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Posts tagged ‘Sean Fitzpatrick’

Anglo Irish Bank David Drumm has ruled out any return to Ireland

The former chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank David Drumm has ruled out any return to Ireland and repeated his claim that the Central Bank, the Financial Regulator and the Department of Finance all knew the details of the controversial Maple 10 share deal wich saw the bank lend  €450m to 10 customers so they could buy Anglo shares.

In an interview with the Sunday Business Post  which is published this morning he said that when he had told the authorities he was going to lend the money to the 10 so they could buy shares and reduce the stake held by Sean Quinn “they were thrilled, chirpy”.

He said the Central Bank and the Financial Regulator said “’let’s get this done’ because the fear factor was just huge”.

Mr Drumm also insisted that Anglo had not misled the Government about the extent of its loan book on the night of the bank guarantee in 2008 and said that Sean Fitzpatrick’s practice of warehousing loans was also known to the regulator in 2007.

full article at source:http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2011/1127/breaking11.html


What can one say except that this ganster  and all the rest should be in Jail

BoI lent top brass €50m as it refused businesses cash


Sunday June 12 2011

FIFTY million euro that Bank of Ireland could have used last year to save hundreds of small businesses from going to the wall was lent to the bank’s directors and people ‘connected’ to them instead, the Sunday Independent can reveal.

The shocking figures — which lie buried on page 300 of the bank’s latest annual report — were last night described as “disgraceful” by independent TD Shane Ross.

“Taxpayers and small shareholders deserve an explanation for how State-owned banks can allow top directors and staff such generous facilities while small businesses are being crucified,” he said.

The Dublin South TD — who is hotly tipped to secure the chairmanship of the Dail’s Public Accounts Committee — called on Finance Minister Michael Noonan to seek an immediate explanation from the Bank of Ireland on the controversial loans.

“Now that the State owns 36 per cent of the bank and is likely to have a majority stake shortly, the Minister for Finance should call in the Chairman and Chief Executive, Messrs [Pat] Molloy and [Richie] Boucher, and ask how the bank is continuing to behave in such a generous fashion to its own top brass,” he said.

The most startling case shows how one unidentified person ‘connected’ to Bank of Ireland governor Pat Molloy received a massive loan of €35.2m in 2010.

According to the bank’s own definition, a ‘connected’ person can be “a director’s spouse, parent, brother, sister, child, a trustee where beneficiaries of the trust are the director, his spouse, children or a company which he controls, or a company controlled by the director or a person in partnership”.

While the Molloy loan was reduced to €640,000 by the end of 2010, the bank’s decision to sanction the original multimillion-euro loan at a time when it was itself in a fight for its own survival will invariably raise questions about the judgement of its senior management.

Further scrutiny of the bank’s latest annual report reveals how 20 members of Bank of Ireland‘s so-called Key Management Personnel (KMPs) and people connected to them saw their loans from the bank increase from €9.301m on April 1, 2009 to an eye-watering €13.999m by December 31, 2010.

The staggering increase in the amounts lent to the bank’s senior management and people connected to them is all the more bewildering when one considers BoI‘s battle to raise €4.2bn in fresh capital in a desperate bid to avoid outright State ownership.

The rules governing the disclosure by banks of loans given to their directors were tightened considerably by the Financial Regulator in the wake of revelations in December 2008 that former Anglo Irish Bank Chairman Sean FitzPatrick had borrowed €87m from his own bank.

Under the new rules, all banks under the control of the Financial Regulator must provide details of all directors’ loans and borrowings.



What can one say to this except that the culture in the Banks still haven’t change and the new government hasn’t done anything to change this. These “loans” to top personal and their pals must be taken back and the Finance minster must immediately put into effect new rules that all loans to directors and top staff at all banks must be approved by the department of Finance.

