Garret FitzGerald, the best taoiseach we could have had

RahenyFG

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Just a reflection on Garret FitzGerald, taoiseach 1981-1982 and 1982-1987. I reckon he could have been the best taoiseach we ever had if a few things were different. If the economy wasn't as bad, the FG-Labour coalition or FG may have got re-elected in 1987. His attempts to liberalise Irish society went to no avail as Ireland was still a deeply conservative Catholic society at this time. His crowning glory is ultimately the Anglo Irish Agreement which cemented the Republic having a voice in the North. A minor glory was not allowing the debt in the 80s to spiral further out of control.

All in all, a liberal taoiseach of honesty and integrity, if circumstances were different, would have been the best taoiseach ever.
 


Morte

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The economy was in a shambles for the entire time he was in and Fianna Fail were able to arrest it when they replaced him. I understand the difficulties with Fianna Fail and Labour but the buck stops with him and he was abysmal at dealing with the overriding concern of the time. Lenihan has been a pretty good minister for finance if you're prepared to overlook the banks. Garret would have been good if the country was ticking along nicely. I don't think this would have been enough to warrant calling him the best ever though.

I always think Garret is a mirror image of Dev. Both made great strides to achieve their goals and were certainly great if you shared their cultural viewpoint and valued it above all else. Their day to day running of the country was abysmal.
 

SlabMurphy

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Just a reflection on Garret FitzGerald, taoiseach 1981-1982 and 1982-1987. I reckon he could have been the best taoiseach we ever had if a few things were different. If the economy wasn't as bad, the FG-Labour coalition or FG may have got re-elected in 1987. His attempts to liberalise Irish society went to no avail as Ireland was still a deeply conservative Catholic society at this time. His crowning glory is ultimately the Anglo Irish Agreement which cemented the Republic having a voice in the North. A minor glory was not allowing the debt in the 80s to spiral further out of control.

All in all, a liberal taoiseach of honesty and integrity, if circumstances were different, would have been the best taoiseach ever.
You mean Gerret FitzThatcher ? It was said of Fitzgerald that if Thatcher blew her nose Fitzgerald would apologise and then clean her nose for her. He was probably the most servile, apologetic quisling the brits had running this state since it's inception - and that's saying something.

As for " he could have been the best taoiseach we ever had if a few things were different. " - yeah and I could pull Miss World if a few things were different :rolleyes:

And his " His attempts to liberalise Irish society " - The buffon was the one who was the root of the infamous X Case. GF gave an assurance to some obscure Catholic religious pressure group when he was in Knock that he would hold a referendum on the Abortion wording. They and the whole Catholic Church bandwagon then went into full overdrive resulting in the change to the constitution and the disastorious X Case some years later. Some " attempts to liberalise Irish society " :rolleyes: Then there was the first divorce referendum, which of course been the clown he is, it was badly constructed and impractical and failed.

As for the Anglo Irish Agreement ( AIA ) Thatcher and co. was running the show, he only doted the i's and crossed the t's, the British were it architects. The AIA was forced on the British govt to introduce an 'Irish dimension' into the daily running of the occupied counties due to the surge in Sinn Fein's vote after the hunger strikes. The British govt had claimed for years that the IRA had no support but hunger strikers election wins in the north and border counties was a slap in the face to that line. Hence the Anglo Irish agreement was brought about to try and stem support for SF and throw a lifeline to the SDLP and give the Irish govt brownie points for been seen to do their bit on reunification. All symbolism as far as I'm concerned.

The AIA's coming about and implimentation had very little to do with Fitzgerald, he was just a puppet doing whatever the British demaned.

As for his " honesty and integrity ", well he didn't mind benefitting from a bad debt been dropped by friends in AIB who he had previously bailed out. Not quite in Huaghey's league, but not bad for a man of supposed honesty and integrity.
 
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NewGoldDream

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Let's be frank, he was like the worst aspects of Haughey and Ahern and Cowen put together. Not only was he up to his eyes in the mess like Ahern and possibly responsible to some degree (that can be argued over and back), but he bailed out the banks just like Cowen and in turn got a bail out himself like Haughey and allegedly Ahern. It was all whitewashed because instead of being put in funds, he got a massive debt written off. But I think for the average person who doesn't get to make decisions on what banks to bail out and what friends to install as head of that bank and what loan to write off, it stank. Best Taoiseach me arse.
 

stanley

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Let's be frank, he was like the worst aspects of Haughey and Ahern and Cowen put together. Not only was he up to his eyes in the mess like Ahern and possibly responsible to some degree (that can be argued over and back), but he bailed out the banks just like Cowen and in turn got a bail out himself like Haughey and allegedly Ahern. It was all whitewashed because instead of being put in funds, he got a massive debt written off. But I think for the average person who doesn't get to make decisions on what banks to bail out and what friends to install as head of that bank and what loan to write off, it stank. Best Taoiseach me arse.


