Senator Daly: I quote from The Scarlet Pimpernel:
They seek him here, they seek him there
[They] seek him everywhere
Is he in heaven or is he in hell?
That damned elusive Pimpernel
Today, we see the very elusive Scarlet Pimpernel of European banking, Mr. Jean-Claude Trichet, appear, but not appear, before the banking inquiry. He is in Kilmainham and will answer some questions from members of the Joint Committee of Inquiry into the Banking Crisis. It is quite amazing that the European Central Bank is displaying such arrogance and disregard for the Irish Government and Irish people. We were told it did not appear before national parliaments, but it does. It appeared before the Italian finance committee and answered questions from and yet it refused to appear before our inquiry. That is the arrogance of the European Central Bank and the Scarlet Pimpernel of that institution, Mr. Jean-Claude Trichet.
The Government has been given, to put it diplomatically, the two fingers not only by the European Central Bank but also by the Irish banks, some of which have said they will not reduce the variable mortgage interest rate despite the Government’s promise to deploy the four horses of the apocalypse if they did not. The Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank have said they will not do so. The Government’s mettle is now being tested. It is being asked again to stand up for the Irish people and impose the levies or bring in the legislation that would force the banks to reduce the rate. Will the Government do it? The track record shows that it probably will not.
A leading bank CEO is getting paid €365,000 per year, or €7,000 per week or €1,000 per day, for doing a job in the same bank he was in charge of when the whole thing fell apart. We will not name him.
Senator Daly: I did not want to be ruled out of order for naming Richie. Individuals with a variable rate mortgage of €200,000 must pay an extra €6,000 per year because of the variable rate and because the Government will not stand up for them. Would they not love one week’s wages of that bank CEO to pay back the money he is robbing from them because the Government will not stand up for them?
An Cathaoirleach: The Senator should not use the word “robbing” in relation to a person he has already identified.
Senator Daly: All right. He is not robbing it; he is taking it legally. The Government said he should not do it, so I hope it will bring in legislation to ensure this activity is regarded as robbing.
I praise TG4 for an excellent documentary it showed last night on the life of Tom Barry, an extraordinary gentlemen whose father was in the RIC. He was in the British Army himself and was serving in Iraq when he heard about the 1916 Rising. He was involved in the War of Independence and had such regard for Michael Collins that Mr. Collins’s family asked him to give the speech at the unveiling of a monument to Mr. Collins. He spoke about the tragedy of the Civil War. TG4’s excellent documentary was a great exposéof information regarding the famous ambush at Kilmichael. Mr. Peter Hart, the author of what could only be described as a tissue of lies and a book of fraud, should apologise to the families of those involved in the Kilmichael ambush for making up what has now been revealed to have been an absolute falsehood. He did an extreme disservice to Tom Barry and the boys of Kilmichael. The record was put straight last night, thanks to TG4.