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.