this government will go to , to keep our children safe and secure.


    Their childhood....innocent.


    The family is integral to children’s lives.


    Today many Irish families are suffocating in debt.


    Bills dropping like stealth bombs into the hall.


    I know there are people out there living all the clichés – heart in their mouth, up at night, sick with worry.


    The Government is acutely conscious of the difficulties that many homeowners are having in meeting their mortgage repayments on their homes.


    ‘Home’ being the crucial word.


    Most people did not speculate on property. They bought A HOME.


    The legacy of the property crash as a result of previous economic mismanagement is something that the new Government is constantly working on.


    We want to expand upon existing support measures like the Mortgage Interest Supplement, the Money Advice Budgeting Services, and the Central Bank of Ireland’s Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears.


    The Government Economic Management Council has asked that further urgent work be carried out with a view to identifying a range of responses appropriate to individual circumstances.


    This work concerned will be carried out by a Group in the Department of Finance and will report by end September.



    Conclusion


    In accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, John Hume quoted Yeats that


    Too much suffering can make a stone of the heart....


    Too much negativity can take the heart and the joy out of a nation....


    Yes, we are in difficult times.


    But for the sake of our children, we must look up, we must let them see that we have the courage to face these difficulties, to survive and rise and prosper again.


    That is our message, our ambition, our intention for the nation....all of us together..... as we face the landmark anniversary of our Republic.... 2016.
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  2. #2
    MrFunkyBoogaloo MrFunkyBoogaloo is offline

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    "This week’s new deal for Ireland was hard-won.


    It will reduce Ireland’s bailout costs by up to €800 million euro a year"
    Enda Kenny, ever the barefaced liar!
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  3. #3
    hiding behind a poster hiding behind a poster is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrFunkyBoogaloo View Post
    Enda Kenny, ever the barefaced liar!
    Why, because his figures are different to those dreamed up by some randomer on the internet?

    Seriously, you're colossally overestimating your own importance.
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  4. #4
    Marcos the black Marcos the black is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrFunkyBoogaloo View Post
    Enda Kenny, ever the barefaced liar!
    How can some one so intent on wallowing in their own misery have the word "Funky" in their name?

    Enda is pointing out a future for Ireland, a future that is brighter than where we are now.
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  5. #5
    Analyzer Analyzer is offline
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    Well, I suppose if Enda Kenny shows up at the McGill summer School, then that merely confirms that Kenny is just another shyster in a long line of shysters.

    A better man would have stayed away from an event that has become the start of an Annual BullSh1t€ fest that is best termed "the silly season".

    Kenny must telling quotation is
    My vision is that by 2016, Ireland will be internationally recognised as the best small country in the world in which to do business.
    Now, every small business operator that I know is having to deal with stupidity and BS from local authorities, which are dominated by FG party councillors, or their chums the ILP party councillors.

    His and Gilmore's parties are the source of the biggest problems for small business in this country.

    With massive unemployment, this is the essence of Kenny - the speech sounds great, but the strategy on the ground is completely flawed.
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  6. #6
    MrFunkyBoogaloo MrFunkyBoogaloo is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by hiding behind a poster View Post
    Why, because his figures are different to those dreamed up by some randomer on the internet?

    Seriously, you're colossally overestimating your own importance.
    Ah, there are none so blind as those who will not see.

    Enda Kenny and FG 'won' nothing! Greece won it for them.

    The savings proposed will not amount to 800 million.
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  7. #7
    Mrwoody Mrwoody is offline

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    Endas flat out making speeches these days does any body know if he writes them himself?
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  8. #8
    deepness deepness is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by Analyzer View Post
    the speech sounds great, but the strategy on the ground is completely flawed.
    I think this is the truth tbh.

    Not sure I can accept the deal was "hard won" either. Greece was the real issue for the EU and any deal for Greece had to applied to Ireland and Portugal to keep the markets happy. Any work is to commended but to pretend that the external factors were not the main influence is a load of waffle imo.
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  9. #9
    MrFunkyBoogaloo MrFunkyBoogaloo is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcos the black View Post
    How can some one so intent on wallowing in their own misery have the word "Funky" in their name?

    Enda is pointing out a future for Ireland, a future that is brighter than where we are now.
    Utter twaddle! Enda Kenny proposes a future wherein the children and adults of Ireland will pay the bad debts of foreign and domestic banks. How is that brighter?
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  10. #10
    MrFunkyBoogaloo MrFunkyBoogaloo is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrwoody View Post
    Endas flat out making speeches these days does any body know if he writes them himself?
    Well he can't add so we can only speculate on his literacy??
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