There are lies, damned lies, and something else. All we need, to know that Enda Kenny isn’t living on the same planet as everyone else, is his embarrassingly ignorant decision to lead Fine Gael into the 2016 general election campaign under the slogan of Recovery. Micheál Martin at least acknowledges that Ireland is in a state of economic and social ruin, but he is quite wrong to protest that his Fianna Fáil party isn’t to be blamed for everything. No other party in government did as much as Fianna Fáil to bring this country to its knees, and the unimaginably horrific position we now find ourselves in must be laid at the feet of the Fianna Fáil gangsters and their lackeys. What Enda Kenny and Joan Burton’s coalition has to be held to account for is its complete and utter incompetence at dealing with what can only be described as a national state of crisis.
Homeless figures, reflecting the extreme end of socio-economic failure, illustrate perfectly the total absence of anything close to a recovery. Every year since 2007 the numbers of those living rough on the street and in emergency accommodation have been on the increase. The Peter McVerry Trust publicised the fact that between Christmas 2014 and Christmas 2015 1,700 more people were recorded as homeless – an increase of forty-three percent, and at that time thirty percent of Ireland’s 5,440 homeless people were children. Over the month of January, according to a report by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, 125 families became homeless, bringing the total number of families living in emergency accommodation in the city to 769 – a sorry statistic that includes 1,570 children.
Where then is Enda Kenny’s Fine Gael recovery? In fairness, during the last televised leader’s debate he conceded that people are not feeling the recovery. Well if people aren’t feeling the recovery, then who or what is? If people aren’t feeling the improving effects of an economic recovery it simply isn’t right to speak of a recovery. It’s just a lie. There is no recovery for the people. There is however a recovery for the bank accounts of those who have profited from the misery of so many; for characters like Denis O’Brien.https://twitter.com/jetpack/status/697909315936632832
While owing IRBC (what had been Anglo Irish Bank) hundreds of millions of euros O’Brien bought Sitesev (which was €150 million in debt to IRBC) from IRBC in a deal that saw the bank write off Siteserv’s €150 million debt and a clean €100 million of O’Brien’s. In 2013 GMC Sierra, a subsidiary of Siteserv, won the state contract to install water meters around the country (when we say “won” we should note O’Brien’s bid was not the highest). O’Brien and a few more like him have made a killing from austerity in Ireland. At every turn there have been signs of preferential deals between these oligarchs and Kenny’s government. What the state has gotten in return is a ledger book “recovery,” but one the people can never feel.