The latest Wikileaks revelations claim that Brian Cowen’s Fianna Fail led government was paralyzed when it came to dealing with the collapse of the Celtic Tiger. Over 1,900 cables from the US embassy back to Washington have been trawled through.
The views of the American administration are contained in Thursday’s Irish Independent which reveals that Cowen’s government found it ‘almost impossible’ to come up with a rescue plan.
The leaked US Embassy cables contain a number of damaging claims against Cowen and the Fianna Fail/Green Party coalition which collapsed earlier this year in the wake of the financial crisis.
The Independent reports that: “The diplomatic dispatches give an unprecedented behind-the-scenes insight into the previous government’s inability to respond to the unfolding crisis.
“They paint a picture of an administration lurching from one crisis to the next with no clear idea how to steer the economy out of recession.
“And they also contain severe US criticism of the Fianna Fail/Green coalition’s failure to be straight with the Irish public about the major difficulties that lay ahead.”
One damning cable sent to the US State Department states that senior Irish government officials admitted to embassy staff that they had no clear plan to salvage the economy.
The admission was made at the US Embassy less than three months after the same government had introduced the bank guarantee scheme.
The paper also claims that, despite American criticism of the Irish government, the US officials did not foresee the dramatic collapse of the Celtic Tiger.
A dispatch from former US Ambassador Thomas Foley described a meeting with Ireland’s Department of Finance chief forecaster John McCarthy and officials John Shaw and George Shaw.
After the meeting, Foley wrote that the Irish government was: “bouncing from crisis to crisis.”
McCarthy added: “Forecasting anything in the current uncertain environment is almost impossible.”
The leaked cables only add to the widely held belief that the Cowen government had no plan to deal with the economic crisis – and no ideas!