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Drumm shamed by legal farce

THE machinations of former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm are a knife twisting in the gut of the nation. If Mr Drumm is sick to his stomach about the pain the people are feeling, the people are correspondingly sick of his combined whingeing and posturing.

For months now, he has been using the law to try to elude and baffle the Irish taxpayer.

The alleged efforts of the former bank chief to keep his half share of his family home in Malahide out of the reach of the nationalised Anglo Irish have been ruefully described by a High Court judge as a legal Lanigan's Ball.

This is the man who presided over the rogue bank that operated the so-called 'Golden Circle', made secret loans to its own directors, published misleading accounts and created problems that could yet destroy the economy. A tsunami of reckless lending by Anglo Irish swept competitors along in its wake, ending in a potential €90bn sea of tears -- €50bn for the banks and €40bn for NAMA.

The bank's former chief executive, Sean FitzPatrick, became something of a national hate figure when he refused to apologise on the 'Marian Finucane Show' for the bank's mistakes and then told the rest of the country that it should tighten its belt.

But at least Sean Fitzpatrick has stayed to face whatever the music may turn out to be. His successor's merry dance, far away in Boston, under cover of his US bankruptcy, is particularly galling for a public who cannot understand why nobody has yet been prosecuted for actions that could still bring down the country.

Fine Gael's Leo Varadkar expressed public feelings when he said the Taoiseach should use his position to prompt the DPP and the gardai to pursue people. "Sean FitzPatrick, David Drumm, Fingleton. I think if they were arrested it would send shockwaves," he said.

Yesterday Mr Varadkar added that he believed arrests would send out a signal of resolve that would immediately bring a half point reduction in Ireland's borrowing costs.

Today's disclosure that the disgraced banker "cannot afford" to pay his credit card bills, or car loan, while continuing to rent an expensive mansion, looks like one more twist of plot in a disgraceful farce.

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