Sinn Féin protest at handover

Sinn Fein protesters against the possible handover of €3.1 billion to Anglo Irish Bank made their voices recently in Portlaoise.

Sinn Fein protesters against the possible handover of €3.1 billion to Anglo Irish Bank made their voices recently in Portlaoise.

Wearing masks of Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Táiniste Eamon Gilmore, the crowd which included local councillors and Deputy Brian Stanley, gathered outside AIB Bank in Lyster Square, organised by Sinn Féin.

Speaking afterwards Deputy Stanley said his party had opposed the handover of the payment since January 2011.

“This is a scandal at a time when ordinary citizens are facing further cuts in health, education and other services and when tens of thousands are being forced to emigrate due to a lack of Government investment in job creation,” he said.

He believes people may be criminalised for refusing to pay the €100 household charge.

“Householders are facing threats of fines if they refuse to pay the new Fine Gael/Labour house tax. A tax that’s being implemented to fill the hole in the state’s finances created by the Government’s removal of €166 million out of the Local Government fund. The cost to the people of Laois for the Promissory Note to be paid this week is €49 million. This would not be necessary if the Government weren’t bailing out failed banks and making good the fortunes of unguaranteed bondholders,” he said.

Deputy Stanley said the suggested deal regarding the €3.1 billion Promissory Note offers no solution other than to converts private debt to public debt.

“They are placing the debts of private banks on the shoulders of Irish citizens which we will be paying for years to come and we don’t know what interest will be charged.” Dep Stanley said.