2011-06-01 WikiLeaks: The Ireland Cables | Daily Roundup of Coverage in the Irish Independent | Day Three

Thursday 03 June was Day Three of the Irish Independent's Cablegate coverage. The day's main focus was the Irish financial crisis. The Independent also explored what is revealed about corporate Ireland in the cables. While there is a distinct sense that various of the stories are only news insofar as they reveal American attitudes to familiar Irish events, some new information was introduced on some of the key moments of recent Irish history.

The Independent has chosen to continue summarizing the cables without citation or reproduction of the original material, such that the criticisms from the overviews on Day Two and Day One apply equally here.

Online Articles

The following are the articles the Independent made available on its website.

Revealed: total chaos in coalition as economy collapsed
THE scale of the economic collapse left Brian Cowen’s cabinet totally paralysed as the Government found it "almost impossible" to come up with a rescue plan, according to leaked US Embassy cables.

Top diplomat bemused by 'turned the corner' speech
AMERICA'S top diplomat in Ireland was left bemused by Brian Lenihan's infamous "we have turned a corner" budget speech, a leaked US embassy cable reveals.

US told NAMA discounts to hit 50pc but official line was 30pc
A SENIOR government official told US diplomats that loans transferred to the NAMA could be worth half their stated value -- at a time when the Government was saying losses should be less than a third.

Eircom was 'Luddite' in attitude to technology
A SENIOR Irish regulator described the leadership of the telecommunications company Eircom as "Luddite", according to a leaked US embassy cable.

French and German firms 'notorious tax avoiders'
A LEADING official at the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) claimed French and German companies in Ireland were "notorious" for avoiding tax, according to a leaked US embassy cable.

Aid worker Sharon 'left to endure two extra months of kidnap hell'
THE hell endured by kidnapped Irish aid worker Sharon Commins was prolonged for several weeks because the government of Sudan vetoed a deal to free her in exchange for a ransom, leaked embassy cables reveal.

The following cables were in the print edition of the Irish Independent, but have been published on the Belfast Telegraph's website:

WikiLeaks: The deal to relocate 5,000 jobs from Dublin to Belfast
Officials behind a high-profile deal which could have seen thousands of jobs transferred from Dublin to Northern Ireland thought it was preferable they went to Belfast rather than Poland, according to a leaked embassy cable

WikiLeaks: Oversized, inefficient... Irish verdict on Northern Ireland civil service
Irish government officials privately branded Northern Ireland’s Civil Service as oversized, inefficient and rooted in the past, according to a leaked US embassy cable.

WikiLeaks: Peter Robinson ‘was close to walking away from the DUP leadership’
Peter Robinson was “hanging on by a thread” a year after taking over as First Minister and could “snap or just walk away”, former Secretary of State Shaun Woodward privately warned.

WikiLeaks: Questions over Peter Robinson’s ability to tackle ‘bigots’
A top Irish civil servant questioned Peter Robinson’s ability to face down unionist “bigots” during a hard-hitting critique of his leadership.

Offline Articles

Further articles duplicate or enlarge on some of the above content. An article on page 24 details how the OECD was highly critical of the Irish government's failure to implement anti-bribery regulations. Another on the same page explores in detail the tenuous confidence embassy officials had in the Irish Fianna Fail/Green coalition government to handle the crisis.

This theme is continued on page 26, where a small piece recounts ambassador Thomas Foley's urbane incredulity at the insistence of Irish officials in 2008 that Irish banks were well-capitalized, mere months before the same government had to introduce a blanket guarantee for the same banks. A small piece on page 26 outlines how key EU member states considered Ireland a guinea-pig for the National Assets Management Agency (NAMA) strategy.

There are a number of other stories on Ireland's private sector, in particular where American corporations are involved. A large article on page 25 explores revelations in the cables that US companies were suspicious about tendering practices in the award of state contracts by the Irish government. Another report on the same page reveals that the American Chamber of Commerce was critical of a move by the Irish government to close tax exemptions for foreign executives. A page 27 piece outlines changes over the first decade of the century in the American attitude towards Ireland's social partnership agreements between the public and private sectors and the trade unions.

Page 29 revisits a cable (04DUBLIN1719) that had already been reported on in an article in the Guardian in December. The cable outlines a discussion at a private dinner between the ambassador and Padraig O hUiginn, a former official in the Department of the Taoiseach. O hUiginn offered the ambassador his own version of the political history which laid the foundations for the Celtic Tiger economy. On the same page, another article surveys clashes between French president Nicolas Sarkozy and Irish officials over Ireland's 12.5pc corporate tax rate.

A short article on page 28 recounts the diplomatic discussions between Ireland and China during Wen Jiabao's visit in 2004. Irish politicians and diplomats were apparently unsuccessful in convincing the Chinese premier that the key to emulating Western economies was the implementation of Western liberal policies.

A report on page 27 does not break any new cable story, but instead covers the political fallout for Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore after a Day Two article revealed he had lied to the Irish public about his stance on the prospects of a repeat of the Lisbon Treaty after its rejection in 2008.

Finally, an Opinion piece on page 32 by Economics editor Brendan Keenan provides a brief summary of the foregoing cable revelations about Ireland's economic crisis and business world, and offers some analysis of the bigger picture composed thereof.

None of the above articles have hitherto been posted on the Independent's website, but readers from outside of Ireland may wish to consult this site, which appears to host uploaded scans of all the Independent's Wikileaks revelations. In the absence of articles posted on the Independent's website, this is the next best thing.

Further reviews

Have been enjoying x7o's reviews of the Ireland cables.
Just wondering if there will be more on the fourth and subsequent days' coverage in the Independent.
A lot of important subjects were covered including the Irish government bowing down to the Americans over Shannon airport and American paranoia about Muslims in Ireland.

Yes. Trying to catch up at

Yes. Trying to catch up at the moment. Friday roundup is about to post. On Monday!

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