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    Count me out, says O’Leary

    By Noreen Bowden | September 11, 2009

    Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary, ever the provocateur, has said he has no interest in attending the upcoming Global Irish Economic Forum. The forum is taking place at Farmleigh House on 18 and 19 September, and is aimed at garnering ideas and enabling Ireland’s most successful global citizens to network for the mutual benefit of Ireland’s economy and the diaspora.

    The Irish Independent recently ran a wide-ranging interview with the business executive turned Lisbon campaigner. O’Leary was his usual subtle self when asked about the forum:

    Perhaps Michael might take the time to go to the Government’s upcoming Global Irish Economic Forum to pitch his ideas to save the country?

    “No. I told them I wouldn’t show up to it. We got this invitation back in February for a three-day shindig of the great and the good who have nothing to contribute. I mean, Bob Geldof never created a bloody job in Ireland in his life. I’m not just singling him out, but you’ll have all the usual ‘come all ye’s’ and the social bloody partners and all it is, is a jolly. They’re even going to the All-Ireland final on the Sunday! I wrote back to Cowen and said this is all being hosted by Micheal Martin, and he’s a waste of space.”

    So what would Michael O’Leary do to make things better?

    “What you want to have is a group of business people with concrete ideas to take one day in the middle of November. Don’t make it a big media event where we listen to speeches from Bob ‘bloody’ Geldof and gobshites from Cori. They’re not the ones who deliver jobs. Take 20 or 30 sensible business people and we’ll give you the solutions. I’m not going to waste three days of my life farting around in Farmleigh, listening to all those bunnies waffling on in cliches before going to the All-Ireland bloody final! It’s a photoshoot for a Government that wants to look like it’s doing something. Frankly I have better things to do with my time, like growing Ryanair.”

    In fairness to the organisers, the actual programme for the Global Irish Forum seems to resemble O’Leary’s vision of  a chat with sensible business people far more than a session of come-all-ye’s.

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