herald

Friday 17 August 2018

Croke Park boxes ban for NAMA developers

NAMA developers on their way to Croke Park have been warned to stay out of the corporate boxes for the All Ireland, the Herald can reveal.

Builders who have signed up to the agency have been told they are prohibited from taking hospitality suites, NAMA has revealed .

The exclusive areas in the GAA stadium were once the playground of fat-cat bankers and wayward developers who wined and dined their clients and employees.

But since NAMA took over the debts of some of the country's biggest speculators, there will be a lack of representatives from the building trade in the corporate section.

A representative for NAMA said that the so-called 'bad bank' would keep an eye on any lavish spending by the builders.

"It goes without saying that NAMA would take a very dim view of any debtor who was struggling to repay their loans maintaining hospitality facilities for corporate entertainment," a spokesman said. "All aspects of debtor expenditure are scrutinised and pared back or eliminated as appropriate."

However, despite the negative connotation, some of Ireland's bailed out banks still retain their prestigious seats.

Swansong

Representatives for some of the taxpayer-supported banks explained that they hold on to their corporate boxes due to a contract commitment with the various sporting organisations.

AIB said that it had decided to allocate the corporate hospitality suites to charities who may auction as they wish to raise funds. "For the GAA championship since 2010, AIB has offered its corporate boxes in Croke Park for charitable purposes," a representative said.

"The bank nominates local charities who then have the opportunity to entertain their donors and patrons at the boxes. To date over 70 charities have benefitted from attendance."

But it appears the final will be a swansong for Bank of Ireland's guests as the bank said that they would honour all existing contracts, but not renew any contracts when the term ends. "Our position remains as previously stated -- we will honour all existing contracts but will not be renewing these at the end of the contract terms."

But when pressed about whether banking officials would be attending the GAA All Ireland game at Croke Park, the representative said that they had "nothing further to add".

Permanent TSB and EBS failed to respond to the question. A total of 87 luxury suites are spread across level six which accommodate up to 36 guests. The seating provides fantastic views over the pitch and has a private in-suite bar.

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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