‘Enda Is Recognised In Europe As Being Quite Skilful’



Parliamentary correspondent at The Irish Times, Michael O’Regan; Enda and Nicolas Sarkozy in 2014

This morning.

During The Gathering slot on the Today With Sean O’Rourke show, the panel discussed the fallout of Brexit.

The panel included Stephen Donnelly, Social Democrat TD; Michael O’Regan,  parliamentary correspondent of The Irish Times; Dearbhail McDonald, Group Business Editor at Independent News and Media; and Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament.

During their discussion, they talked about the effectiveness of Enda Kenny when it comes to  matters concerning Brexit.

Stephen Donnelly: “I would have no faith in Enda Kenny or Michael Noonan negotiating anything on behalf of Ireland, on a European level. At every single point, during the crisis,  Ireland had either the worst deal, in terms of the bailout or the joint worst deal and every single improvement we got came from Portugal or Greece or another country.”

Michael O’Regan:That’s unfair.”

Donnelly: “No, that is absolutely…”

O’Regan:That’s deeply unfair. That’s deeply unfair.”

Donnelly: “They are the facts.”

O’Regan:No, no, no. That’s deeply unfair to the negotiation skills of Enda Kenny and Michael Noonan and others. Noonan is a very wily, and Kenny…”

Donnelly: “Michael…I’m sorry, Michael…”

O’Regan: “…is recognised in Europe as being quite skilful.”

Donnelly: “And if I was in Europe and Enda Kenny kept coming over and paying me all of this money that he didn’t own, on behalf of the Irish people, I’d be telling everyone he’s a great lad as well. The facts. Let’s look at the facts.  The facts are, we had an every, single point, over the next number of years, the worst deal, or the joint worst deal. The facts are that Eamon Gilmore and Enda Kenny came back and said, ‘look, we have a seismic shift, we’re going to get retrospective recapitalisation’. And the facts are it never happened.

Sean O’Rourke: “But they got back…”

Mairead McGuinness: “The facts also are that the economy has recovered, and needs to recover more, that employment has increased, that there is stability. The option… would you have pulled the plug completely and collapsed the economy, like what Greece tried to do?

Donnelly: “It’s a non-question. Obviously…”

McGuinness: “It’s not a non-question.”

Donnelly: “Mairead, asking someone if they’d collapse the economy is a non-question. The question is when Michael Noonan…”

McGuinness: “Well it could have been the outcome of what you are proposing.”

Donnelly: “The question is when Michael Noonan and Enda Kenny went out to Europe, did they, at any time, get us a better deal?  And the answer to that question is: no, they did not. Our better deals came from Greece and Portugal negotiating better deals and then we got them as well. Just on the leadership, Sean, very quickly. The TDs kind of banging the drum is one thing, actually, the much more interesting bit is the fact that Enda Kenny’s chief economic advisor is on his way to the EIB in a few months time. You want to look at the most telling timetable for the Taoiseach’s departure, it’s when his chief economic advisor leaves, it’s not when…”

O’Rourke: “Sure he can get another one. Sure people are coming and going in the White House all the time…”

McGuinness: “Yeah, I don’t think that’s quite on the button..”

O’Rourke: “And the state department in the United States.. and look Alistair Campbell moved out of 10, Downing Street, long before Tony Blair.”

Listen back here in full

Previously: Embedded

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30 thoughts on “‘Enda Is Recognised In Europe As Being Quite Skilful’

  1. Mulder

    Useful, as in making the tea, holding the coats and good for a bit of a laugh.
    Now if he could only do a bit of a reel on the fiddle and song and dance, he could provide a very good floor show.

  2. Maria

    Then why did Sarkozy slap him on the back of the head? No other head of state would be shown such disrespect in Europe. Why did French BFM TV make a parody of him on their politics show? If he is so skilful why are the Irish People paying a debt they do not owe? If he is so skilful why could he not get up a writedown? If he is so skilful why did Merkel not only tell him that the Irish were not going to get any favourable treatment in the aftermath of Brexit and then look on down on him like he was crap on her shoe? Mick O’Regan is talking absolute nonsense!

    1. Cowenwatch

      Enda even admitted he never asked for a debt write down nor would he!

      Staggering stupidity to even say such a thing to the people he’s meant to lead but then again, it is Enda.

