Public addresses by Taoiseach and Tánaiste to mark bailout exit

Enda Kenny to make his second televised address to the nation on Sunday night

Fri, Dec 13, 2013, 01:00

Two major public addresses by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore will be the key events of the Government’s high-profile programme to mark the formal exit from the bailout.

Mr Kenny will make use of the occasion of the formal ending of the programme overseen by the EU-IMF troika to make his second televised address to the nation on Sunday night – his first was broadcast in the days leading up to the Coalition’s first budget in December 2011.

Mr Gilmore will also give a “state of the union” type address this morning at the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin (IIEA), a think tank in Dublin.


Briefings
A full schedule of events has been programmed by the Government today for domestic and international media.

There will be a breakfast briefing by Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton at 8am followed by a similar briefing by Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton an hour later.

The main event in Government Buildings will be a joint press conference given by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin. Ministers will be available for interviews and there will be panel discussions in the afternoon with senior officials from the relevant departments.

Mr Gilmore’s speech at the IIEA is expected to have two broad themes – the lessons learned from the bailout as well as setting out how those lessons will be applied in the post-bailout scenario.

The weekend’s events will culminate with Mr Kenny’s address to the nation on television on Sunday night. Taoisigh have a right under broadcasting legislation to address the nation but such addresses are usually reserved for situations regarded as a national emergency. In this instance, the Government made a request asking RTÉ to make time available for the Taoiseach to speak on Sunday night.


Fairness
The broadcaster was not obliged to, but acceded to the request. In the interests of fairness it has allowed broadcasting time to Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and the technical group respectively on Monday for each to respond to the address.

Government officials said last weekend that Ministers were keen that the bailout exit would be low-key.