This seems to have raised some hackles, but I don't know why. Generally, in your personal finances as well as national one you would always tend to use the cheapest source of funds first.
How much does our NPRF stash cost us? Well, we could retire €18 billion of Irish 6 year government debt for more than 8% per annum. That alternative use makes this expensive money.
We are at the point where we need to do everything possible to stem the growth in our debt. Ideally, we should have been cutting our exposure to bank liabilities. But if we aren't then we have to accept our rainy day has arrived. Time to break the piggy banks.