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Irish bailout talks face mixed reaction

For a decade the country rode a seemingly never-ending boom, fuelling prosperity that previous generations could scarcely have dreamed of. Friday reality kicked in. The 12 men and women from the International Monetary Fund, in suits and sensible coats, arrived in Dublin to clear up the mess.

world Updated: Nov 20, 2010 00:24 IST
Lisa O’Carroll

For a decade the country rode a seemingly never-ending boom, fuelling prosperity that previous generations could scarcely have dreamed of. Friday reality kicked in. The 12 men and women from the International Monetary Fund, in suits and sensible coats, arrived in Dublin to clear up the mess.

By any measure it was an extraordinary day for Ireland. Historian Diarmuid Ferriter described it as devastating and a “humiliating milestone” that the nation’s sovereignty was being compromised nearly 100 years after hard-fought independence from Britain.

But the country’s inhabitants probably didn’t have much time to read their papers on Thursday. At 8.20am, the governor of the Irish Central Bank confirmed — despite protestations by the taoiseach, Brian Cowen, that there was no IMF bailout — that an IMF loan of tens of billions of euros was being prepared.

By mid-afternoon the country seemed to have descended into chaos. There were angry outbursts in the Daíl, accusations of a government cover-up, new threats voiced over the country’s low corporation tax rate. Cowen nearly lost his temper with reporters.

Out on the streets of Dublin, there were mixed feelings about Ireland losing its sovereignty, but there was also support for the IMF — a reflection of the widespread lack of confidence in the government. The Guardian