FORMER government minister Ivan Yates was upbeat yesterday as he bid a final farewell to listeners on his radio show.
The former bookmaker and Fine Gael agriculture minister from Co Wexford announced last month that he would be leaving his post as co-presenter of the Newstalk show on Good Friday in order to concentrate on sorting out his personal affairs.
However, he left a day early. It's understood he is considering moving to the UK in order to declare himself bankrupt following the collapse of his Celtic Bookmakers chain in January 2011. The collapse left him with debts of €6m.
Mr Yates thanked his listeners and his colleagues at News-talk for their support since he began presenting the show on May 21, 2009.
"I really am very appreciative of everybody in Newstalk for the opportunity that I've been given. But I want to specially thank all the listeners. I've received lots of cards . . . and I want to thank everybody who has taken the trouble to write, or tweet or text. You've been extremely kind," he said.
He said he was particularly touched by one card he received from RTE newsreader Sharon Ni Bheolain.
Co-presenter Chris Dono-ghue also paid tribute to his outgoing colleague. "You are a pleasure to work with and fantastic company," he told Mr Yates. "He's very very passionate about his work," he said.