 An investigation must be conducted and the directors should be removed .There are public interest directors also on the board of bank of Ireland why haven’t we heard from these insiders could it be because some of their pals were in fact the beneficiaries of such loans? Whatever the reason it is now amply clear to the ordinary taxpayers of this country that the so called public interest directors have failed to do the job they were supposed to do and the  banks cannot be trusted and more rigorous regulation is absolutely necessary, particularly  regarding loans to bank personal and their siblings.

This practice should be outlawed and I am surprised it hasn’t happened already.

So the Finance Minster should waste no time and sack the lot !     

PS: whatever happened to “not one red cent” ?

Another broken promise ???


David McWilliams ‘Too much regulation will stifle our banking sector’

David McWilliams has posted a new article, ‘Too much regulation will stifle our
banking sector’.

Yesterday the IMF published its fifth review of Iceland’s economy since the crisis began. The IMF declared Iceland’s economic progress “impressive” and disbursed a loan tranche of $225m (€136m).

Now if this sounds weird to you, it should do. This is the Iceland that defaulted on all its bank bondholders and this is the Iceland that the IMF warned would be cut off unless it paid all its foreign bondholders. Yet just two years later, the IMF declares that Iceland’s progress has been “impressive” and lends the country money!

full article at source : http://www.davidmcwilliams.ie/2011/06/08/too-much-regulation-will-stifle-our-banking-sector


Am I hearing right? Didn’t I hear this warning before wasn’t that what Sean Fitzpatrick said on our TV screens at the height of the housing Boom? I sent it because of light regulation we are in the mess we are in? I saw David Mc Williams’s latest TV appearance and I got quite a shock and the first thing that came to mind was well we have another Berti Ahern in a cupboard effort!

While I find myself agreeing with most things David says about the economy I do not agree with light regulation on the Banks and his new acting career might not be one of his better moves

Dragon’s Den judge Gallagher confirms presidential ambition

 Sunday, May 01, 2011 – 10:29 AM
Dragon’s Den judge Sean Gallagher has confirmed he will seek an independent nomination to run in the upcoming presidential election.

The 48-year-old entrepreneur is to join Senator David Norris in seeking an independent nomination, a route that requires the support of 20 TDs and senators or four county councils.

According to this morning’s papers, Gallagher is being backed by independent senator and business man Sean Quinn.

Gallagher said he was encouraged to run by calls from business, community and disability groups.

Along with Senator Norris, Fine Gael‘s Mairead McGuinness is the only other confirmed candidate in the election to replace Mary McAleese.


Maybe this is an April fool’s joke but wait, no this is the country that has taken on hundreds of billions of euro of private debts from the Toxic banks; this is the country that has voted back into the Dail gombeens, traitor’s gangsters, self- publicists and all other such undesirables from Irish society. This is the country that has made millionaires out of lawyers and barristers at the countries tribunals and now wants to compensate them because there is no more work for them .Is it any wonder that this chancier from Dustbins Den wants to chance his arm, of course it hast to be a good business proposition so I’m sure he will want at least 50% of the countries assets or shareholding. All we need now is the other Dustbin’s Den crew to come forward and  make their counter bids ,Why not sell the office of presidency to the highest bidder ?Maybe Sean Fitzpatrick or Sean Quinn? Why not Dig up Charles Haughey at least he won’t cost that mush as he won’t be eating! Personally I would vote for Dustin the turkey  he is the best qualified!

Read more: http://www.examiner.ie/breakingnews/ireland/dragons-den-judge-gallagher-confirms-presidential-ambition-503323.html#ixzz1L88gRzfs


Fact, behavioural science tells us that bankers and politicians are lying to us 93% of the time. It’s 13 times more likely Wall Street is telling you a lie than the truth. That’s why they win. Why we lose, because our brains are pre-programmed to cooperate in their con game. Yes, we believe most of their lies.

One of America’s leading behavioural finance gurus, University of Chicago Prof. Richard Thaler, explains: “Think of the human brain as a personal computer with a very slow processor and a memory system that is small and unreliable.” Thaler even admits: “The PC I carry between my ears has more disk failures than I care to think about.” Easy to manipulate.

