Ryanair's Michael O'Leary Photo by: AP

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary compares unemployment crisis to the Famine


Ryanair's Michael O'Leary Photo by: AP

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has claimed it’s not his fault he is always right – after backing Finance Minister Michael Noonan’s claims that emigration is a lifestyle choice.

The hugely successful businessman also made a bizarre reference to Irish history when he said: “Jaysus, it is like the Famine all over again.”

O’Leary inflated his own ego and hit the headlines when he handed over a cheque for almost $130,000, proceeds from the recent Ryanair calendar, to the DEBRA charity.

Asked to comment on calls for Minister Noonan to apologize for his emigration remark, O’Leary proceeded to back the beleaguered Fine Gael politician.



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“Michael Noonan is dead right, except, politically, it is not f**king acceptable. I went abroad for a year. Most people I know went abroad,” claimed O’Leary.

“This idea that emigration is like getting on a potato ship in 1845, never to be seen again, is bullshit. They are all coming home at Christmas and at Easter.

“We don’t have any God-given right to have a job here in Ireland. There is a great opportunity, particularly for young people, to go abroad for a couple of years. It is their choice whether or not they want to come back.”

O’Leary then slammed those who moan about the current levels of unemployment in Ireland.

He added: “Jaysus, it is like the Famine all over again. I see nothing wrong with emigration if it means people who would be unemployed and miserable here in Ireland can go and get a job, whether it is in the UK, US or Australia, at least then they will have the freedom to choose whether they stay abroad or come back.

“It is being stuck here unemployed and drawing the f**king dole that devastates people.”

Emigration, he said, is irrelevant to Ryanair as only 10% of its business comes from Ireland.

Asked about the government’s refusal to listen to his demands on the aviation and tourism industries, O’Leary claimed he is always right even when they ignore him.

“Why should I get fed up? We’re still growing; we’re still expanding; we’re still the world’s most successful airline... If the Government doesn’t listen, the growth goes elsewhere. It’s not my fault I am always right,” he said.

DEBRA Ireland will utilise the Ryanair charity calendar donation to enable families throughout Europe with children suffering from the debilitating skin condition epidermolysis bullosa to enjoy a respite week in specially adapted holiday accommodation in Malaga, Spain.


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