Toxic legacy of banking Act


Madam, – We enter the new year with the burden of the Credit Institutions (Stabilisation) Act 2010, the single most disproportionate and oppressive piece of financial legislation ever enacted by an Irish government.

It was rushed through the Oireachtas without adequate scrutiny or substantive debate. The decision by the President to refer it to the Council of State, together with the public reservations expressed by the European Central Bank (ECB), reflect the threat which this legislation now poses not alone to established commercial practice – and in particular, the international standing of Ireland’s financial sector – but also to our democratic institutions.

The ECB was given less than a week’s notice for its views. The legislation was pushed through the Dáil in less than a day. An enormous volume of legislation, with far-reaching implications for financial and economic stability has now been bulldozed through the Oireachtas, without the kind of independent and rigorous consideration which legislation of this nature merits – not least because of its impact on the stability of our economy, including our financial sector, and also for our democratic institutions.

As the financial crisis in Ireland, and the economic trauma that it has generated, continue to unfold, there are increasingly frenetic attempts to assert through strident political control, what is so clearly missing in terms of reasoned and forward-looking policies.

It was a bad day’s work by “legislators” to roll over and let this happen. It is a toxic legacy to pass to a country that was established as a Democratic Republic. – Yours, etc,


Ashford, Co Wicklow.

Madam, – I was disappointed that our President, Mary McAleese, for whom I have a high regard, did not send the Credit Institutions (Stabilisation) Act 2010 to the Supreme Court. I am worried at the indecent haste of our Minister for Finance in getting High Court approval for a further bailout of AIB in secrecy because it was a matter of “extreme commercial sensitivity”.

Given the indecent haste and the secrecy together with the lack of outcry from the other political parties and some social partners I fear that the plan is to hide the true relationship between the political establishment in this country and the bank. I believe that the indebtedness of Irish politicians to Anglo-Irish and other institutions has been covered up and this recent event is an attempt, pre-election, to do the same with AIB. I believe that the Irish people should be made aware of the indebtedness of our politicians to the banks which have been bailed out and effectively nationalised. – Yours, etc,


The Rise, Glasnevin, Dublin 9.