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Saturday 16 December 2017

Renards will march again, to the sound of a different Drumm. . .


THE name's Drumm -- Ken Drumm. And before you even ask, yes, he is the brother of David Drumm, the former chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank.

He also happens to be the man looking to breathe new life into the legendary Dublin nightclub, Renards, with an ambitious plan to re-open the venue for business in the coming weeks. A 'soft opening' followed by an official opening some time in November is already pencilled in for the world-famous celebrity haunt, according to Mr Drumm.

"There's a huge loyalty to Renards. We have talked to a lot of people and they've all said the same thing, you know, 'thank God'. We're going to do more of the same. Robbie Fox won't be there of course, but we have our own ideas in that department which I can't talk about right now. It can be as good as it was before, and possibly even better," he says.

"Having Robbie across the road is great. All the people who love him will be just 500 metres away from Renards. Somebody said to me: 'Oh, Robbie is going to be across the street. Won't that be a bit of competition?' That's not competition. Robbie two miles away in Temple Bar is competition. Robbie over on Dawson Street is the best news I could hear," Mr Drumm insists.

And while his name might not be as familiar to Dublin's late-night revellers as Robbie Fox's, Ken Drumm has been around a long time, albeit behind the scenes as opposed to front of house. In fact, the businessman was the driving force behind the hugely popular Judge Roy Bean's on Dublin's Nassau Street in the 1990s.

"That was my baby and something I'm very proud of. It was a great time in Dublin. It was 1994 and things were just coming up. It was so exciting. We had so much fun in Judge Roy Bean's.

"I equate this with what is happening now. It [the economy] wasn't nice in 1994 either. I don't think you could even give a pub away at the time. You couldn't sell one. That changed shortly afterwards. But I operated that business at the time and there was a lot of downward pressure on me. So this [Renards] is kind of something similar. Whatever's happening to our economy right now, to Dublin and to the licensing trade, that has to improve. Things are going to get better. I'm taking a long-term view," he says.

And so, to the thorny issue of his brother David, and Anglo Irish Bank.

He says: "On a personal level, I love my brother very much. When there was a lot of attention and a lot of criticism of David, I would get upset by some of the criticism.

"I would say that David Drumm is my brother, and there's nothing different about that relationship. As regards the circumstances [of Anglo Irish Bank], they are an entirely different matter.

"The man I would defend to the ends of the earth. The circumstances I can't really comment on. I don't know that much about them. The circumstances I will never defend, but the man, yes.

"Just on the matter of his being in America; the criticism there is a little bit unfair. He went home. He didn't go running to America. He [and his family] had spent years there, and they had built a life there.

"He came to do this job and take up a post, but they were always going home [to America] when that job was done. They just went home a lot earlier than they expected, and in circumstances that were extremely difficult. What happened happened, and he is trying to deal with the fallout, and deal with it as honourably as he can."

Sunday Independent

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