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Revealed: the losers in AIB share wipeout

POLITICIANS, businessmen, churches and charities have lost millions in the collapse of AIB shares, a special investigation by the Irish Independent reveals.

The Church of Ireland is nursing one of the biggest losses after its €17.3m investment plummeted to just over €260,000 in the shares wipeout.

Other high-profile figures and organisations who were badly burned include Health Minister Mary Harney and her husband Brian Geoghegan; Fine Gael frontbencher Richard Bruton; Dunnes Stores chief Margaret Heffernan and her brother Frank Dunne; Fianna Fail TD Sean Haughey; and publican Charlie Chawke.

Shares in AIB sank to their lowest level since April last night as news of a new executive chairman failed to ignite a revival.

The almost-nationalised bank spent much of the day trading at 34c, a level not seen for more than six months.

And the bank's shares are likely to fall even further once the Government raises its stake to 90pc in December as part of another €3.7bn cash injection to shore up the bank.

The Irish Independent has learned that the share collapse has all but wiped out millions of euro invested in the bank by Irish churches and charities.

According to the register of AIB's shareholders, the Church of Ireland holds one of the biggest individual shareholding in the bank, with 750,000 shares.

When the shares were trading at their highest price of €23 four years ago, the Church of Ireland's shares were worth as much as €17.3m. But the wipeout means its stake in the bank now stands at just €262,500.

The Catholic Church has also felt the brunt of AIB's failure.

Shares held by the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, and Archbishop Dermot Clifford on behalf of their dioceses were also badly hit.

Shares owned by Dr Clifford's diocese have fallen in value from €24,495 to €372, while those of Dr Martin's diocese are down from €21,206 to €322.

Well-known charity organisations have also seen their investment almost wiped out.

The Claremont Trust for the education of the deaf and dumb held more than 40,000 shares in the bank. These were valued at €1m at the end of 2006 but are now worth just over €15,000.

Substantial monies were also invested on behalf of the Rotunda Hospital, the Royal Hospital in Donnybrook and Mercers Hospital.

The Catholic Marriage Advisory Centre in Cork, the Samaritans, the Legion of Mary and the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children were also AIB shareholders.

AIB's former chairman Dermot Gleeson is also nursing a huge financial loss on his 400,000 bank shares, which were once worth as much as €6m but have plunged in value to just €140,000.

The bank's former boss Eugene Sheehy also has 2,760 shares, now worth just €966 -- down from a high of €63,480.

Credit unions in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim, Castlerea, Co Roscommon and in Dublin are sitting on a total investment loss of more than €100,000 between them.

Politicians also invested in the shares that were once viewed as blue-chip investments.

They include Fine Gael's Richard Bruton; FF TDs Ned O'Keeffe, Sean Haughey, Sean Power and Michael Mulcahy; Mary Harney and MEP Joe Costello.

Well-known business figures include financier Dermot Desmond, who has a modest investment that has fallen from over €12,000 to €189; Margaret Heffernan and her brother Frank Dunne, who each own shares now worth €5,410 down from over €355,000; and Charlie Chawke, whose shares are down from €137,563 to €2,093.


Yesterday's share price fall makes it even more unlikely that the bank will be able to convince any private investors to snap up the new shares it plans to issue next month.

The bank is pricing the shares at 50c a piece, or almost 50pc more than they were changing hands for yesterday.

The National Pension Reserve Fund -- essentially a rainy-day fund to pay for Ireland's future pensions -- has agreed to buy any shares that aren't taken up by the market.

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan hopes the State will wind down its stake in the bank over time to realise a "healthy" profit, but this is likely to take a long time.

