Ivan Yates: My wife is not as hard-assed as me and speculation about bankruptcy trips are inappropriate
Broadcaster Ivan Yates insists his wife's financial difficulties will be resolved separately from his upcoming departure from public life and trip around the world.
The radio and television presenter will take a step back from all his media roles in the first week in July and will begin travelling with his wife Deirdre in August.
Since announcing his time off, Yates has categorically denied the move has anything to do with AIB securing a €1.6m debt judgment against Deirdre.
The case against Mrs Yates arose out of a guarantee she gave on April 13, 2010, towards €6.7m in loans for the expansion of the Celtic Bookmakers chain, which was run by her husband. In January 2011, the bank appointed a receiver over Celtic, which went into liquidation.
- Read More: 'It does affect my quality of life' - This is what Ivan Yates has to do to ease his intense back pains
Mr Yates was later declared bankrupt in the UK, having lived for 16 months in Wales to qualify under that country's more relaxed bankruptcy laws.
AIB said that as Mrs Yates was a majority shareholder, director and company secretary of the bookmakers, it was entitled to recover from her €1.6m arising out of the single guarantee that she signed on her husband's debt.
Mrs Yates, a primary school teacher, claims that when she signed the guarantee she did not receive, and was not advised to receive, legal advice about the implications of doing so.
New bankruptcy laws mean that there would be no need for Deirdre to take the same route as her husband, he Former Fine Gael TD said.
"There was a bit of a spin because I had been away in Wales myself in relation to personal solvency and bankruptcy," he said.
"The bankruptcy law back in 2012 when I left were 12 years that you were out of action. Now it's the same as Britain, so you don't need to go abroad anymore.
"Those issues are going to resolve themselves quite separately to this and are completely unrelated."
The former Agriculture Minister said he didn't mind the "spin" that was created after he announced his year away.
"I'm a great believer in controversy. My job is to provoke conversation in the media. I'm impervious to anything personal.
"Deirdre is slightly different. She's not as hard-assed as me, so that was a bit inappropriate, but it's not something I'm dwelling on really. I'm quite happy to move on and see where we go from here."
The TV3 presenter says that top of his travel list will be the Breeders' Cup and Las Vegas. Since the broadcaster suffers from severe back pain, they won't be flying at any point of their extensive holiday.
"It's clinically insane, but it's okay," he said.
"Deirdre will design to whole thing."
Ivan was speaking at the launch of the 'Mypainfeelslike...” campaign, which aims to help chronic pain sufferers describe their pain by offering pictures to represent symptoms like “a burning fire under the skin” or “sharp needles travelling through the back”. For more information, visit the website here.