Friday 19 January 2018

Time to end charade of 'public interest' directors in the banks

'Ireland is terribly demoralised in all things ... ' WB Yeats wrote to fellow poet and nationalist Alice Milligan in 1894. "She will never be greatly better until she governs herself but she will be greatly worse unless there arise protesting spirits."

Almost 120 years later, the need for those protesting spirits to challenge the status quo remains pressing. They are required in every walk of life, but let's focus on one particular sphere: the banks.

When former Finance Minister, the late Brian Lenihan, was bailing out banks on behalf of taxpayers, he recognised the importance of protesting spirits and appointed two public interest directors to each rescued institution.

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