Counting the cost of share collapse

Name of shareholder Number of shares Highest value € Today's value €
Church Body Church of Ireland 750,000 17.3m 262,500
Rector Monkstown Parish Church Dublin 51,800 1.2m 18,130
The governors for the Claremont trust 43,738 1m 15,308
Irish International Trading Corp Cork 42,899 986,677 15,014
Governors Mercers Hosp 25,000 575,000 8,750
IFA Bluebell 24,740 569,020 8,659
St Fintan's Diocesan Trust Mullingar 19,420 446,660 6,797
Parish Priest Raphoe 16,463 378,649 5,762
Dr Margaret Heffernan* 15,458 170,038 5,410
Frank Dunne* 15,458 170,038 5,410
Jewish Home of Ireland 13,516 310,868 4,730
Co Cavan Protestant Orphan Society 13,323 306,429 4,663
Sir Lingard Goulding Bart 10,635 244,605 3,722
Gov and Guardians Rotunda Hospital 10,368 238,464 3,628
Dublin Working Home and Harding Technical School 10,000 230,000 3,500
Ossory Board of Education 9,271 213,233 3,244
St John of God Convent Kilkenny 9,186 211,278 3,215
Kilmore Board of Education Cavan 7,262 167,026 2,541
St Peters Almshouse Charity South Circular Rd 6,428 147,844 2,249
Archbishop of Dublin St Lawrence 6,133 141,059 2,146
Brian Geoghegan and Mary Harney* 6,000 44,160 2,100
Charlie Chawke the Goat 5,981 137,563 2,093
Bishop ofWaterford and Lismore 4,571 105,133 1,599
Cork DioceseTrustees* 4,520 90,400 1,582
Lady Doris Mitchell Bateman Belfast 4,482 103,086 1,568
Dean St Patricks Cathedral 4,320 99,360 1,512
Co Leitrim Protestant Orphan Society 3,916 90,068 1,370
Council ofAlexandra College Milltown 3,760 86,480 1,316
Irish Medical Association 3,234 74,382 1,132
Irish Ladies Hockey Fund 3,200 73,600 1,120
Wesley Chapel Development Fund Douglas, Cork 2,989 68,747 1,046
St Finians Diocesan, Bishops House, Mullingar 2,880 66,240 1,008
IrishV eteran and Vintage Car Club 2,700 62,100 945
YMCA Cork 2,599 59,777 909
The Clare Heritage and Genealogical centre 2,530 58,190 885
Reverend Lord Bishop of Cork, Diocese of Cloyne 2,454 56,442 859
Dubco Credit Union Dublin 2,073 47,679 725
Rector St Catherine's Parish Church 2,000 46,000 700
Unitarian Church, St Stephen's Green 1,895 43,585 663
Co Longford Protestant Orphan Society 1,684 38,732 589
Clare Champion 1,560 35,880 546
Sean Donlon, Killaloe* 1,550 24,149 542
Oxfam Ireland Belfast 1,536 35,328 537
Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children 1,532 35,236 536
St Nicholas Church of Ireland Taylors Hill Galway 1,467 33,741 513
Castlerea Credit Union 1,459 33,557 510
Rector andWarden St Lukes Church, Cork 1,259 28,957 440
Governors of the Royal Hospital Donnybrook* 1,206 3,618 422
Archbishop Dermot Clifford, Thurles 1,065 24,495 372
Clonmel Credit Union 950 21,850 332
Archbishop of Dublin 922 21,206 322
Rev P Moore Administrator Mullingar Cathedral 904 20,792 316
Catholic Archbishop of Dublin 766 17,618 268
Richard Bruton 753 17,319 263
Church of Ireland Longford 690 15,870 241
Catholic Marriage Advisory Centre Cork 676 15,548 236
Dermot Desmond 541 12,443 189
St Lukes Parish Church Sth Circular Rd 520 11,960 182
Chairman and friends of Christchurch Cathedral 500 11,500 175
Parish Priest and Archbishop of the Parish of Newport 474 10,902 165
Convent Perpetual Adoration, Wexford 462 10,626 161
Rector and Church Warden Aughadown and Kilcoe Union 400 9,200 140
Ossory Diocesan Board of Education, Co Laois 394 9,062 137
Legion of Mary Dublin 388 8,924 135
Dean and Chapter of Christchurch Cathedral 321 7,383 112
Samaritans Ireland* 321 4,156 112
Rector Killarney Union, St Marys 124 2,852 43
Eugene Sheehy (FormerAIB Chief Executive) 2,760 63,480 966
Dermot Gleeson (FormerAIB Chairman)* 400,000 6m 140,000
*shares purchased after December 2006

Irish Independent