PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins blasted ex-Anglo Irish Bank bankers in an impassioned speech at the annual Áras an Uachtaráin garden party today.
He said: ‘I have often spoken in the past of the terrible damage that has been inflicted on our society by the aggressive individualism and self interest of a speculative economy.
‘This week, voices from the past have been heard which serve to highlight behaviours and attitudes at the very root of that failed economic model. They do not make for easy listening.
But let us be certain of one thing: these are not the voices of the people of Ireland; the attitudes they reveal are not shared by the people of Ireland; the behaviours they reflect are not characteristic of the people of Ireland.
‘The people of Ireland, who have borne the brunt of a financial crisis not of their making, are shocked and dismayed that a culture of greed and recklessness emerged in some of our institutions – a culture which was not in keeping with our core values as a nation.
‘The Irish people, who are rightly recognised for their fortitude, work ethic and courage, will take us out of this present crisis.
‘The authentic voice, spirit and values of Ireland will be restored and will lead us to what is important – a real economy that provides sustainable employment for all and a just and ethical society that allows all its citizens to fully participate and achieve their life potential.
‘Informed foreign opinion will recognise that the real story from Ireland is not the aberrant voices we heard this week but the heroism of its people who are determined, not only to get through this crisis, but to secure a future that is just, prosperous and sustainable.’