Wednesday 16 January 2019

Former inter-county GAA star angrily confronts his old bank boss Michael Fingleton

<ichael Fingleton, former chief
executive of Irish Nationwide, is
confronted by one of his former
employees at the Employment
Appeals Tribunal. Former branch
manager and Monaghan footballer
Brendan Beggan (48) claims he was
unfairly dismissed in 2009 after
failing to repay loans to the society. Photo: Frank McGrath
Michael Fingleton leaving the Employment Appeals Tribunal yesterday where he was pursued by former branch manager Brendan Beggan
Mr Beggan confronted Mr Fingleton at his car
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

FIRED Irish Nationwide branch manager Brendan Beggan could not contain his anger towards his former boss at the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) yesterday.

In heated scenes following the hearing, Mr Beggan, a former Monaghan inter-county GAA star, confronted Michael Fingleton, the disgraced former chief executive of the now nationalised lender.

Mr Fingleton had tried to leave the building on Dublin's Adelaide Road towards the staff exit at the side.

Confronted with members of the press, and a myriad of cameras pointed in his direction, he turned away from the side exit and waited in a consultation room for around 15 minutes, along with the building society's legal team. He then put on his trademark black hat and bit the bullet, proceeding out the door to the waiting media, but refusing to answer questions.

As he did, he was followed and confronted by an irate Mr Beggan who waved a document at him and made a number of accusations.

Mr Fingleton remained absolutely silent in the face of the tongue-lashing from his one-time employee, a former captain of the Monaghan football team.

As a car pulled up at around 12.30pm, he sat in to the front passenger seat and it drove away.

Earlier, Mr Fingleton had given evidence that was completely at odds with what Mr Beggan and his partner Olivia Greene had said about the building society.

Mr Fingleton insisted that he had not been aware of €1.5m in loans that were given to Mr Beggan, until an audit in 2007.

He said that he made no agreement with Mr Beggan that he could pay back loans out of his salary.

Mr Fingleton had arrived at the hearing around 9am yesterday morning, avoiding waiting photographers.

At around 10.40am he was shown to the back of the tribunal's G14 hearing room by a secretary.

He sat uncomfortably, surrounded by journalists, for around 10 minutes while the tribunal discussed what to do about another key witness who failed to turn up despite a subpoena.

Mr Fingleton was then called to give evidence and made his first public comments responding to allegations that he ran the building society as a personal fiefdom.

After the hearing Mr Fingleton refused to answer when asked by the Irish Independent if he would pay back the €1m bonus he received in 2009.

He also refused to respond when asked if he would return the €10,000 watch he received as a parting gift.

Irish Independent

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