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Ivan Yates: My fear of flying stems from shaky journeys on State jet


 Ivan Yates. Photo: Donal O'Donovan

Ivan Yates. Photo: Donal O'Donovan

Ivan Yates with Pat Kenny at the launch of his new book Full On

Ivan Yates with Pat Kenny at the launch of his new book Full On


Ivan Yates. Photo: Donal O'Donovan

Newstalk presenter Ivan Yates has revealed how a series of shaky government jet trips have left him with a fear of flying.

The former Minister for Agriculture (55) explained how, during his time in the department, several uneasy plane journeys left him with a "phobia" and added that he hasn't taken a flight in 14 years.

"My wife Deirdre does nothing but give out because I promised all my life that we would travel and see the world, and then after my time as Minister I developed this phobia," Yates explains.

When his Celtic Bookmaker's firm collapsed in April 2012, the presenter opted to travel to the UK to avail of their more efficient bankruptcy laws.

However, despite looking for a swifter process, Mr Yates opted to take the trip to Swansea by ferry, rather than travel by plane.

The experience of going bankrupt offered him a perspective in life and eradicated the "materialistic" attitude he admits he developed, once being described as a "mercenary" by Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

"Bankruptcy taught me that the personal relationships are more important than personal assets, when it comes to happiness and commitment," he said.

"My marriage and relationship with my kids are actually more valuable than if I had a million in the bank. I learned that [from bankruptcy]."


The broadcaster also reflects on the modest lifestyle he has lived since his business faltered, using public transport to get to work and renting an apartment with his wife, Deirdre, rather than seeking a mortgage.

"I would recommend it [renting]. If you multiply the monthly rent by 12 and that by the number of years you actually think you'll live in it, it's a fraction of what you'd pay if you bought," he explains.