FORMER Anglo Irish Bank boss David Drumm is refusing to return to Ireland to face the music.
The banker, who is fighting attempts by Anglo to recover the €8.5m which he owes it, claims that he wouldn't be treated fairly if he came back to this country.
In the five years that Drumm was boss of Anglo, the now bankrupt lender indulged in an orgy of reckless lending during which it doubled the size of its loan book to more than €70bn. Cleaning up the mess he left behind when he high-tailed it to the United States will cost the Irish taxpayer at least €30bn and led directly to last year's EU/IMF bailout.
Unlike his former boss Sean FitzPatrick, who stayed in Ireland to answer the many charges against him, Drumm fled. He is now skulking in Massachusetts, having declared bankruptcy in Boston in October of last year.
According to Drumm, none of what happens is his fault. To which one is tempted to dig up Kenneth Williams' immortal Carry On line: "Infamy, infamy, they've all got it in for me!"
The banker appears to inhabit a parallel universe to most of the rest of us: "Why would I go somewhere where politicians, senior ministers and even High Court judges have more or less stated that there is a witch-hunt on and 'we are going to get him'? Why would somebody put their family at risk by signing up for that?"
What a cry baby. Just because an enraged Irish public, who will be paying for his and FitzPatrick's recklessness for generations to come, have had the temerity to object to his insanely irresponsible mismanagement of Anglo, Drumm is refusing to come home and face the music. While FitzPatrick, who was Anglo chairman while Drumm was chief executive, has been arrested and questioned by gardai as part of their investigation into the affairs of the bank, as has former Anglo finance director Willie McAteer, Drumm is determined to avoid having the law feel his collar.
"I am here [in Boston] trying to make a living and raise a family, which I am entitled to do," says Drumm. Quite apart from the utterly nauseating sense of entitlement, Drumm might find himself back in Ireland sooner than he is planning.
Drumm managed to get into the US on an investor's visa under which he promised to invest a certain amount in that country. However, Kathleen Dwyer, the Boston court official appointed to supervise Drumm's bankruptcy application, has alleged that he and his wife Lorraine engaged in several bogus transactions and these have rendered his visa application invalid.
Now if there is one thing guaranteed to get up Uncle Sam's nose it is being less than frank in your visa application. Drumm might find himself among us sooner than he thinks.
When he does we should give him a cead mile failte. This is the man who more than any other, including the widely and justly reviled FitzPatrick, has reduced the Irish people to penury and cost this state its economic sovereignty.
Drumm says that we are "out to get him". Damned right, we are. This is the man who has shattered the hopes and dreams of a generation and condemned us to years of negative equity, jobs losses and tax increases.
As he cries into his beer in Boston, Drumm should remember that while he can temporarily run from the anger and rage of the Irish people he can't hide.
He'll run out of road sooner rather than later and, when he does, we'll be waiting.