Thaler’s a quant, speaks mostly in cryptic algorithmic. So if you really want to know how Wall Street’s con game works on you, Barry Ritholtz, the financial genius behind “Bailout Nation,” recently summarized it in the Washington Post: “Humans make all the same mistakes, over and over again. It’s how we are wired, the net result of evolution. That flight-or-fight response might have helped your ancestors deal with hungry saber-toothed tigers and territorial Cro Magnons, but it drives investors to make costly emotional decisions.”

Humans have something “akin to brain damage,” says Ritholtz. “To neurophysiologists, who research cognitive functions, the emotionally driven appear to suffer from cognitive deficits that mimic certain types of brain injuries. … Anyone with an intense emotional interest in a subject loses the ability to observe it objectively: You selectively perceive events. You ignore data and facts that disagree with your main philosophy. Even your memory works to fool you, as you selectively retain what you believe in, and subtly mask any memories that might conflict with it ”.

source: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/market-crash-2011-it-will-hit-by-christmas-2011-02-22


 I can confirm all of this to be true based on 15 years of trading in theStock markets . Meanwhile over  on Live line I hear from Joe Duffy, that 200 people have invaded the offices of Quinn Insurances in support of their “Fuehrer” Mr. Sean Quinn, and they will not leave until Sean himself tells them to do so. These people suffer from one of the defaults inbuilt in our brains by “selectively perceiving past events to suite their version of current events” The fact is that Mr. Quinn along with 9 other members of the Anglo Irish Golden circle were dealing with insider information supplied by Mr. Sean Fitzpatrick  the Chairman of the Board of Anglo Irish Bank. Mr. Quinn brought all of this misery down on them by gambling and by his greed .They are been manipulated and as usually they don’t know it !

Biggest losses in Irish corporate history!

By Cormac Murphy

Thursday March 31 2011

ANGLO Irish Bank unveiled the biggest losses in Irish corporate history at €17.7bn on what was another Black Thursday for the banking sector.

Anglo made the announcement on the day the results of the Central Bank‘s stress tests are being announced.

The bank has broken its own record for incurring the worst ever losses in Irish corporate history, saying 2010 was another exceptionally difficult period.

The loss figure includes impairment charges of €7.8bn and a loss of €11.5bn on disposal of assets to the National Asset Management Agency.

Anglo said the impairment charges included €2.6bn relating to NAMA loans.

The scandal-hit lender, which was run into the ground by former chairman Sean FitzPatrick, has cost taxpayers €29.3bn in recapitalisation costs.

CEO Mike Annesley said the bank believes 2010 was the last year of these types of extraordinary losses.

In a significant statement, he said: “We don’t expect that the taxpayer is going to need to put any more funds into the bank.”

However, if the property market continued to fall that would have an impact on the future value of the loans, he added.

Anglo is winding down and it is tasked with managing the repayment of some €35bn of loans still on its books.

In the past few weeks, its deposit book has been transferred to AIB.

Mr Annesley said that the bank had gone from 1,800 staff when the bank was nationalised to 800 and back to 1,300.

He told RTE’s Morning Ireland that the bank expects to be somewhere around the 1,000 mark by the end of 2011.

Anglo said its net interest income came to €0.7bn for the year.

Total expenses amounted to €353m, compared to €309m in 2009.

During the year, customers’ deposits declined from €27.2bn to €11.1bn by the end of December 2010.

Borrowings from banks increased to €46.6bn and included €45bn from central banks compared with €23.7bn in 2009.

Anglo said its total assets by the end of the year were €72.2bn, down from €85.2bn in 2009.

Its impaired loans totalled €17.6bn.

The bank said conditions in wholesale funding markets remain extremely difficult and it continues to rely on Government and monetary authority support mechanisms.

Anglo, nationalised in January 2009, has so far received promises of State assistance totalling €29.3bn.

