Shane Ross

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Archive for October, 2004

New Vision of Less Political Seanad Necessary

Some years ago the former Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Ken Whitaker, stood for election to the educational panel of the Seanad and he got what was considered to be a derisory vote. He had been a distinguished Member in 1981 having been appointed by the then Taoiseach, Garret FitzGerald. He was not re-appointed but he felt later that he would still like to serve in the House. He stood for the panel and did not get elected or even get a competitive vote.

I wonder what that tells us about the House because Dr. Whitaker was awarded a somewhat token but significant award as the greatest living Irishman of the 20th century a little later. If someone who is awarded such an extraordinarily elevated status by an independent panel is unable to be elected to this House of 60 Members, it does not necessarily mean there is something wrong with the election of the House but one of the two bodies is unrepresentative. (more…)

AIB – A “Sound” Culture?

Nobody believes the AIB has ‘a sound culture’. Speaking to the CEO and Chairman of AIB at the Joint Committee on Finance and the Public Service, I said the public are suspicious of AIB

Everybody has seen what has happened to AIB and they know it does not have a sound culture from the evidence they see. They see offshore accounts and are aware of the DIRT issue. Mr. Gleeson did not answer the question on that, but perhaps he could answer this question on DIRT, which is fundamental. Is it fair that people who evaded their tax in a small way should have been pilloried in public in the way that they were while the people who encouraged them should not have been and, in many cases, should still be in their jobs or even promoted? Is that reasonable?

Is the IFSRA Policing Banks Effectively?

Despite the setting up of the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority to examine the activities of the banks, this body appears to be failing to police them properly. Although IFSRA is doing a particularly conscientious job, it is failing to detect more and more excesses by financial institutions.

There is something seriously wrong with the structure that this can happen. AIB was recently involved in a case where hidden charges on a mental handicap association in Kerry were revealed at the weekend and the bank had to repay in excess of €210,000. (more…)

Aer Lingus In Limbo – Walsh

Willie Walsh, the chief executive of Aer Lingus, appeared before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport yesterday and announced that the so-called investment plan had been withdrawn. This means Aer Lingus is back in limbo, the future of the company is a matter of conjecture and nobody knows about it. It is important because a great deal of State money is involved. (more…)