15 January 2016
By Bryan T. Smyth
The new Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, Phillip Lane, has agreed to meet with a delegation from the Cork based ‘Ballyhea Says No’ group to discuss the issues arising from their long-running campaign (they have marched every week since March 6th 2011, 254 weeks and counting) against “the imposition of bank-debt on the Irish people”.
Included in the Ballyhea delegation will be TDs Catherine Murphy and Joan Collins, MEPs Marian Harkin and Luke Ming Flanagan (subject to confirmation, commitments elsewhere) and Louise O’Reilly, representing Sinn Féin. Peter Mathews TD is unable to be present but has created his own summary of the situation, with suggested solutions, and that will be presented on his behalf. Fiona Fitzpatrick and Diarmuid O’Flynn will represent the Ballyhea group.
Over the nearly five years of their campaign, apart from the weekly Sunday march, the Ballyhea group has been to Brussels on several occasions, met senior officials from the European Commission, the European Council, the ECON committee of the European Parliament; in Dublin we have met senior officials from the ECB element of the Troika, twice met former Central Bank of Ireland Governor Patrick Honahan, all at their own expense, and on every occasion have argued Ireland’s case for bank-debt write-off, specifically the €31bn Promissory Note debt.
Ballyhea spokesman Diarmuid O’Flynn said “It is our intention to again take up this debate with Mr Lane; our hope is that he will agree to then take our case to the Governing Council of the ECB, or at least prepare the way for us to make our case directly to that body.”