Pat the Banker earns his bread
Bank of Ireland has resorted to calling in the ghosts. When I arrived at the Dail's Finance Committee hearings last Wednesday, I fully expected to be spooked by the forbidding figure of Bank of Ireland boss Richie Boucher.
Boucher was there all right. Indeed, he was pontificating as I arrived, but it was the man beside him who sent me into spasms. There he sat perched on the podium, a veteran of past Oireachtas committees, a former general secretary of Fianna Fail, a senator nominated by Taoiseach Albert Reynolds, the last boss of the Irish Bankers' Federation, the one-time communications chief at the EBS, a fully paid-up member of the banking/politics old guard, Pat Farrell.
Today, Pat Farrell has been reincarnated as Richie Boucher's crutch. Although he carries his grandest, but most ridiculous, title yet, as 'Head of Group Communication and Government Relations', his latest mission is to soften Richie's battered image. Which places him somewhere between a masochist and a madman.