Ireland's Fianna Fail government, the long ruling center-right party that was all but annihilated in the last general election, were the authors of the biggest catastrophe to face the country since the Famine, current Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan told the press this week. According to the Belfast Telegraph, Minister Noonan of the center-right Fine Gael party, is blaming former Prime Minister Brian Cowen’s administration for ignoring all the advice that could have averted the country's economic crisis.

Noonan was responding to criticism over the $9 million bill he has presented to pay for expert staff and financial consultants for his department. Noonan rejected all criticism from Fianna Fail's finance spokesman Michael McGrath, telling the Irish parliament's Finance Committee: 'I don’t want to go back to the past but the Fianna Fail/Green government gave us the biggest catastrophe since the Famine. If anyone thinks we can just get out of that easily with the same resources that’s just not possible.'

Minister Noonan pointed to the Nyberg report, a report compiled by the Finnish regulator Peter Nyberg who was asked by the Irish Government to head a commission to make a thorough report on the Irish banking crisis. Nyberg's report on the financial collapse made clear that former Prime Minister Cowan, who was finance minister before becoming Prime Minister, ignored warnings from some advisers who had spotted that the Irish economy and property market were overheating.

Minister for Finance Michael NoonanGoogle Images