Noonan insists bank debt deal will be done


Ireland will have a deal on its debt for the former Anglo Irish Bank by March 31st, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has insisted in the Dáil.

“We will have a deal before this year’s payment on the promissory note is due,” the Minister said. The State is required to pay €3.1 billion every year until March 2023 to cover losses at the failed bank.

Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty questioned the Minister yesterday and criticised the “pussyfooting” he claimed had gone on between the Government and the European Central Bank (ECB) for the past 18 months.

Mr Doherty asked if the governor of the Central Bank in Ireland had put a proposal to the ECB and whether it had been resisted. “Is the preferred option off the table and are we looking at Plan B?” he asked.

Mr Noonan said: “I stated that I believed a deal was likely. I have never varied my position by saying that the end date is March 31st.”

He added: “I have never given any date but that one.”

Mr Noonan insisted a deal would be achieved before the promissory note was due at the end of March.

“I am of the view that a satisfactory arrangement will be arrived at,” he said.