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Ivan - my wife always looks after finances

Ivan Yates has always relied on his wife Deirdre to manage his own financial affairs.

The former Government minister, who was declared bankrupt in the UK in 2012 after his Celtic Bookmakers business collapsed, said everything he earns goes into an account that is operated and run by Deirdre.

"She buys my clothes and deals with all our utility bills, so I don't know anything about my finances.

"It's always been the case since I got married," he said.


However, he also revealed that the banks "are coming after Deirdre" because she previously signed a personal guarantee.

Mr Yates said the recession hit his business and his family hard.

"In the bookmaking business, Deirdre and I had 340 staff and we had to ask them to accept pay cuts.

"We said we'd work for nothing as management," he said.

"Then I realised I had four starving children so I had to reinvent myself.

"I had an entirely accidental media career as a columnist and broadcaster on radio and TV.

"The recession changed my whole life insofar as it brought about the Celtic crash for me but opened another door in terms of my media career," he said.

He returned to Ireland in 2013 and resumed his broadcasting career.

"I did feel bitter, but I had to make a fresh start and physically and mentally let it go.

"There are residual issues which are still ongoing. The banks are coming after Deirdre because she signed the personal guarantee, but you have to get on with life.

"That was the point of writing the book - to purge the past and to make a fresh start," he told the Sunday Times.

The most important lesson he learned about money was that friendship was more important, he said.

"It's really important to focus on friendships and deep personal relationships because they will give you more happiness than any amount of money," he said.


He and his wife currently live in a rented house in Sandymount in Dublin.

His family farm in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, is occupied by his 82-year-old mother, who has a life interest in the property but it will be forfeited when she dies.

"My personal ambition is to buy a house so, if anything happened to me, Deirdre would have a home of her own," he said.