You clearly know nothing about the situation, or our country, and just have a free-market axe to grind.
Well buddy, I'm a believer in free enterprise, and I'm Irish, so let me give you a summary of what's going on.
The billionaires referred to are the large investment institutions and the high net worth individuals that took bonds in the Irish banks.
The argument is that they were paid interest for the bonds, in return for risk (thats how investment usually works, the reward is in return for the risk).
The banks became insolvent (partly due to the global banking crisis, partly due to irresponsible behaviour, partly due to the low EU rate of interest (which suited the larger economies) providing cheap credit).
The comment in the summary is referring to the fact that the bonds of the investors, who took the risk, are being guaranteed by the Irish state.
Supposedly to avert a banking crisis, due to the systemic importance of the banks.
Only we seem to have gotten a banking crisis anyway; which has made the billions poured into the banks seem like a bad use of money...
As such, the losses of the bondholders (the 'billionaires' of the summary) are being socialised.
This is what pisses people off.
Irish people are very pro enterprise, pro business, and pro building shit.
That's why so many companies invest here. We have a low rate of corporation tax, true, which is a big part of things; but we've also got a creative culture, and its a good business environment here.
People like to have the craic; but they also like to work hard, and have a healthy disrespect for authority that helps them innovate.
Now, sure, there is social welfare for the poor, and free health care, which maybe you are referring to.
And its probably a little on the high side, these days.
But Ireland doesn't have a culture of entitlement. The history of the people of Ireland is not one of entitlement, and its not in our psyche.
Sure, some of the kids in the boom recently may be a little entitled - but thats because of the free money they had, not because of the welfare state.
If anything, there isn't enough entitlement in Ireland. We didn't really know what to do with the money because it was the first time we ever had it; people couldn't believe how good it was, couldn't believe it could last, and that economic prosperity could come to us... ...and so didn't ask enough questions about whether it was being managed right, whether the politicians were properly serving us etc.
And as regards the parts of a welfare state we have being so bad...
Well, I remember spending a summer in Boston. Lived in cambridge, beside Harvard, MIT.
I'll never forget walking past a really awful looking woman, sitting on harvard square. She was clearly pregnant and had a sign saying 'please help, pregnant with AIDS'. And she looked it.
I've worked in the valley too - great tech culture, great enterprise culture. But walking around palo alto, past the homeless crazy guys on the street, asking for money, with nowhere to go...
Well, no, Irelands not perfect; but there's aspects of a welfare state I'll take over the 'fsck the poor' attitude any day.
Don't believe the false dichotomy - you can have a great culture of enterprise, without stepping over broken people on the way to work.
If we can figure some way out of the bank bailout here, maybe we'll get there yet.