herald

Sunday 22 October 2017

I hate going to court, says Gaybo over IBRC action against family

Kathleen Watkins and Gay Byrne
Kathleen Watkins and Gay Byrne

Veteran broadcaster Gay Byrne has opened up for the first time about facing a major lawsuit.

The Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) has launched a legal action against Mr Byrne, his wife Kathleen Watkins and their two daughters, it was reported over the weekend.

The corporation, which was formerly Anglo Irish Bank, filed papers seeking a summary judgement against the Clonskeagh Partnership, a property syndicate set up by Mr Byrne and his family, in the High Court over debts reportedly in excess of €2m.

Mr Byrne (80) was one of several high-profile clients of Derek Quinlan, the former tax adviser who set up a string of lucrative property deals during the boom. It is understood that the debt relates to an investment with Quinlan Private.

"I am in the situation of probably countless thousands of people around the country in that I am having an argument with a bank. They say we owe them money and we say we don't owe them money. And it's just that kind of situation," the veteran broadcaster told Ray D'Arcy on Today FM.

Court

"I hate getting involved in the legal system. I hate going to court.

"I hate having to do it. I could certainly well do without it at my age and so could Kathleen and the girls and so on but this is the only way we can go and because it is a legal case pending I am forbidden to speak further about it and that's the situation," he added.

"Every day you get the propaganda from the government saying things are on the up and up, and to look around Dublin you would think there is huge recovery. Go outside Dublin and there is no recovery. And I am talking about every small town and village in Ireland are feeling the effects of what has happened and the recovery is not happening there."

He pointed out that broadcasters like himself are freelance people.

"That's why we find it so hilariously funny to see the emoluments going to Irish Water people and the bonuses paid out whether they are competent or not, whereas you know and I know our heads were on the block every week. Every week. Every seven days."

Gaybo said the point of the present case was that all he was trying to do like countless thousands of people around the country was build up some sort of pension thing for himself, "so that we would not become a burden on this State."

He said that working certainly helps, and "touch wood so far I'm able to work."

fdillon@herald.ie

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