Speaking yesterday (May 23) Dan Boyle, who is also a Green Party senator, said he was ‘disappointed’ that a 100m euro fund for green businesses remains ‘underused’.

Speaking at the Croke Park based event Mr Boyle referred to the 100m loan fund that Irish banks are ‘obliged to make available’ to green businesses as a result of recapitalisation by the state.

“Irish banks need to be restructured,” he said: “The aftermath of the state rescuing the banks cannot be the restoration of business as usual.

“The new Irish banking system must be different from the old one, different people in charge making decisions.

“Different ways of doing banking, different names of banks – even different banks altogether.

“We need competing and competitive commercial banks, we need a strong investment and development bank.

“The third sector, the much vaunted third force, should be a bank based on co-operative, mutual principles.

“It would do banking differently. It would invest more in local economic activity based on long term vision rather than short term return.

“It would be more flexible and responsive to customers, because its customers not shareholders – would have priority in the policies of such a bank. It would be a green bank.”

Luke Walsh

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