You are at it again NGD about GF's loan, how many times does it have to be explained to you, question for you - How much did AIB write off which you describe as a massive debt ?


Also GF had to bail out AIB for about 100m over the ICI insurance deficit, nowhere near what is going on now, it was very much a localised problem even when you think of Sean Quinn FF in for 3bn, ICI was peanuts.

AIB traded out of their ICI problem and repaid the Govt in full.
 

NewGoldDream

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You are at it again NGD about GF's loan, how many times does it have to be explained to you, question for you - How much did AIB write off which you describe as a massive debt ?
As I understand Garrett had £200k written off in his debts to both AIB and Ansbacher (he liked to move in the circles of banking infamy I guess) almost 20 years ago, when £200k was really worth £200k. If it's not massive debt, how would you describe it? If you are arguing that it wasn't just AIB, well maybe he got his benefits from a couple of banks and in fairness he only installed his very best friend in one of them.

Speaking of outstanding questions, you not see the Where's Bertie thread?
 

stanley

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As I understand Garrett had £200k written off in his debts to both AIB and Ansbacher (he liked to move in the circles of banking infamy I guess) almost 20 years ago, when £200k was really worth £200k. If it's not massive debt, how would you describe it? If you are arguing that it wasn't just AIB, well maybe he got his benefits from a couple of banks and in fairness he only installed his very best friend in one of them.

Speaking of outstanding questions, you not see the Where's Bertie thread?

Ansbacher was the bank which looked after FF'ers and their mates, Haughey was the prominent guy with his sidekick, Hanafin, not aware GF had any dealings there, would be more than surprised.

Haughey had more than £500,000 written off by AIB.

Peter Sutherland was an outstanding businessman and an EU Commissioner to boot, every bank in Europe wanted him as Chairman, he also chaired BP and Goldman Sachs, AIB was very small beer.
 
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Anorakphobia

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Comparing the AIB/ICI 100m bailout in 1985 (which as Stanley correctly points out has been more than paid back since then by AIB) with the current bail out is like comparing a labourer's credit union overdraft to Derek Quinlan.

Comparing Garret Fitzgerald's financial affairs (especially as he sold practically everything he owned in an attempt to settle in full) with that of Haughey is like equating jaywalking to genocide.

Finally comparing anything to do with Ahern with anything of higher value than my arse fluff is too kind to him.
 

NewGoldDream

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Ansbacher was the bank which looked after FF'ers and their mates...
...Haughey had more than £500,000 written off by AIB...
...Peter Sutherland was an outstanding businessman and an EU Commissioner to boot, every bank in Europe wanted him as Chairman, he also chired BP and Goldman Sachs, AIB was very small beer.
Is that some sort of defence? It's weak.

I completely agree that Sutherland did some good (though using Goldman Sachs and BP as references is amusing!) that Haughey got bigger kickbacks, that the AIB bailout was small change compared to what's going on now.

But what happened to Garrett Fitzgerald was still a disgrace, the fact that he may rank behind Ahern and Haughey in the gallery of rogues is no great praise.
 

NewGoldDream

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Comparing Garret Fitzgerald's financial affairs (especially as he sold practically everything he owned in an attempt to settle in full) with that of Haughey is like equating jaywalking to genocide.
So someone getting a debt of £200,000 written off is just like jaywalking?

I want to move in your circles!
 

Anorakphobia

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As I understand Garrett had £200k written off in his debts to both AIB and Ansbacher (he liked to move in the circles of banking infamy I guess) almost 20 years ago, when £200k was really worth £200k. If it's not massive debt, how would you describe it? If you are arguing that it wasn't just AIB, well maybe he got his benefits from a couple of banks and in fairness he only installed his very best friend in one of them.

Speaking of outstanding questions, you not see the Where's Bertie thread?
Hilarious



Did you miss the bit in Moriarity where they reckoned Haughey's take in today's currency was as high as €45 million.

http://www.independent.ie/national-news/moriarty-tribunal-haughey-stole-45m-65364.html

200k?
FFS Haughey swiped more than that alone from his best friend's liver transplant fund.

You should be on the stage
 

NewGoldDream

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Hilarious
For me, what is most amusing is the whole 'nothing to see here at all at all, sure look over there' routine.

We're all laughing together. Maybe we should form a double act.

