When Will Quinn Apologise To Ireland?

I know that it’s the silly season, but there are things that should be a joke, but unfortunately aren’t.

Apparently, the good burghers of Fermanagh District Council have sent a letter of support to Sean Quinn and his family. For those not up on the latest fiasco in the sad and ongoing story of the Irish economy, Sean Quinn was a businessman who went bust, and ended up leaving the state saddled with billions of his debts.

But, despite this, which means, to give just one example, that everyone taking out insurance in Ireland could be paying a levy to cover the costs of Quinn Insurance going bankrupt (€1.65 billion and risingfor 25 years, lots of people seem to think that he’s been hard-done by. But then, some of the Quinn clan have been imprisoned, and all they did was a bit of asset-stripping, swindling the state out of a measly €455 million.

So hard done by has he been, that thousands attended a rally in his support, including a well known priest and senior sports people, apparently, according to one of the organisers, because he created so many jobs.

There were seven people in my family and six of us emigrated and I went to work in Dublin back in the Seventies. There were no jobs in the area and the Troubles were bad at that time. A few years later, Mr Quinn revitalised the area and provided employment.

Irish unemployment in 2007? 4.6%. Irish unemployment in 2012? 14.8% and rising.

And in case that didn’t make Mr Quinn feel better, now we have the letter from Fermanagh District Council. Now obviously these people are paid by the UK tax-payers*, so perhaps they simply don’t care about the misery that Quinn’s stupidity has brought on Ireland. But let’s not forget that the UK has had to bail Ireland out itself (with a €3.5 billion loan), meaning that the people paying their salaries are also, indirectly, paying the cost of Quinn’s actions. Actions which the Irish High Court described as:

…dishonesty and sharp practice…blatant, dishonest and deceitful…as far removed from the concept of honour and respectability as it is possible to be.

Which means of course, that the tax-payers of the UK & Ireland get to pay for his criminality twice. All because of what can only be described as a misplaced sense of loyalty, but not to fellow citizens, but to what Fintan O’Toole so elegantly describes as:

good GAA people, good Cavan people, good Fermanagh people…the “imagined communities” that command respect and allegiance

It’s the sort of thing that will either make you laugh or cry.

Meanwhile, in more serious news, there was uproar when The Daily Telegraph tried to claim Irish boxer Katie Taylor as British. Except that it was probably a typo. And they have now apologised.

Hopefully all the Katie Taylor twitchforkers will get just as annoyed about the way they’re being made to pay for the actions of a man who refuses to apologise to anyone.

*It seems that local councillors aren’t paid, at least in England & Wales (it’s amazing how hard it is to find information about how local government works in Northern Ireland**). But council officers, who do what the councillors decide needs to be done, such as writing, printing and sending a letter, are. To be honest, I resent the cost of a 2nd class stamp being spent commiserating with the Quinns.

**Maybe it doesn’t.

Sorry by butupa on flickr

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