It has also appointed consultants to value its US loan book and is continuing to pursue former chairman Sean FitzPatrick through bankruptcy proceedings.

The bank gave an update in an annual report of what former directors of the bank continue to owe the lender, including Lar Bradshaw, David Drumm and William McAteer.


– Cormac Murphy

then we have this from Dan White from the Herald.ie

Having already committed €46bn of taxpayers’ money, the indications are that Michael Noonan would be coughing up at least another €23bn. This will bring the total up to at least €70bn, the equivalent of almost €40,000 for every person still working here.

The latest black hole in the banks’ balance sheets has been caused by the rapidly worsening state of their mortgage loan books.

The banks have been clobbered by a double whammy of soaring arrears and the fact that most of their mortgages are loss-making trackers.

This is going to force all of the major banks, particularly AIB and Permanent TSB, the mortgage banking subsidiary of Irish Life & Permanent, to make major writedowns on home loans.

It means BoI and IL&P, the two banks which had avoided State ownership, are now set to follow AIB, Anglo, EBS and Irish Nationwide into State control.

Two-and-a-half years after Brian Lenihan’s disastrous decision to unconditionally guarantee their deposits and bonds, all of the Irish-owned banks have now been effectively nationalised.



Isn’t it a bit strange that Anglo would come out to-day with these catastrophic losses the same day we are getting the results of the latest stress tests for the Irish banking system?

I believe this has been carefully planned by the Central bank and the department of Finance. The news is as bad as it could be. The Irish taxpayer is again forced into a position of having to swallow this private toxic debt. Why won’t the new Minster of Finance shut this black hole down? May I remind him he is supposed to be working for the Irish people and not the international bondholders?   

 We have now have witnessed five attempts to stabilize the Banking system and 3 stress tests and as far as I am concerned we still haven’t got to the real figures yet! Not unless we hear the big D word Derivatives.

Where are the Derivative losses from the banks???  

Since September 2008 Government guarantee of 400 billion

2009 then we had 10.875 billion injected into the banks

Early 2010 we had another 22billion injected the banks again

Late 2010 we had 13.5 billion into the main banks

And now today, we are told that the banks will need another 24 billion injection

What makes anyone believe we have now got all the figures on the table we were lied to before and we are now been lied to again? This is not what the Irish electorate wanted Mr. Kenny you said not one cent more. How can you justify hospital closures and the slashing of essential public services just to bailout private gamblers?

An absolute horrendous day to-day


Started out having to go to the Doctor with my son he had a nasty tummy bug last night and he was complaining about having a chest infection so after a night of it I brought him to the doctor only to be told he had to go to the hospital for a chest X ray. Time 11.30 drove all the way to Tallaght Children’s hospital after arrival I could only park in the multi car park building and at 2.5 euro an hour I was not happy. Got a space handy enough and then on into the hospital. On my way down to the children’s admittance ward I passed about 20 trolley beds in the hallway with adult patients in them.

I tried to avoid the eyes of these people but somehow  I did not manage it to well as I did indeed catch some of the patients eyes and I felt ashamed ,I felt as if I was walking through their living room and I may have managed to say sorry to some of them. There was no sense of dignity, and their ailments were on public display and their frailty was been viewed by me and everybody else who happened to walk along this particular corridor. I came to the waiting room and there was at least Sixty to seventy people and little did I know but I was spend the next five and a half hours sitting there waiting for my son to have a chest X-ray .During this period I would say that approximately another fifty people would have come and gone from this A&E station.

My mind was on the poor souls that were on public display along the corridor and I was particularly

Incensed by the fact that these people were been robbed of their dignity when they most needed it.  The Government Minsters that supported the massive cuts to the health service were responsible are now out of the decision making process in the Government but I thought they would never have to face this indignity themselves. People like Lenihan, Cowen, Harney, and Gormely, and so on because we the people have allowed them to just walk away with lottery pensions and leave the devastation behind for the ordinary people to suffer.

