herald

Sunday 10 December 2017

Gaybo being sued by IBRC over '€2m debts'

Gay Byrne with wife Kathleen Watkins
Gay Byrne with wife Kathleen Watkins

Television legend Gay Byrne is being sued by the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) over reported debts of €2m.

IBRC has launched a legal action against Mr Byrne, his wife Kathleen Watkins and their two daughters.

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

The case was taken in recent days, it has emerged.

Mr Byrne 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, the Sunday Business Post reported.

The presenter invested in a number of property deals set up by Quinlan, including several in the Dublin Docklands and a hotel in Budapest.

When contacted by the Herald, Mr Byrne said last night that he had no comment to make on the matter.

Woes

He has endured a number of financial woes.

He said in 2011 that he'd had to return to work as his pension had been wiped out and his investments in property syndicates were under pressure.

In the 1980s, his financial adviser Russell Murphy stole most of his savings.

The veteran broadcaster celebrated his 80th birthday with friends and family at his holiday home in Donegal in August.

"I'm very thankful I am still in good health and have made it to 80. I don't feel 42 any more but I certainly don't feel as old as I am. I'm still full of life and energy," he said in an interview.

"My feeling for turning 80 is one of immense gratitude for every day I've had so far and for every day that I wake up. I am very thankful for the life that I've been given," he the veteran broadcaster said.

The youngest of five, he grew up on the South Circular Road in Dublin and went to school at the Christian Brothers on Synge Street, which he believes grounded him.

"After Synge Street, the rest of life is a doddle," he wrote in his biography, The Time of My Life.

In June, he celebrated 50 years of marriage to Kathleen. The pair have two adult daughters.

He is still a regular on our TV screens, successfully hosting shows like The Meaning of Life on RTE1.

The Dubliner is also a regular at social events in the city, alongside his wife Kathleen.

screens

His name has been synonymous with Irish radio and television since the early part of his career.

He joined Radio Eireann in 1958 and has been on TV screens since Irish television began.

As host of the The Late Late Show, the world's longest-running chat show, he interviewed a wide range of guests, from comedian Peter Sellers to Annie Murphy, who had a child with Bishop Eamon Casey.

The star still walks and cycles regularly.

fdillon@herald.ie

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