IRELAND's first Global Economic Forum, held in Dublin's Farmleigh House, merely involved a bunch of "yakety-yaks talking sh**e" and "none of it is going to be implemented", according to Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary.
In an interview with the Sunday Tribune during his whistlestop 'sky-trail' of Ireland, in which the Ryanair chief campaigned for a 'Yes' to Lisbon, O'Leary labelled the Farmleigh forum as a "joke" and "a three-day photo shoot for politicians".
About 180 leaders in business, sport and culture, mainly drawn from the Irish diaspora, attended last weekend's forum which was organized by the Department of Foreign of Affairs on the back of an idea from economist David McWilliams.
O'Leary said: "Farmleigh was a joke. When I got invited, I wrote back and said, look, if you are serious about actually getting people together to come up with some sensible plans and actions, do it on a wet Tuesday. Take four hours and I'll happily go along and make a sensible contribution.
"But if what you want is a three-day photo shoot, with a bunch of the great and the good, and people like Bob Geldof, Mary Robinson and all these yakety-yaks talking sh**e and you know that none of it is going to be implemented, frankly I have better things to do with my time.
"The whole thing was getting the diaspora to come over to Ireland and light a candle in the window and you can all have tickets for the All-Ireland final. That's just a photo shoot for politicians. What actual ideas came out of Farmleigh? None. What is it going to do? Nothing. Why don't you actually save the €300,000 and go and implement Colm McCarthy's report for God's sake."
The outspoken O'Leary said he was personally a big fan of Brian Cowen before he became Taoiseach but thought Cowen had been a "bitter disappointment" since.
"I have fundamentally come to the view that the Fianna Fáil government and senior civil servants need to be changed as we have a whole group of politicians and civil servants over the last 15 to 20 years who simply got used to not tackling problems and they just threw money at it and now the money is gone."
He believed that the era of social partnership was dead. "It was only there for the public sector to screw the government," he said, adding that any new government should stand up to the unions.
Accompanied by the EU Commission's vice-president, Antonio Tajani, O'Leary flew from Dublin to Knock, on to Kerry, and back to Dublin to promote his 'Yes' to Lisbon message.
He said: "I make no bones about it. I think this is all about the economy stupid…We're bankrupt. The only thing keeping us going is Europe."
O'Leary branded the 'No' side in the Lisbon campaign a "coalition of clowns" and Libertas leader Declan Ganley a "busted flush… who cannot be trusted" and a "failed politician who wants to be Dana".