It has come, it has gone, and barely a word about it in our major media outlets, the Oct 1st AIB €1bn unsecured unguaranteed bond - that's roughly €200 for every resident of this little republic of ours, many multiples of the Household Charge that (rightly) caused such outrage earlier this year.
There is one person however who merits special mention in this blog this week. I don't know Denise O'Toole but I do know this; I wouldn't swap her for 100,000 Marian Finucanes, for 200,000 Pat Kennys. Not a mention from our vastly overpaid national broadcasters Marian and Pat on that bond payment, but Denise O'Toole made up her own sign and stood outside the AIB in Sligo on Oct 1st. On her own. All day.
It was an act most patriotic, it was an act most heroic, and for all those of you out there who are nervous or afraid about making your own protest, let it be an act most inspirational.
Please know, we are being betrayed by our own. We are betrayed by our own government, who are colluding with the ECB in implementing a policy of private interests over public good, of the primacy of banks over people; we are betrayed by a national media who have abandoned their primary duty of objectively and honestly informing the people of what's happening.
That billion-euro bond last Monday was money we put into AIB in the last few years, every cent of every euro coming from us. It went to financial sharks who had bought elements of the bond for 75c in the euro only a few months ago, gambling that the bond would be paid in full. Even as they count their profit we count the cost, home-help hours cut for the old and the sick, frontline services slashed and burned.
That bond made it 18 billion our banks have so far paid out this year; check the tables below and you'll see that there are still two billion to be paid before year's end. In Jan of next year two bonds from Irish Life & Permanent in one day that add up to $3.5bn; in 2013, a total of over €17bn. And not a word.
Thank you Denise O'Toole, thank you.