I was then reminded about the story about Sean Fitzpatrick storming off a golf course because some journalist asked him to apologize to the people of Ireland for the devastation he caused!

We as a nation are still waiting for people to be brought to justice and I hope that the new government will take up the challenge to break with a sad tradition and demonstrate to the people of Ireland why it is necessary for us to believe them and their promise of change .Those responsible must be brought before the courts.

Personally I feel proud that I put myself forward in the general election as an independent candidate

I did what I thought was the right thing to do and stood up against corruption, cronyism, and the plunder of scarce financial resources by the very people that were telling the rest of us that there was no money in the kitty for the hospital services, yet they rode off into the sunset laden down with their perks and lottery pensions .Only today as I sat there in the waiting room of the A&E  and saw children having to wait for essential services did I feel proud to say ,at least I did something !

Good health to you all

Thomas Clarke

Sean FitzPatrick’s repossessed banger

By Kevin Keane

Tuesday January 18 2011

IT once belonged to a chieftain of the Celtic Tiger, and yesterday, bidding on Sean FitzPatrick‘s repossessed banger took on a frenzy that hasn’t been seen since the craziest days of the property bubble.

Bids of thousands of euro were made for the privilege to press a button that will turn the 19-year-old 3-Series BMW to scrap metal.

In keeping with the spirit of Anglo Irish Bank, of which Mr FitzPatrick is a former chief executive and chairman, a bidding war on the online auction site http://www.ebay.ie ensued. The price jumped from €1 to €2,000 in the first 10 minutes.

The price had reached €3,000 within 20 minutes and by 5.30pm it had hit €5,100.

All the proceeds from the auction, which is being organised by RTE Radio One‘s ‘Mooney Show’, will go to the Samaritans.

The car made headlines last week when it was collected from Mr FitzPatrick’s Co Wicklow home by National Recycling Ltd.

National Recycling’s sales manager Connor Hand said yesterday that they discovered the car was for sale late last year.

“We decided that we’d put in a unique bid of €1234.56 in a sealed envelope and we were told before Christmas that we had got it.”

According to the seller’s note on eBay, the highest bidder will win the opportunity to go to the National Recycling plant in Clondalkin, Dublin, to push a button and crush the car.

Bidding ends at 3.20pm on Monday, January 24.

– Kevin Keane

On that note here is a photo of our car

 The motor tax on this 04 renault for the year is Euro 445.00 (we have two such cars in our Family ) Thanks to the Greens our Family is paying Euro 582.00  more on road tax every year  just for the privilage of driving on roads that are full of potholes.

Then we have this car and you see the motor tax is just Euro 154.00 There are obviously more people driving the Renault type cars than the New Merks so the con is to make more of the ordinary families to pay more and fill up the coffers so these incompetent politicians can spend the collected funds on ill thought out projects

Roll on the general election when we hopefully will get rid of the mad Greens  and reverse some of this madness.

Golf-Gate: Cowen just go !

Here is something I found on youtube

Brian Cowen you’re lucky the taxpayers did not know what you were up to that day!

Even as his political career crumbled, and with party rivals probing his wounds, Brian Cowen couldn’t shake off the tired cliches, defensive persona and sheer bad luck that have defined his time as Taoiseach

ON THURSDAY EVENING he stood in his lovely office, with the flags of the Republic and the EU behind him, his pale face set and strained, impatient at the impertinence of Bryan Dobson’s questions, barely suppressing an explosive frustration. It was impossible not to feel a surge of sympathy for a proud, good man so publicly tethered to a time bomb.

Even still, as the offices of state trembled in anticipation of a heave, even as his mortal political wounds were being clinically probed by his own storied loyalists, Brian Cowen was unable to rise above the tired old script.

“No, I haven’t considered resigning . . . I am now engaged in internal discussion with my own party colleagues . . . I must recognise the concerns within the organisation regarding the election . . .”

