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The trouble with Harry is he's living in a different world to us

After Gerry Ryan's death, Harry Crosbie said that his old friend had been bad with money and had not "understood business".

I recall him saying this because it was around the same time as NAMA was transferring a lot of bad Harry Crosbie loans off AIB and I thought, that's a bit, oh what's the word, rich.

Crosbie was a wealthy man long before the Celtic Tiger and became wealthier during the boom. By 2007 he was reportedly worth €310m. But Harry wanted to make even more money. So he speculated -- with millions borrowed from AIB -- on a number of new developments, including the Point Village.

Then you-know-what happened, AIB was taken over by us and his loans were transferred to NAMA.

Harry now lives modestly away from the public eye and, for a small stipend, works with NAMA to find ways to pay some of the money back.

Except not really. Docklands Harry remains very much on the waterfront and was on Brendan O'Connor's Saturday Night Show to announce a fund-raising drive for the Mater Children's Hospital, where he is chairman.

You know, the children's hospital that needs private funding because the economy collapsed.

It was to the host's credit that he did not laugh openly. Instead he got his/our point across a little later, in very Cork fashion.

"I don't want to get like Prime Timey about it," O'Connor said emphasising 'like' with some relish. "But the amount that was taken off in the haircut [off Crosbie's loans] then that we paid through recapitalising the banks effectively. That money's gone yeah?"

"Yeah over and above the haircut is gone," Harry replied smoothly. "The same as all the people here who bought a house for €800,000 that's now worth €400,000, it's gone. And it's not coming back." At another time this might have worked. The host might have nodded and moved on, struggling like the rest of us to understand the brute weirdness at the heart of NAMA.

But thankfully that time was not Saturday night.

"Can I ask you a cheeky question," said O'Connor, seizing what may one day be seen as a very important moment in his show's history.

"The people who paid here. I look back now and paid crazy money for a house right? But I have to pay it back, every penny of that and I have to face those consequences.

"Do you get that people might be looking thinking so he's going to pay back whatever, half the money, whatever NAMA paid for it, and we pay back the rest of the money and Harry's laughing like... do you know what I mean?"

But Harry, who believes we are on the threshold of a new boom that may yet wipe away the losses, did not know what Brendan meant.

None of the guys in Harry's game ever do. Let's hope potential contributors to the new hospital won't either.