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Celtic Crony Capitalism is Dead

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The Irish government through the National Pension Reserve Fund’s preference share capital infusion to Bank of Ireland has a 25% voting stake for key decisions in the Bank, including those related to the board.  RTE says that the government and the board have agreed to install Pat Molloy as a director and make him chairman of the board.  Pat Molloy is a former CEO of B of I but the thing that should really jump out from his CV is the stint as chairman of Cement Roadstone Holdings, 2000-2007 and board member since 1997.

Now we’re all supposed to think of CRH as the lovable new global building materials conglomerate that has built up impressively from its small Irish base, but the government appears to be assuming that there’s no one with longer memories for whom the alarm bells would start ringing at the mention of CRH … the decades long monopoly on cement production, the family row that led to the creation of our old friends on the West Link, National Toll Roads, the Glen Ding site, the Des Traynor private bank, and the mystery over that dump in Blessington.

Of course the line to the media will be that it’s all ancient history, before Molloy got there, and did we mention that this is one of the world’s largest building materials companies?  Interesting to think about the kind of countries that produce large buildings materials companies.  Did someone say Cemex?

Long live Celtic Crony Capitalism.

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2 Responses to “Celtic Crony Capitalism is Dead”

  1. # Comment by sos Jun 10th, 2009 09:06

    This is factually misleading.

    Cement Ltd, was controlled by F.D Schmidt of Denmark. The directors were Gunnar Larsson & Anker Lund.

    The Chairman was Sean Lemass, who’s party gave Cement Ltd a monopoly right to manufacture cement.

    F.D. Schmidt, in Denmark, made the machinery that burnt the stone to create cement & exported it – all over the world.

    Tom Roche, who was CEO of Roadstone Ltd, was determined to break this monopoly.

    Following a protracted strike, called by the ancestors of Bertie Ahern’s confederates, during which time the share price collapsed, Roche got control.

    Des Traynor, a partner in Haughey, Boland & Co., had succeeded Lemass. He chaired a meeting during which he tried to bluster Cement’s way out of the inevitable.

    A quasi-merger was the outcome but, in reality, it was managed & controlled by Roadstone personnel.

    Some years later, Traynor was exposed as a money-launderer and would most certainly have done time in chokey.

    He was saved by dying.

    His partner in crime, Charlie Haughey, escaped jail when Mary Harney, truthfully and needfully – said that Haughey should be impeached and imprisoned for his crimes.

    But, in the context of the Byzantine laws that protect Fianna Fail – her honesty gave a bunch of slick lawyers the ammunition to provide the Old Pickpocket with a Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free Card.

    So justice remained undone.

    And these crooked politicians – and their crony developers and land speculators – will continue to prosper as long as Political Donations are permitted under the daft laws in Ireland.

    In the meantime, all Bank of Ireland needs is good, transparent management and regular supervision.

    Rants, by the Left, against Captitalism is passe.

    One has only to look at the recent elections, in Europe, to see that socialism has been discredited, especially in the UK, where government representation is 10 times that which is necessary to govern such a small country.

    The several candidates here never touched on the Major Issues that are crippling the country – bloated, unsustainable wages and the cost of Utilities and distribution that are losing Ireland export opportunities.

    No mention of the reduction of the size of Government and its support civil service.

    All the talk was fluff – headlines; populism and the continuation of the “Something For Nothing Culture”.

    Nothing about hard work; cutting overheads & waste; good management of the country’s vast resources.


    A lot of Windy rhetoric & empty promises.

    Same as before, since 1927.

  2. # Comment by auditor Jun 10th, 2009 18:06

    Irish Crony Capitalism is Undead.

    Zombie Bankers: