Irish stoicism over Anglo should not be mistaken for complacency, Gilmore says

Tánaiste hopes Drumm will return from US to Ireland to participate in official inquiry

The Tánaiste made the remarks on the second day of his visit to Washington.

The Tánaiste made the remarks on the second day of his visit to Washington.


Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said that the stoicism of the Irish public in the face of economic hardship should not be mistaken for any lack of anger or disgust at the Anglo Tapes conversations.

In a discussion following a speech in Washington, the Minister for Foreign Affairs said many people have lost jobs due to the recklessness in banking, demonstrated on the leaked tapes of telephone calls between Anglo Irish Bank executives at the height of the banking crisis in 2008.

The Irish public was showing a resolve and determination to solve the country’s economic problems and that bemoaning or protesting about the crisis was “not enough,” he said.

“I don’t think anybody should under-estimate or under-state the degree of anger that is felt by people in Ireland about the release of the tapes. The level of arrogance, presumption, recklessness that was demonstrated in those conversations is shocking for us,” he said.

He was responding to a questioner who noted that millions of people in Brazil had protested over a 20 cent increase in the bus fare while the Irish had shown remarkable stoicism during their crisis.

Speaking after the discussion, Mr Gilmore told The Irish Times that he hoped David Drumm, the former chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank, would return from the United States to Ireland to participate in an official inquiry into the banking crisis now that legislation had been passed to establish that inquiry.

“Mr Drumm should come home and cooperate with that investigation and give evidence to it,” he said of the former banker who has refused to return to Ireland to be interviewed in the Anglo investigations.

Economic matters dominated the second day of Mr Gilmore’s two-day trip to Washington, following a day of discussions on Capitol Hill about the proposed US immigration legislation.

The Tánaiste spoke about the progress made during Ireland’s EU Presidency on the proposed EU-US free trade agreement, on which the official negotiations started in Washington this week.

Mr Gilmore met executives from about 20 major US multinationals, including Apple, Facebook, Boeing and Microsoft, at a business breakfast briefing where he discussed the Irish economic recovery.

He met David Lipton, the first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund, one of the troika of bailout lenders to Ireland, at the fund’s headquarters yesterday.

The Tánaiste said that during the meeting he stressed how difficult the three-year bailout programme had been for the Irish people and “the burden that people have had to bear.”

He told Mr Lipton about the importance of exiting the programme and building a recovery that was “not just about figures on paper” but which could be felt by people in their standard of living.

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