Following the overnight agreement reached in Brussels, Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin commented:  “I welcome the fact that there is some sort of a deal agreed, but the detail leaves a number of serious causes for concern.  In addition, the apparent withdrawal of Ireland’s almost year-old demand to write down bank-related debt is a major step backwards.

The exact details of this deal are neither clear nor formally agreed so it is impossible to assess whether it will actually deal with the crisis.  There are many steps yet to be taken before new funds are in place and the overall size of the funding is at the low end of what was expected.  The positive reaction of the markets is encouraging, but there was a similar rally after July’s unsuccessful deal.

In relation to the banks, the deal appears to mark a significant backing away from the government’s position.  It has been Ireland’s position since last year that bank debt should be written down in the context of a Europe-wide deal.  This deal has now been agreed but there is no mention whatsoever of Ireland’s bank debt.  

The Government confirmed in the Dáil yesterday that Ireland had not even tabled this topic for mention at the summit.

Fine Gael and Labour campaigned with the mantra “not a red cent more” for the banks and that it would be ‘Frankfurt’s way or Labour’s way’.  Unlike the last government Fine Gael and Labour have raised a white flag and have not even sought a co-ordinated write down of debt.  It marks the final end of the cynical Labour and Fine Gael pre-election posturing on bank bondholders.”