Last Wednesday night, February 6 was an historic and dramatic night for Dáil Eireann. Shortly before 3am the Dáil members passed the IBRC Resolution Bill 2013, liquidating the former Anglo Irish Bank and replacing the promissory noted with long term Government bonds.
The bill was passed 113 to 35. The main basis for the emergency legislation was to replace the promissory notes with long-term bonds. The first principal payment on these bonds will be made in 25 years time, 2038, with the final payment being made in 2053. The Bill was passed through the Seanad after 5am, before President Michael D Higgins signed it into legislation.
The Bill explicitly allows for any of IBRC’s assets or liabilities to be sold to anyone who’s willing to take on such obligations. This includes security on loans, the obligation to repay loans, and all the rest.
800 IBRC staff were made redundant but some may be redeployed. A special liquidator from KPMG was appointed by the Minister for Finance to the IBRC and all of its assets including its loan book of about €16 billion will be transferred to the National Management Agency (NAMA) which will manage the loans until around 2020.
The majority of Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil members voted yes, while all Sinn Fein members voted no and the majority of Indepdendents voted no.
Here is how your local TDs voted:
Sligo/ North Leitrim:
Michael Colreavy (SF): No
Tony McLoughlin (FG): Yes
John Perry (FG): Yes
Roscommon/ South Leitrim:
Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan (Ind): No
Frank Feighan (FG): Yes
Denis Naughten (Ind/FG): Yes
Speaking in the Dail before the vote, Independent Deputy Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan said “This Bill is nothing but a cover to move the promissory notes from this supposed ‘bank’ to the ECB. It will, if ye vote for it, crystallise this as national debt. It will facilitate the situation whereby you will be able to turn something that is not our debt into a long-term mortgage.”
Deputy Flanagan along with Joan Collins, Mick Wallace and Clare Daly are seeking to join David Hall’s case in order to insure that the provisions of the constitution are met, with regard to the appropriation of state funds.
“We went before the Supreme Court and indicated that we wished to bring a motion, to be added as a plaintiff in the case against the Minister for Finance, questioning the constitutionality of the Ministers powers under various acts, to make substantial payments of exchequer monies, without recourse to the Dail,” the group of TDs stated.
Chief justice Susan Denham will hear the application this Friday February 15.