Gaybo calls failed banks to account
RTE star Gay Byrne has warned that thousands of Irish pensioners are living in fear because of the creeping assault on retirement incomes left devastated by the bank shares collapse.
The warning came as the former 'Late Late Show' host admitted that he believes that there is much worse to come.
"I am a pensioner and, just like thousands of other pensioners around the country, I am worried," he told the Irish Independent.
"At a time when people and their families should be reasonably comfortable and looking forward to a lack of financial problems at this time in their life, people are not in that position.
"We put away wonderful money in Allied Irish Banks, Bank of Ireland, Irish Life and Anglo Irish Bank. All of these were safe houses. . . but there you are."
Mr Byrne (78) said, like thousands of other pensioners, he is still counting the full cost of the wipeout in Irish bank shares.
"I remember distinctly sitting in the car park at Sutton at 8.15am one morning ... and I heard (David) Drumm and Seanie Fitzpatrick on 'Morning Ireland' and they were reassuring me and everybody else listening that Anglo was 10 times covered for anything that might happen. There is no safer bank in Ireland they said.
"I walked out to the car and said my pension is safe.
"But we are all in the same bracket. . . we are all in the same boat now."
Mr Byrne said the spiralling cost of living and the new property tax were also major causes of concern for elderly people.
"These are just more drains on what you have," he said.
"I think what is going on is savage.
"I just don't know where the thing is going," he said.
Mr Byrne was speaking as he launched the newest mobile phone outlet for his daughter, Crona, and her partner, Philip Carney, in Cork.
"I am here to lend a bit of moral support. I think they are very brave indeed to open a new business on the eve of what is going to be one of the most horrific days for Ireland."