Ireland’s President Michael D Higgins has slammed the content of the infamous Anglo Irish Bank tapes and claimed those responsible do not speak for the Irish people.
The President was cheered when he made the remarks at a community garden party at his official residence in the Phoenix Park.
President Higgins told guests that the voices on the tapes, released by the Irish Independent newspaper, are ‘not those of the Irish people’.
He said: “The attitudes they reveal are not shared by the Irish people and the behaviours they reflect are not characteristic of the Irish people.
“I often spoke in the past of the terrible damage that has been inflicted on 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 speculative model. They do not make for easy listening.’’
The Irish Times reports that the President’s comments drew loud applause from those present.
He added: “The Irish people, 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 that was neither in keeping with our core values as a nation or, indeed, our current convictions or determination to move to a new chapter in our history.
“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 lead 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.”
The President said his message is the only message that Ireland’s sons and daughters, all Irish people, want to go out at home and abroad.
He said: “And I know that 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 and offer that achievement to the people of Europe and beyond.”