Massive slide in Irish Banking Shares on a day of unparalleled losses.

The Irish Stock Market suffered it's largest ever one-day fall down 13 per cent.

The jaw-dropping slide in Irish bank shares today is unprecedented for recent times.

The fall was sparked by banking collapses across Europe and the fear is that it will spread to the heart of banking in the European Union. At the end of trading today, Bank of Ireland shares were down 17 per cent, Allied Irish shares lost 15 per cent, Anglo Irish was down 46 per cent and Irish Life & Permanent ended 34 per cent down.

DEPFA Bank in Dublin's IFSC made money by giving long term loans to the public sector in Europe. This has now dried up causing major problems for its parent group Munich's Hypo Real Estate. Germany's government stepped in by providing guarantees to the value of €35 billion. 

The governments of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg stepped in to rescue Fortis, one of Europe's largest banks at a cost of €11.2 billion. The Belgian group Fortis has now been nationalised.  

In Britain, the government nationalised mortgage lender Bradford and Bingly to the value of €50 billion. 

Spanish bank Santander is buying the lender's deposits and almost two hundred branches. 

All of these deals have implications for the Irish banking sector. 

Joe Gill of Bloxham Stockbrokers comments on the nationalisation of these European banks. 

The biggest issue for us is that western governments from the United States to the Eurozone to the UK are standing full square behind depositors and that's a critical message.

EU Internal Markets Commissioner Charlie McCreevy warns of the effect of the banking crisis in terms of the employment and public finances. 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 29 September 2008. The reporter is David Murphy.