Eamon Ryan: Over-indulgence helped burst Celtic tiger

Irish people helped burst the Celtic Tiger boom by indulging in bigger houses, cars and holidays, Natural Resources Minister Eamon Ryan today told the Dáil.

Government ministers and Opposition TDs are debating Finance Minister Brian Lenihan’s spending cuts before the parliament adjourns for its 11-week summer recess.

Green TD Mr Ryan said affluent consumer behaviour helped contribute to higher energy prices and a rise in the general cost of living.

“We bought bigger cars for the status that it gave. We built bigger houses with X number of bedrooms and bathrooms, regardless of how we were going to heat these massive properties.

“We flew to New York in a way that turned Madison Avenue into our latest Grafton Street.

“Let us be honest with ourselves, that is the phenomenon that occurred.”

Fianna Fáil TD Mary O’Rourke told the Dail that an downturn was hitting all international economies.

“Listening to some of the Opposition TDs, the impression is being given that this downturn occurred just in Ireland, as if a big bold witch came along and said I’m going to single out Ireland.

“This is a global downturn not one just visited on this country.”

She added: “I’m amazed at the strident contributions which say Fianna Fáil threw it all away over the past ten years, as if we gathered up all the taxes, put them in big black bags and dumped them in incinerators, if one is allowed to do that.”

Labour deputy leader Joan Burton likened Brian Cowen and Brian Lenihan to the British comedy duo, the ’two Ronnies’.

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