Friday 17 November 2017

Gaybo and the €20m deal

STAKE: Gay Byrne
STAKE: Gay Byrne

Former Late Late Show host Gay Byrne has emerged as a beneficiary of a major office block deal in the IFSC.

Last year property firm IPUT spent €20m to buy the Georges Dock 6 building. Land registry documents show that Byrne held a 4.2pc stake in the building bought in the boom.

Other shareholders included Anne Geaney, the wife of the late Donal Geaney who helped build Elan into a global pharma giant; Davy Stockbrokers' Kyran McLaughlin; Francis Brennan of the Park Hotel; former Irish Permanent banker Roy Douglas; Jazz pharma's Seamus Mulligan; and former GPA executive and Guinness & Mahon banker Peter Ledbetter, with Arthur Cox partners Michael Meghen and John S Walsh also involved.

Kildare developer Patrick Mooney had the biggest chunk, with a 12.5pc stake. He was also involved in the €180m buyout of the BoI headquarters on Baggot Street during the boom.

Former Anglo Irish chairman Sean FitzPatrick was also involved, although his 5.74pc stake was transferred to bankruptcy trustee Chris Lehane. Anglo banked the deal before it was refinanced by BoI.

AIB's former tax man to advise on low pay

Last week Business Minister Ged Nash appointed Donal de Buitleir as chairman of the Low Pay Commission, the new quango established to advise the Government on the minimum wage.

De Buitleir is director of the thinktank and previously he worked in AIB group.

The Department told me he is "eminently qualified" for the role. Bankers advising on low pay?

For those without long memories, de Buitleir was AIB's head of taxation from 1989 onwards. He testified in the PAC's probe into the Dirt scandal in the late 1990s. The final PAC report questioned the reliability of the assurances offered by de Buitleir to AIB's board of directors and its external auditors, PwC, on what had been agreed with the Revenue.

De Buitleir had said that the bank did not have any outstanding Dirt arrears with the Revenue, and his opinion was accepted by the board and the auditors as sufficient proof that there was no need to make a provision in its 1991 accounts for tax arrears. PAC disputed this.

AIB went on to make a grovelling €114m settlement with the Revenue in 2000.



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