Incredible Ireland

Monday, 19 December, 2011

Three recent headlines from the Irish Times with explanations for those not fully acquainted with the functioning of a small 21st-century kleptocracy.

1. Nama fails to stop developer being paid €5,000 a week. Nama is shorthand for Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency, which was set up in the wake to the collapse of the country’s banks as a result of excessive lending to the property sector. The story centres on property developer Ray Grehan, who is being paid €5,000 a week [emphasis added] in living expenses.This, by the way, is the same Mr Grehan who owes Nama a total of €650 million [emphasis added again].

2. “Court hears of ‘incredible’ claims from Quinn’s wife“. Background: On 20 November, the Financial Times reported that a court in Belfast had declared Irish businessman Sean Quinn bankrupt with debts of €416 million. Now, according to the Irish Times, “The wife of bankrupt Sean Quinn is making ‘incredible’ claims she does not have to repay a €3 million bank loan because she is a homemaker unduly influenced by her husband. Mrs Quinn told the Commercial Court today she regularly signed documents he put in front of her without reading them.”

3. “Two payments of €190,000 to union cannot be traced“. The article refers to SIPTU, Ireland’s largest trade union, which spends a lot of its time berating something called “the private sector” for its greed, corruption and general evil nature.
Language note: The word “kleptocracy” comes from the Greek klepto-, from kleptes (thief) + –cracy (rule).

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