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Analysis/Comment Last Updated: Aug 15, 2011 - 5:58 AM

President Gay Byrne and the 'mad people' in Brussels running Ireland
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Aug 12, 2011 - 7:14 AM

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Gay Byrne
A possible President Gay Byrne would likely provide entertainment for some, railing against the 'mad people' in Brussels running Ireland, from his perch in Áras an Uachtaráin, the Irish president's residence, until the advanced age of 84 years.

In May 1973, Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave accused the Fianna Fáil Party of using Áras an Uachtaráin, as a cross between a museum and a morgue. It was an insensitive reference to Éamon de Valera, the 91-year old blind outgoing president, who was the founder of Fianna Fáil. Today, there is no need for sensitivity in seeing through the strategy of the electorally chastened once dominant party as it seeks to neuter some of its toxicity by offering to nominate the veteran and talented broadcaster, as a candidate in the forthcoming presidential election. Byrne has said if he decides to stand in the election he would do so as an independent. However, even so, he has said in the past that he had always voted Fianna Fáil and he would hardly attack it for its past gross mismanagement when the alternative of seeking overseas scapegoats, is alluring.

Byrne like many others, in recent years, suffered big losses on bank shares and on investments in the property syndicates that were organised by Derek Quinlan, the property investor. However, it is generally recommended that near retirement and on retirement, people should not have a big  portion of their investments in risky assets.

Even so, February 21, 2007 was the day for the naive, foolish or greedy, to cash out at last, when the ISEQ index rose to an-all time high of 10,041 and the Financial sub-index rose to 18,098.

Bank of Ireland closed at €18.65; Anglo Irish closed at €16.64 and AIB closed unchanged at €23.95 - - AIB traded at 7 cent yesterday.

Byrne said last month that he is still working on assignments for RTÉ, the State broadcaster, because of his wealth losses. This may also be a factor in his possible candidacy for the office of president.

On Wednesday night, Gay Byrne told reporters that Ireland was being “run by mad people in Brussels.”

“What we’re seeing now in Europe, as far as I’m concerned, is a culmination of all my concerns about it down through the years. I never thought we would reach the disastrous stage we are at at the moment in Europe in my lifetime."

Byrne's antipathy towards the European Union is likely genuine but promoting ourselves as victims of nefarious foreigners, while popular, serves no useful purpose.

Our economic woes were overwhelmingly made at home.

When we needed allies in Europe we had none, as we thought we had invented the free lunch during the boom. We can do without a clone of Vaclav Klaus, the Czech president, in Ireland.

Dublin Review of Books: Use the Mirror

© Copyright 2011 by Finfacts.com

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