Then the lights went out. RTÉ’s connection to Government Buildings went down. A technical malfunction? Or had he pulled the plug? The episode was almost a metaphor for Brian Cowen’s two and a half year stewardship as Taoiseach: the contempt for the messenger; the obsession with internal party considerations; the blindness to the concerns of a vast, troubled audience behind the loathed media; all punctuated by the sudden, dark, desperately unlucky intervention.

When the link was re-established Dobson asked how he could persuade his party that he was the best person to lead them. Cowen could have delivered a passionate, direct appeal over the heads of his party rivals. Instead he replied irritably that he would be “having a discussion with colleagues and I cannot say until I sit down with them . . .”

What was the time frame? Like the scorpion with the frog, he couldn’t help himself. “We don’t run the organisation on the basis of what you say in the media,” he replied. He had to strike. It’s what he does. No matter that it is born of self-delusion and ends in mutual destruction.

No doubt there were loyal party members watching on Thursday who reckoned he had played a blinder, had stuck it to the Dublin media again. Above all, hadn’t he survived? Confounded his critics again? But, like the scorpion, it’s just what he does. It requires no great will, scheme or energy. Nearly 20 years ago he coined the phrase “If in doubt, leave them out” to express his contempt for the party’s PD partners. It was Cowen’s bull-headed, belated call to arms in 2007 that persuaded many voters that only Fianna Fáil had the strength to manage the economy. He survived two no- confidence votes in two years.

The trouble is that for many citizens, those years have been among the most traumatising in living memory. When the old guard rallied around Cowen on Thursday, imploring him not to throw in the towel “after all we’ve been through – for a bloody golf game”, in the words of one, they were missing the point again.

For many of the public that “golf game” crystallised everything that was rotten about the State: the golden circles; the alpha-male covens; the lack of concern for the optics; the blank space in the diary; the drip-drip of information; the routine dismissal of legitimate questions as political gamesmanship – all of which led us to where we are, a place best represented by the devastating image of the IMF’s Ajai Chopra walking past a beggar on St Stephen’s Green.

It’s pertinent to remember that when the Government finally woke up to the threat of losing the Lisbon referendum and an uneasy alliance reigned among the parties, it was Cowen who almost put a spanner in the works by declaring that the Opposition wasn’t working as hard as Fianna Fáil.

“I think there are occasions, in the country’s interest, where the Taoiseach will have to resist the temptation of giving the Opposition parties a kick every time he sees us,” remarked Eamon Gilmore. Cowen chose to ignore that piece of advice, an omission that would gain significance as time went on. Political junkies and bare-knuckle fighters may cherish the notion of a tough and bruising political operator.

The rest of the population has learned painfully that such traits really only count when applied for their benefit, not merely for political survival. Eighty-seven per cent of them, of a 10,000-strong mobile-phone poll on Liveline on Thursday, believed Cowen should step down now. The enduring mystery of Brian Cowen is that he could never lift that famous fighting spirit or command of language to inspire and lead a people craving safe hands and respectful engagement. He used terms such as activation measures, progressity and automaticity, internalising, conflating and subvening.

When the world’s media tuned in to a Dáil speech in the expectation that he would address the financial crisis in the autumn, they heard only robotic assurances and impenetrable Cowenspeak about the “front-loading of consolidation”. He only left behind the Civil Service jargon when he was defending himself or his party. It meant he was capable of doing it. He talked but never appeared to listen, however, even while his Government was making decisions of immense consequence, knowing there was profound confusion and little public support. It seemed the aim was not to engage in meaningful debate but to get across the idea that there was nothing to be debated.

That autocratic attitude was spawned either of arrogance and too many years in power or of a disrespect for the people’s intelligence. Either way it found its apotheosis in “Garglegate”, the infamous Morning Ireland interview after a late night at the Galway think-in last September. For many the problem lay not in the “hoarseness” or “nasal congestion” but in the fact that, when these were stripped away for an interview that ranked as a state-of-the-nation address at a critical time in the nation’s history, the leader was saying nothing that was distinguishable from every Cowenspeak interview he had given for the previous two years.

