Thursday 21 September 2017

Ivan Yates' departure from Newstalk Breakfast 'absolutely by choice'

Ivan Yates
Ivan Yates
Fionnan Sheahan

Fionnan Sheahan

Ivan Yates is leaving Newstalk.

The former Agriculture Minister presents the Breakfast show on the stations at the weekday morning slot from 630am to 10am.

He will be departing in July and also stepping down from his roles as a presenter on TV3 and as a columnist with the Irish Independent.

Mr Yates has presented the programme since 2008, apart from his 16 months in Wales when he emerged from bankruptcy.

He worked alongside Claire Byrne initially on the show and was later joined by co-presenter Chris Donoghue on his return from Wales.

Speaking to independent.ie Chris Donoghue has paid tribute to Mr Yates saying they worked brilliantly as a team.

"Ivan has been a great partner on air, where most 'big names' want all the limelight to themselves Yates has always been happy to share with the people he works with.... He just wants all the money,” he joked.

"He's never been boring and it's been a real pleasure to share a studio with him. We've been talking about this day for a couple of months and will see out our last three months of Newstalk Breakfast with great energy."

He added: "As for Newstalk, it has so many talented people there's a great opportunity now for a fresh new breakfast show with a fresh new line up."

Read more: How does the nation feel about Ivan Yates' departure from Newstalk?

The former Fine Gael TD will be stepping back from public life and travelling with his wife, Deirdre, for a year.

Mr Yates has categorically denied his departure from his media roles is related to his wife’s financial difficulties after AIB secured a €1.6m debt judgment against his wife, Deirdre.

“I am saying categorically this is completely unlike my departure to Wales and which was quite brutal. This is absolutely by choice,” he told independent.ie.

On whether this time out, the departure was down to Deirdre’s finances and if she was now seeking bankruptcy, he said this was “absolutely” not the case.

The debt arises out of a guarantee Deirdre Yates gave on loans obtained from AIB to her husband for his Celtic Bookmakers business, which went into liquidation in 2011.

Mr Yates was later declared bankrupt in the UK, having lived for 16 months in Wales to qualify under that country's more relaxed bankruptcy laws.

AIB said that as Mrs Yates was a majority shareholder, director and company secretary of the bookmakers, it was entitled to recover from her €1.6m arising out of the single guarantee that she signed on her husband's debt.

Mrs Yates, a primary school teacher, claims that when she signed the guarantee she did not receive, and was not advised to receive, legal advice about the implications of doing so.

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