Gilmore and Noonan need to rejoin the real world

The call by Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore in the Oireachtas for people to “put on the green jersey” and the comment by Finance Minister Michael Noonan that emigration by Irish young people was a “lifestyle choice” have been slammed by the Workers Party as inane and condescending.

Workers Party President Michael Finnegan stated: “Eamon Gilmore’s call for people to “wear the green jersey” is just another version of the discredited cliché of ‘we are all in this together’. It is an insult to the membership of the labour movement and to those thousands of voters who turned with genuine hope to the Labour Party in the 2011 general election.”


“Does Mr Gilmore seriously think that the billionaire bankers, builders, and speculators who have salted away untold wealth in offshore safe havens wear the same shade of green as the almost half a million unemployed citizens. Does he think that those parents who deliver their children to elite fee-paying schools in their €100,000 plus cars wear the same colour jersey as parents whose children attend DEIS schools and who don’t have access to SNAs or other vital educational supports. Does Mr Gilmore believe, and does he seriously want us to believe, that senior managers and business owners earning €2,000 and upwards per week see themselves on the same team as pensioners trying to scrape survival on just over €200”.


 “Presumably next week, when he is defending another Labour Party policy u-turn or another unfair charge we can wait expectantly for him to say ‘hit me now with the Republic in my arms’”.


“Mr Noonan’s remarks that for some young people emigration is a lifestyle choice are grossly insulting to both the emigrants and their families. Is it a choice to be sneered at by government ministers that Irish citizens want real jobs with real wages? Why should Minister Noonan belittle the sacrifice made by people who emigrate so that their mortgage might be paid and their children properly cared for? Why does Mr Noonan dismiss the anguish felt by families and loved ones as another citizen of this state boards a plane because there is neither work nor hope in this country?”


“These two senior ministers” concluded Mr Finnegan “have shown how remarkably out of touch they are with the feelings and emotions of the Irish people. They are so engrossed in brown-nosing the Troika that they forget they are elected by, and answerable to, the Irish people”.


Issued: 20th January 2012

Peace, Work, Democracy and Class Politics