Friday, March 19, 2010

Seanie Fitzpatrick, former chairman of Anglo Irish Bank

Finfacts, 21 June 2007

"Having developed this marvellous entrepreneurial culture which is delivering so many benefits in terms of employment and wealth to the country we must ask ourselves if there is now a danger that our regulatory environment has gone too far?"


"Among the more insidious and I believe iniquitous aspects of the current regulatory environment is its apparent presumption of guilt on the part of entrepreneurs and businesspeople generally. The whole structure seems to be geared towards an annual proof of innocence statement. This is corporate McCarthyism and we shouldn’t tolerate it."


"It is time to shout stop. The tide of regulation has gone far enough. We should be proud of our success, not suspicious of it. Our wealth creators should be rewarded and admired not subjected to levels of scrutiny which convicted criminals would rightly find intrusive."

Marion Finucane radio show, 4 October 2008

Would he apologise to the Irish taxpayer for having to bail out the banks?

"It would be very easy for me to say sorry. The cause of our problems was global so I can't say sorry with any degree of sincerity and decency but I do say thank you."

Sunday Tribune, 12 October 2008

In a speech delivered at the Irish Times Property Advertising Awards in September 2005, [Fitzpatrick] took a pot-shot at RTE for giving Hobbs a platform.

"This is not good. I’d genuinely worry that much of the nonsense he peddled would gain common currency, and that the wholly unbalanced Hobbsian perspective on Ireland of 2005 would fuel the anger of many of those who have failed to benefit from our economic success thus far"


The message from FitzPatrick was clear. The public should not be told anything that would cause them to vote for a government that was not to his liking. And RTE would be held accountable if they did.

Times profile, 20 Dec 2008:

On moving up to the chairman's seat of Anglo Irish Bank after 18 years as chief executive last year, Sean FitzPatrick said that what drove him "nuts" was "bureaucracy, people who aren't real, and falseness".

Asked if he was a “details person”, he replied: "I wouldn't be well organised and would be fearful of those who are." And what would he do if he had a spare million? "I'd do something for the homeless - provide day-time facilities."

"If we try to shackle entrepreneurs instead of encouraging them, the country is going to suffer. Part of the shackling is the huge emphasis on regulation and that can't be good for business."

David McWilliams's Follow the Money:

"Then he came closer, squeezed my arm and practically hissed between clenched teeth: "No f***ing Protestant is coming near us. Those establishment f***ers and Bank of Ireland have been running our country before we came along, and those f***ers are not going to bring me down. None of them are ever going to look down on us again. We are the outsiders, and this is our moment. Those f***ers don’t own us any more."

Irish Independent, 21 March 2010:

"Will you say sorry to the taxpayer and to the shareholders in Anglo Irish Bank?"

"That's a simple question, but the answer isn't. What if I were to invite you, Ronald, to sit down here with me for a cup of tea and a chat. And what if, in the course of our conversation, you were to have a cigarette. And when you were finished with your cigarette, you were to throw the butt on the floor and this shed burned to the ground. Could I ask you to say 'sorry'?"

"You could ask me, and I would apologise," I respond immediately, while marvelling at Seanie's notions of blame and how it should be apportioned.

"Well, why would I ask you to apologise? It wasn't you who burned my shed down. It was the cigarette."

Sunday Independent, 18 April 2010:

"No, why?"

- when asked at Dublin airport last week whether he feels he owes the Irish people an apology for what has happened.

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