  3. bisted

    …that intervention by Michael O’Regan leaping to Enda’s defence was quite extraordinary…you could understand it from an Indo hack…

  4. Mulder

    He is smart in terms of Irish politics, he sat some 40 years in the Dail before he became PM, the reason he became leader of the country, is because the opposition self destructed and state of the nation back in 2010 and recently he basically lost the election despite the growth and rest.
    He is leader now in name only with folk in his own party calling for him to name the day he is going to go.
    So yeah, smart or as in Ireland a cute ho.r.

  5. Owen C

    I don’t think Noonan and Kenny were particularly good negotiators, but the whole point of Eurozone crisis response was that the creditors (ie Germany) took a hardline response and negotiation was somewhat pointless, at least until progress was shown first from the debtor nations. So better to play the good student and save your ammo for later.

    “Greece was a good negotiator” is possibly the stupidest comment anyone could ever make. It’s a bit like saying a person threatening to kill themselves is a good negotiator because he gets some initial support from the police shortly before they lock him up in a mental institution for the rest of his life. Varoufakis proved to be a disaster.

      1. Owen C

        Well, the ECB weren’t offering it to anyone. It was the EU and the EFSF. And Greece didn’t “negotiate” it, reality hit everyone else that the prior rate was unsustainable. Also, Greek negotiations didnt really turn out all that well in the end, did they, given the capital controls they ultimately had to enact?

        1. declan

          whether the Greek bailout package was adequate is not really the issue – the issue is they negotiated a lower interest rate, while Ireland effectively did nothing.

          Commenting on how the Greek bailout progressed afterwards doesn’t seen relevant either – unless you’re suggesting the Greek bailout would have somehow been more sustainable if they were paying a higher interest rate on their loan?

  6. forfeckssake

    They’ve admitted that when they were in discussions with the Troika they never really asked for anything much. That may be bad negotiation or it may that they actually think that the state should have taken on and paid back all of the debt of the Irish banks. I suspect it is the second of these and Enda and Noonan imagine that they’ve done a very good job negotiating the minor changes they did.

  7. RuilleBuille

    The only deals we got were on the back of advances made by Spain, Portugal and Greece. Our government was so timid they were too frightened to even ask for a deal.

  8. 15 cents

    Donnelly must’ve felt like he was sitting hunkered down in a creche surrounded by babies as he tried to explain his points as simply as possible, only for the babies to roll around puke, fight, call for their mammies. I pray for a day in my lifetime that sees the Soc Dems in power. The only party who talk sense and have credible plans for the country and how to run it, all the rest are just after cozy jobs and they’ll say whatever it takes, be it truth or not, to get there and stay there, showing no interest in actually serving the country and its people.

  9. 15 cents

    ps. take me off the naughty list for god sake. neither of us even know why im on it, its going on ages.

  10. perricrisptayto

    Not one of that panel will ever have to worry about putting bread on their individual table(s), now thats a real fact.
    The Sean O’Rourke show is sponsored by and brought to you by Fine Gael.

  11. some old queen

    Donnelly is right. Kenny is a smarmy fool. He doesn’t even have the confidence of his own party.

    I have asked this question before. Why are the polling companies not surveying if people have confidence in his ability to negotiate for Ireland?

  12. Truth in the News

    O’Regan in his pompous voice, all Kenny has done is implement EU taxes
    and directives, and screw the taxpayer to bale out bankrupt German banks
    As to Noonan put him in the Palm House in the Botanic Gardens, he would
    not find his way out the back door.

  13. rory

    Listening to this segment on Fridays, I wonder if O’Rourke believes some of the things he says. Sometimes he takes an attitude that seems terribly misinformed. I wonder if it is just to make some noise, to keep the conversation rollicking along.

  14. rory

    Everyone in the studio seemed to disregard Donnelly’s last comment pretty quickly. But I wonder if said comment (about the departure of Kenny’s economic adviser) has any merit?

  15. SOMK

    “would you have pulled the plug completely and collapsed the economy, like what Greece tried to do?”

    Theory goes by the time we were in 2015 the core countries had already insulated themselves from contagion, had such a policy been enacted in 2010-2012 rather than 2015 the Greeks (and ourselves) would have had a much stronger hand at the negotiating table. Anyway it wasn’t the Greeks who pulled the plug it was the ECB who turned off the liquidity taps, the Greeks arguably provoked if, but they didn’t hold the gun or pull the trigger.

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