Business Irish

Monday 20 November 2017

Hard-up builders and bankers watched game in lap of luxury

Nick Webb

Nick Webb

THE corporate boxes of Croke Park were jammers last weekend as a crowd of 83,000 saw the Dubs lift the Sam Maguire.

Our photos show that the bailed out banks, loss-making semi-states, Nama client property developers, pub tycoons, and even the odd beef baron were there for the pulsating match.

AIB, Irish Life, Bank of Ireland and its insurance wing New Ireland all had major branding on the front of the corporate boxes at Croke Park last weekend.

"The Bank's position on corporate boxes remains as previously stated, that we will honour all existing contracts -- but we will not be renewing same at the end of the contract terms," according to Bank of Ireland, which has already received a €3.5bn bailout from the taxpayer.

The bank declined to comment on the identity of the guests in its box.

"For the GAA championship since 2010, AIB has offered its corporate boxes in Croke Park for charitable purposes. The Bank nominates local charities who then have the opportunity to entertain their donors and patrons at the boxes. To date over 70 charities have benefited from attendance," according to the bank which is controlled by the taxpayer after mega bailouts.

Perennial loss-making semi-state CIE has had a corporate box for yonks as a by-product of a land deal with the GAA. Despite being earmarked for a possible sale, the National Lottery was also entertaining in its box. Branding from corporate giants Canada Life, Eircom, Energia, Zurich, Powers, Cemex, Arthur Cox and Larry Goodman's AIBP was very much in evidence at the front of corporate boxes.

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