Egg-throwing pensioner unrepentant after attack
THE FEISTY pensioner who pelted rotten eggs at the chairman of Allied Irish Banks in protest over the bank's share collapse last night said he would be prepared to do it all over again.
Gary Keogh (66) was unrepentant last night after he caused a stir at AIB's tense emergency general meeting in Dublin yesterday.
The angry 66-year-old fired two rotten eggs at the bank's board of directors as they addressed hundreds of angry shareholders whose share values have been virtually wiped out due to questionable lending practices by the bank.
One of the eggs hit the microphone of AIB chairman Dermot Gleeson and splattered over his suit.
The protester was escorted out of the meeting by security. But speaking afterwards, the grandfather-of-five, from Blackrock, Co Dublin, said he was "delighted" he was able to vent his anger on behalf of himself and other investors whose pensions and life savings were virtually wiped out by the bank's poor performance.
He said his only regret was that one of the eggs missed his second target, AIB CEO Eugene Sheehy.
"I bought them a month ago and made sure they were really evil smelling -- like the board of AIB," the retired decorating businessman told the Irish Independent. "I have no regrets whatsoever, I should have brought a gun."
Mr Keogh, who had invested with the bank for 20 years, saw his €20,000 in shares dwindle to a tenth of their value, leaving him with nothing but the state pension and a small dividend from a rental property to fund his retirement.
"I only brought two eggs because I couldn't afford to buy the half dozen. I didn't throw my shoes, which is probably a greater insult, because I only have one pair of shoes," he added.
While some of the shareholders at the meeting were not impressed by his attack and applauded when he was escorted out by security, a steady stream of shareholders and callers to RTE's 'Liveline' show branded him a hero.
Mr Keogh, who had a kidney transplant 16 months ago, said he wasn't about to go down without a fight yesterday.
And he continued his fight on the airwaves when he berated the bank's board of directors for bringing "a powerful, profitable bank to its knees".
"Now someone might have to sit up, take notice and get their clothes cleaned," he said. "These are directors. I wouldn't have them direct traffic in a car park. I have five grandchildren, the eldest is nine, and they could run the bank better than those fools," he added.