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Dermot Egan

MARTIN FITZPATRICK THERE is a wonderful story told about a meeting between the former executive director of AIB, Dermot Egan, and the ex-Taoiseach Charles Haughey. They happened upon each other in the Berkley Court Hotel shortly after both had retired from their 'regular' jobs.

"Ah Dermot, what are you doing with yourself these days?" Mr Haughey inquired.

"Busy," the one-time head of the human resources department at Bankcentre and scion of the Irish Management Institute, replied.

Egan went on to explain he was on the board of the National Concert Hall; he was doing some visiting academic work in DCU; he was chair of Cothu, the council to encourage sponsorship in the arts; he was a non-executive director of Wilson Hartnell, the public relations firm; and so on.

"And what about yourself, Charlie? What are you doing?" he asked the so-called 'Squire of Kinsealy'.

"Same as you, Dermot, f**k all."

The small morsel of truth in that unkind reply is that people who retire from senior jobs are seldom accorded the same status for their retirement activities that they get for their day jobs, no matter how active these jobs are.

Dermot Egan was a psychologist who specialised in IMI management programmes before he was hired by the newly merged AIB in 1970. He became the bank's personnel boss and the resident promoter of Irish art in Bankcentre.

Despite Haughey's crack, he has indeed been busy in retirement, working with all the above mentioned bodies as well as serving on the board of United Drug as a non-executive director.

He is 69 this year and still manages to be seen around the galleries.