Fianna Fáil Seanad Finance Spokesperson Darragh O’Brien has called on the Taoiseach to clarify the Government’s position on a debt write down for Ireland.  His call follows comments of Europe Minister Lucinda Creighton on last night’s Tonight with Vincent Browne where she flatly contradicted the Taoiseach’s claim to Dáil Éireann that Ireland has not sought and will not seek a write down of the country’s debt.

Senator O’Brien commented, “There are few issues more important in Government than the size and management of the country’s debt.  It is fair to assume therefore that Government has a clear strategy and approach to the debt.

“We thought we had this clarity when the Taoiseach told the Dáil, in very clear terms, that both Fine Gael and Labour had abandoned election pledges and that the Government would not be seeking a debt write-down.  On 24th January he said, ‘We will pay our way. We have never looked for a debt write-down’.

“But last night his Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton, who claims to be close to all such negotiations, was equally clear in contradicting the Taoiseach.  She claimed that the Government had fought hard for a debt write-down and shrugged when presented with video evidence of the Taoiseach’s statement to the Dáil”.

“Who is telling the truth? Either the Taoiseach misled the Dáil or Minister Creighton is continuing to mislead the public.  I am calling on the Taoiseach to respond to Minister Creighton’s claims.  If she is correct he needs to come back to the Dáil and explain how and why he got it wrong.  If she was incorrect, she should be told to apologise and stop peddling the myth that this Government ever had any intention of honouring its election pledges.”