Well, I can easily concede that Haughey was a crook and a conman. Any concession that there was any whiff of anything wrong at all about Garrett and that loan and Peter and the AIB or was it all bog standard stuff?
 

stanley

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For me, what is most amusing is the whole 'nothing to see here at all at all, sure look over there' routine.

We're all laughing together. Maybe we should form a double act.

Well, I can easily concede that Haughey was a crook and a conman. Any concession that there was any whiff of anything wrong at all about Garrett and that loan and Peter and the AIB or was it all bog standard stuff?

It was bog standard stuff a lot of banks in Irl/UK/US expected the GPA flotation to be a massive success and lent a lot of monies to executives to buy these shares, way more than normal lending parameters, GPA flunked and monies had to be got back quick and the banks compromised on the o/s debts as they were at fault themselves, this is how GF got 200k written off, there was a hell of a lot more with other execs.

Haughey would threathen AIB's very existence unless they wrote off his debts, he said he would remove all Govt a/c's from their branches, AIB management were in fear of him, he had the venom and power to hurt their business, it was essentially what Haughey was all about, BTW congrats to that lad for dancing on his grave.
 

Anorakphobia

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For me, what is most amusing is the whole 'nothing to see here at all at all, sure look over there' routine.

We're all laughing together. Maybe we should form a double act.

Well, I can easily concede that Haughey was a crook and a conman. Any concession that there was any whiff of anything wrong at all about Garrett and that loan and Peter and the AIB or was it all bog standard stuff?

I am not FG, so I am not an apologist for any of them but if you ask me straight was/is Garret Fitzgerald an honourable man,? I'd unequivocally say yes.
Equating him with Haughey in this respect (or even the less extravagant but equally odious Ahern) is preposterous and well you know it.

My understanding is that Garret Fitzgerald sold pretty much everything he owned including his own house to settle as much of his debt he could.
I don't see how one can do any more.

If the FF cronies sold everything they owned including their Ailesbury Rd mansions and paid the proceeds back to the taxpayer, this country wouldn't be in the state it is (bad yes but billions better off nonetheless).
But FF doesn't do debt repayment when the taxpayer can do it for them and let their mates off to Switzerland, new York, Italy and Spain to continue their extravagant rock star lifestyles unmolested, untroubled and even mildly unperturbed by the carnage they are allowed leave behind them.
 

Ronanh87

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He was up against it really. If he was leader of Fianna Fail today he would still be in power because of the weak opposition. However he came up against a strong rival in Haughey who never let him get a minutes peace. He was as unpopular as Cowen I reckon. Anyone know of the top of their head his lowest rating as Taoiseach
 

RahenyFG

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The Best leader Fine Gael ever had and ever will have
 

stanley

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Hilarious



Did you miss the bit in Moriarity where they reckoned Haughey's take in today's currency was as high as €45 million.

Moriarty tribunal: Haughey stole €45m - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie

200k?
FFS Haughey swiped more than that alone from his best friend's liver transplant fund.

You should be on the stage


The 45m you speak of, in one form or another, was left to his family and the Revenue have for the most part allowed his family to live off it, corruption pays.
 

NewGoldDream

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if you ask me straight was/is Garret Fitzgerald an honourable man,? I'd unequivocally say yes.
We could use that line in our routine. It will have them rolling in the aisles.

I know some very honourable people in FG, with the honesty to concede that what happened to Garrett was not run of the mill stuff at all.

My understanding is that Garret Fitzgerald sold pretty much everything he owned including his own house to settle as much of his debt he could.
I don't see how one can do any more.
Well, if you don't, you will allow me enlighten you then?

You see, for most standard Joe Soaps out there, doing as much as you can is just not good enough. The banks do not say 'your house is in negative equity, we'll take it and write off the rest'. Or 'you tried very hard, we'll give you £200k credit to show our appreciation'. In the world inhabited by those of us outside the political and developer circles, 'the rest' remains as a debt, to be paid when the debtor comes into money, it doesn't get written off. If you installed a friend to head up the bank, I would imagine it would give you much more leverage, they could come to your rescue and you could draw a line under the whole business (and say 'well I did try') and go on to make a nice living afterwards and not worry about it. But that's just not how it is for most.
 

stanley

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The Banks made major mistakes with their lendings to employees of GPA with regard to the IPO, they were in a very tight corner and probably did not wish to go to Court.

They made a collective decision to do deals with individuals in the knowledge that GPA was going to break up and a lot of these guys would be unemployed perhaps for some time.

Each individual is different and GF had his other income from the Dail, the Bank did the best deal possible at the time, it was the bank who wanted all GPA related debt settled and off the books.
 


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