Tuesday 16 October 2018

Tinney renews battle at EBS

Shane Ross

Ethna Tinney, who narrowly lost her seat as an independent director of the EBS last April, is to launch a challenge to regain her seat on the board.

The RTE producer has written to EBS supporters seeking signatures for her campaign to be reinstated. Nominations close on December 31.

Her re-election is certain to be opposed by the beleaguered board of troubled EBS.

In the letter to supportive members seen by the Sunday Independent, Ms Tinney makes it clear she originally had no intention to seek re-election, despite such a narrow defeat at the behest of insiders on the board at this year's AGM.

Last week's surprise appointment of little-known banker Fergus Murphy as the new EBS chief appears to have persuaded Ms Tinney to stand.

Ms Tinney states that "it has taken the board five months to announce his successor". She points out that Mr Murphy had only last month announced he was taking up a new job -- not at the EBS, but at Shelbourne Developments.

This followed yet another unusually short-term assignment for Mr Murphy. He started as chief executive of ACC in April, a job that lasted just six months, and suggests that "this strange turn of events does not inspire confidence".

Ms Tinney also notes that the society had this year again failed to attract a partner despite spending millions on a projected joint venture with UK Building Society Britannia.

The UK company pulled out of the deal last month, "just like Rabobank did in 2004" according to the letter.

The scene is set for another contest between Ms Tinney and candidates supported by the chairman Mark Moran, including UK millionaire Philip Williamson and Moran's fellow Mater Private Hospital director, Jim Ruane.

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