In recent days he has even had to take lectures on communications from Bertie Ahern, the man in the News of the World cupboard. Cowen should have kept the public informed about the EU-IMF bailout, said Ahern.

“These aren’t state secrets, after all . . . I always took the view, and maybe it’s a difference in style, that you go out there every day and you talk to the media and do your bit . . . When I went the guys took a different view . . . They wouldn’t go out very often and do the daily doorsteps . . . If you ask me, my view is you’re better doing it my way, but he opted not to do that,” he said.

Cowen, by contrast, had commented that Ahern’s resignation marked the end of an era, describing Ahern as the consummate politician of his generation. It’s what Cowen does: that dogged, sightless loyalty to the party and to the tarnished leaders before him, a loyalty that defines his ultimate political philosophy, to the point of self-destruction and even the loss of his beloved party’s electability.

How could he have hoped for credibility and authority while he refused to question their legacy? His excuse for an apology on Ryan Tubridy’s first Late Late Show about the sorry pass to which the party had led the country – “If people want me to apologise, I apologise in the event that people think I did something purposely wrong” – was eloquent testimony to his unwillingness to listen to wiser voices.

For an intelligent man, with Fianna Fáil stamped in his marrow, this week must be akin to Armageddon.

It is almost trite now to recall that glorious sunny day outside Dáil Éireann in May 2008 when he was elected Taoiseach. It seemed to mark a turning of the axis, a new dawn for Irish politics, where substance would replace style and gruffer, timeless rural values would supplant the Westlife bling.

He came with sterling credentials, the first person in the history of the State to fill the four main government offices of taoiseach, tánaiste, foreign affairs and finance. To be sure, aside from that ineradicable party loyalty there was little evidence of convictions in his previous high offices. And the top job had fallen into his lap, without contesting an election as leader, which later would begin to look like a weaker mandate. But back then he had the nation in his hand. They wanted, needed, to believe.

An exultant Offaly poured into the capital on the day of his elevation, wrapping tricolour feather boas around gardaí and dancing to The Offaly Rover . He was greatly loved by his county people, revered by backbenchers, regarded as decent and a man of integrity, even by opposition figures. In the exuberant crowd outside Leinster House Fr Tony Egan, the Augustinian prior proudly kitted out in an Offaly shirt, talked about “huge, huge pride tinged with a little sadness, because [the Cowen family’s] lives are never going to be the same again”. He was prescient. Brian Cowen did not see a day’s luck thereafter.

Under his stewardship the Government developed an uncanny ability to turn bad to worse, to transform a banking crisis into a sovereign-debt crisis and a sovereign-debt crisis into a full-blown crisis of Irish democracy. What began with Seánie and Fingers and Bertie and Charlie ended up with Ajai Chopra and Olli Rehn. In the meantime all the roads that could have been taken – early refusal of the pay rise, dealing with quangos and cronyism, delivering ethics legislation, the chance to usher in an era of honesty, openness, a new trust in authority – were bypassed.

Imagine the difference they would have made when the hard times began to bite. But within six months of that great May celebration in 2008 a committed Cowen supporter was already confiding that Cowen had surrounded himself with cronies and yes-men – “but none that are his equals” – and had stopped listening to more independent voices. He failed to rise above his modest, low-key persona, telling Tubridy when questioned about his drinking that he was trying to be “authentic and true to myself and run a normal life”.

Given the devastating speed of events after his elevation, was such a “normal life” a realistic, even sensible aspiration? The inauguration of Barack Obama only seven months later was almost cruel in its timing for Cowen. Here, at the new year’s dawning, was a tough, confident, intelligent leader offering harsh medicine and hope, placing Americans’ challenge in the context of their forebears’ toil and sacrifice, articulating with curled lip and righteous gaze the people’s disgust at bankers and lobbyists and their cheerleaders.

