So the Irish government has nationalized Allied Irish Bank.


I grew up in Ireland at a time when Allied Irish Bank was as much a permanent feature of the landscape as government buildings.

The fact that it went broke it is an extraordinary development.

In every town and village there was a branch of AIB.

With relatively few banks to choose from it soon became the bank of choice for millions.

It expanded to Britain, America and Poland, it had a fancy branch on Park Avenue in New York

The idea of it failing was preposterous.

Your bank manager was a big man in town. If he deigned to speak to you you were deeply appreciative.

Now he's about as popular as a sexually transmitted disease

Lenihan minced no words that the bank would fail without the latest bailout when he made it official.

"We wouldn't have had an AIB on Jan. 1 if this injection wasn't made,"he told Irish radio.

The bank was on the verge of failure he said

Lenihan told state broadcaster RTE Radio that a "gradual erosion" of deposits had reached crisis point.

Allied Irish Banks had already got EUR3.5 billion in state aid in 2009.

How did it come to this?

How bad did the management have to be to condemn a bank which had about every second household in Ireland banking with it?

How reckless did they have to be with the bank's money to blow the billions that has now left it broke?

This bank gives drunken sailors a bad name.

Here is what Lenihan said "The markets are not willing to invest in Irish banks. They don't have confidence in them and that's the state the banks brought themselves to. We have to have a banking system in this country and it has to be brought into public ownership."

The stock is now at about 50 cents down $30 dollars a few short years ago. It is expensive at the price. Your golden retriever is worth more than this bank

Opposition spokesman Joan Burton aid it well , "Today's transfer of EUR3.7 billion from the National Pensions Reserve Fund to AIB represents the last act of a disastrous year for the government's banking policy."

Burton said the Fianna Fail-led coalition's policies have failed: "The cost to Irish taxpayers has escalated enormously and bank bailouts now leave a massive legacy of additional debt on the national exchequer which will have to be serviced at huge cost