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Snippet Contents:

Many decent people work in the banks and do a good job every day, providing decent service for the public that needs those services. As Deputy Doherty has said, it is blindingly clear to anybody that the banks have done radical damage in this country. We only have to look back to 2008 and to the fact that the banks precipitated one of the biggest financial crises that the western world has ever seen. Our generation is paying dearly for that, and future generations in this country will also pay dearly for it. One would imagine, after such a crisis, that banking institutions would seek to keep their noses clean and their heads down and ensure that they did not get into more trouble. Within the same decade as the previous banking crisis, we have a situation where the banks are front and centre within a crisis-ridden Government. As the Government goes from crisis to crisis, the banks are front and centre. Up to 33,000 families have had their money stolen from them by the banks. Up to 100 of those have had their homes taken from them and countless others have had serious hardship in their own relationships. Much of this is impossible to quantify. The truth of the matter is that these people are the little people in society. These are the people who generally have to take it on the chin and accept the damage that they are given.
What makes my head spin in all of this is the absolute lack of accountability in society. There is no accountability and if there is no accountability, one can be guaranteed that reckless behaviour will continue without stopping. Having no accountability is a recipe for the whole facade to come crashing down again in the future. That is the problem in this country. There is no accountability in the Irish political system. A crisis happens. It consumes us all. It costs us dearly. Then the media cycle moves on and the political establishment forgets about it. This is not an accident. The truth of the matter is that it suits the establishment of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to allow this cycle to move on because the people at the top of these banks are from the same closely knit social circles that the establishment of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael come from. They are the big people in this country. Deputy Doherty's Bill seeks to tackle these individuals, to hold them to account and to ensure that this does not happen again.