Govt insists Ireland had to pay Anglo bond

Thursday 26 January 2012 11.21
Ireland paid €1.25bn to Anglo Irish bank bondholders today
Ireland paid €1.25bn to Anglo Irish bank bondholders today

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has joined the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance in stressing that Ireland had no alternative but to pay €1.25bn to Anglo Irish Bank bondholders today.

During Leaders' Questions in the Dáil, Mr Kenny said he did not like to have to make this kind of repayment, but that there was no alternative.

"To say you don't pay is nonsensical," Mr Kenny said.

He claimed it would lead to a catastrophe and a decimation of public services, such as in Greece.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams called on the Taoiseach to name the bondholders, saying that "people have a right to know who you are giving their money to".

However, the Taoiseach said that he did not have the bondholders' names.

Earlier, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and Finance Minister Michael Noonan similarly stressed that Ireland had no choice but to pay the bondholders.

They say the European Central Bank warned that defaulting on the payment could have negative consequences.

Mr Noonan said that not paying the bondholders would cost the country more.

Arriving at Government Buildings for the weekly Economic Management Council meeting Mr Noonan said: "All along we have been told by the ECB the consequences would be serious if we did not pay."

Mr Gilmore said he understood that taxpayers are annoyed at having to pay the unsecured bondholders and that it riled him as well.

He said the Government is continuing to discuss Ireland's debt situation with the Troika and he would be hopeful of a result.

He said: "Their whole approach is already paying dividends as seen by the yield on Irish bonds now dropping to 6% for the first time since the bailout began."

Two small groups are protesting against the repayment of Anglo bondholders at the Dept of Finance.

A number of them have their arms linked through barrels of concrete, which they say will prevent their removal.