Ronan flees after image crisis summit
He had no option as escalating media circus threatened Treasury
Published 14/03/2010 | 05:00
Johnny Ronan left Ireland last Friday afternoon. He will not return for several months. It is the latest twist in the drama which has dogged the life of the Treasury Holdings founder since the fracas between himself and his former girlfriend Glenda Gilson two weeks ago.
Despite the press release announcing his intention to step aside from Treasury Holdings for the moment, the decision to quit the country came as a major shock to those close to him. However, the colourful tycoon felt that he had no option as the escalating media circus threatened the business.
The decision to step down followed discussions at the start of the week with Richard Barrett, his business partner and co-founder of Treasury Holdings.
Mr Barrett had returned from Shanghai last Monday to deal with "the media circus" after word of Ronan's extraordinary escapade with former Miss World Rosanna Davison captured headlines around the world.
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The immediate worry was that there was the possibility that certain parts of the business, specifically the Battersea power station project in London and some others in China, "could suffer".
Ronan sat down with Barrett and their top PR consultants, Murrays, and discussed their strategy.
Ronan asked the PR people what was in the best interests of Treasury Holdings. "Step aside temporarily," was their response and Ronan agreed readily to do it "in the best interests of the business".
It is known that Ronan is convinced that Treasury Holdings is firmly on track. He does not wish the company with which he is most prominently associated to be a burden on the taxpayer.
Sources close to him insist that "the State will have to pay for nothing. Every penny will be paid back".
Asked to respond to suggestions that relations between Bank of Ireland and Treasury Holdings had become severely strained as a result of the media circus, the bank's chief executive, Richie Boucher, said: "I am not aware of any tensions between the bank and Treasury Holdings."