Tuesday 15 October 2019

Straight shooter plotted perilous course

Aine Kerr and Emmet Oliver

NO-nonsense Fine Gael elder statesman Alan Dukes was poised to go down in the history books as the 'Tallaght Strategy Guy'.

But he may yet be primarily remembered as the man who tried to steer the state-owned Anglo Irish Bank to safe shores at a cost of billions to taxpayers.

The former Fine Gael leader, former finance minister and former Fine Gael vice-president disappeared into the world of corporate consultation when he bowed out of politics in 2002.

But he was dramatically hurled back into the limelight when he was appointed to the board of Anglo to represent the public interest in 2008.

Last March, the 64-year old was directly appointed as Anglo chairman by Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, but his salary has not been made public.

The former Fine Gael leader brings with him his experience as an economist with the Irish Farmers' Association.

He was finance minister between 1982 and 1986 when he had to cope with massive debts, high unemployment and mass emigration.

After Fine Gael were dumped out of office in 1987, Mr Dukes -- the then party leader -- offered to support Fianna Fail if his arch rivals implemented the tough economic policies he believed were needed to pull Ireland back from the brink.

Irish Independent

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