I’m lost for words. Really, I am.
Some background, for my non-Irish readers: Johnny Ronan is a property developer. After the 2008 crash, his business was taken on by Nama (the National Asset Management Agency). He was not delighted about this.
An Inquiry into the Banking Crisis– looking into the causes of the banking crisis in Ireland- has been ongoing since late last year.
Up to speed? Right.
Johnny Ronan was called to make a statement before the banking inquiry. He did. I read the whole thing this morning. The guy is pissed off at Nama, who he sees as having destroyed his business, costing him billions of euro.
Honestly? I don’t know enough about either Ronan or Nama to have an opinion on that. That’s for the inquiry to work out.
But then there was his closing lines. This:
I am very glad to have exited NAMA and do not intend to look back. However, we, as a nation, need to learn from our mistakes.
“Arbeit macht frei” nó, i nGaeilge, “Tugann saothar saoirse”.
Bolding is Ronan’s.
As you can tell, since it doesn’t look like this:
I am not kidding. Ronan said that Ireland needs to learn from its mistakes and then quoted the front gate of Auschwitz. And then he translated the thing that Nazis said to the Jews before exterminating them into Irish. This is a thing that happened.
But I’m still left scratching my head. What on earth could have made him think this was a good idea?
Is he a real-life fascist who is taking the Nazis at their word? Is he so mind-bogglingly ignorant that he doesn’t know where that phrase comes from? Or is he so bloated with hubris that he thinks it’s appropriate to compare his unfortunate business dealings to the attempted extermination of an entire race and the systematic murder of millions of people, and to think that people are going to agree with him?!
I’ve got nothin’.
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