Back in Ireland people waited and yearned for that decisiveness, that same independence of mind, someone to brew the bloody medicine and get us to swallow it. But they were equally yearning for a vision beyond the sour, gauche “it’s brutal and will get twice as brutal for years and years” mantra, someone to articulate the hope of a more noble, more sustainable nation at the other end, whenever that might be.

Instead the country lurched from drama to crisis, and last September, in a country already utterly humiliated on the international stage, Brian Cowen’s drinking would rear its head again after the Galway fiasco. “He doesn’t realise the dignity of his office,” sighed an Offaly man. “It requires a lot more than he wants to give it.” A trawl among supporters and opposition people of goodwill at the time yielded a view that he was “a natural number-two person”, never a leader.

Who saw that coming on that lovely May morning only 30 months earlier? “He didn’t change; the circumstances did,” says an ally. “But then, thinking back, who else in Fianna Fáil was up to it?”

source :http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/weekend/2011/0115/1224287558065.html?via=mr

Cowen looking after the vested interest of his pals in the Banks

Golfgate: Cowen encounter with Sean FitzPatrick revealed
today at 1:36 pm


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The Sunday Times has revealed that the former head of Anglo Irish Bank played golf with Brian Cowen as the bank headed towards oblivion.

The revelation of Golfgate comes in an exclusive interview with Sean FitzPatrick by the paper in which FitzPatrick tells that he played golf and had dinner with the then newly installed Taoiseach in July 2008 just months before the government introduced the bank guarantee scheme.

It has also emerged that Cowen spoke over the phone to FitzPatrick in March 2008, at which point he was still Minister for Finance. In that conversation Cowen was informed that there was an issue with the bank shares held by Seán Quinn.

In a statement to the Sunday Times, Cowen has admitted that the previously undisclosed encounters took place, describing hi round of golf with FitzPatrick as a “social occasion” at which “the affairs of Anglo Irish Bank were not discussed”.

In the interview with FitzPatrick, the former bank boss expresses serious regret at what happened at Anglo Irish but also says that he considers himself “an obvious scapegoat for the media and politicians” and describing himself as “one of the biggest victims of the current banking crisis.

Labour’s spokeperson on finance Joan Burton has said that she is “deeply concerned” at the revelations of contacts between Cowen and FitzPatrick and that she finds it “beyond belief” that the situation at the bank wasn’t discussed when the two men met.

Green Party Chairman Dan Boyle, whose party are in government with Cowen’s Fianna Fáil, has said that his party views the substance of the article “very seriously”.

Fine Gael TD Alan Shatter said that the Taoiseach needs to explain why he concealed public knowledge of the contacts and whether Green Party ministers were informed.


Cowen urged to explain bank talks

(UKPA) – 2 hours ago

The Green Party is demanding an explanation from Brian Cowen about previously undisclosed talks with former Anglo Irish Bank chief Sean FitzPatrick in the run-up to the State banking guarantee.

John Gormley, leader of the junior coalition partners, has asked to talk personally with the Taoiseach on Monday specifically about the latest revelations.

Mr Cowen confirmed he played golf and dined with Mr FitzPatrick two months before the taxpayer-backed bailout to save Anglo and other homegrown Irish banks from near collapse in September 2008.

source: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5ioiqEuZX1c7kNP40kaRiZvT0sQEQ?docId=N0056971294591548963A


Is there still anybody out there that believes that the Bailout was in the interest of the Irish Taxpayers . It is just unbelievable that the Greens could be so naïve that Cowen and |Lenihan would not have told them everything .Surely Gorman when they have been lying to the people of Ireland along with yourself and your own band of misfits why should you be so surprised that they were dealing with the banks behind you back ? They have been using you all along and that is the sad part you sold your core values out just to sit beside these Traitors .So what does that make you ?

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