That's Capitalism


Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary received a cheque for nearly €30,000 from the European Union last year to “help” him maintain his Mullingar farm. In 2008 the ‘Squire of Gigginstown’, who has a prize herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle on his 200-acre farm, received €55,821 under the Cap scheme, but he only received €28,746 last year. Other well-known beneficiaries of the Common Agricultural Policy last year were Fianna Fáil senator Francie O’Brien, who was given €80,849, the cathaoirleach of the Seanad, Pat Moylan from Banagher, Co Offaly, who was awarded €11,069, while Clare TD Pat Breen pocketed €23,834.

Former US ambassador to Ireland Richard J. Egan cheated his way out of paying more than $62 million, a federal judge has ruled.  The fiddle to avoid paying capital gains tax on more than $327 million in profits took place while Egan was serving as former president George W. Bush’s ambassador to Ireland.

After losing a fortune speculating on the property market, EBS building society has dumped former finance director Alan Merriman and the boss of their Haven Mortgages wing, Tony Moroney.  But as “compensation” they gave Merriman €1.2 million while Moroney trousered €600,000.

The banks were bailed out with workers’ tax money.  How are they using it?  Bank of Ireland boss Richie Boucher gets an annual €34,000 “car cash allowance” on top of his basic salary of €690,000.  He will also pick up a pension of €460,000 a year when he reaches 60.  In May Boucher and ten others were re-elected to the board, for which they get €63,000 in return for two days work a month.