Tuesday 20 March 2018

Daniel McConnell: €2m wasted on 'watchdogs' of public interest

The banks' cause is what these directors really fight for – we come second.

Shortly after 5pm on Saturday, October 25, 2008, an hour or so before the first edition of the Sunday Independent went to print, I was at my desk when my mobile phone rang. It was a private number. "Hello," I said. "Daniel, this is Brian Lenihan. I have something that might impact on your front page for tomorrow."

Just 24 hours after having signed the now infamous €440bn blanket bank guarantee into law, the then Finance Minister informed me that, in exchange for State support, the Government was to appoint what he called two public interest directors to each of the covered institutions – AIB, Bank of Ireland, Anglo Irish Bank, Irish Nationwide, Irish Life and Permanent and the EBS.

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