If you would like to submit a contribution to our Readers Blog section then follow this link. Be sure to include your full name, address and contact number otherwise your submission will not be considered for publication. We will contact you prior to publication.

Bankrupt buddies off the hook?

THERE is a campaign afoot to ‘liberalise’ Ireland’s bankruptcy laws, led by Dermot Ahern and Willie O’Dea (both FF) and Deirdre Clune (FG).

Bankruptcy is a legally declared inability of an individual or organisation to pay its creditors.

The bankruptcy system is an important protection for national and international economic systems and provides some protection for individuals from reckless or corrupt traders and imposes some sanctions on those who cannot pay their debts.

In ancient Greece a debtor’s family could be sold into slavery to enable creditors to recoup their losses and Genghis Khan imposed the death penalty in some such cases – a little harsh perhaps. In recent centuries bankruptcy laws have tended to protect the bankrupt more than their victims.

Arguably, modern bankruptcy and insolvency laws are far too lenient, given the recklessness of so many bankers and developers, and the recklessness of governments and regulators in many countries, especially Ireland.

Here restrictions are imposed on persons who are declared bankrupt for 12 years. FF and FG are now proposing that this be reduced to six years, thereby letting their developer friends and financiers off the hook far too soon and exposing the vast majority of prudent Irish citizens and taxpayers to further risks. The irresponsible banks, especially Anglo Irish, should have been left to succumb to the bankruptcy system, which is the internationally accepted system for dealing with reckless trading. The Government has bailed out not only the failed banks, but also many of the reckless builders and developers at taxpayers’ expense and, in so doing, has effectively corrupted the regulatory controls of the bankruptcy system.

It has provided inadequate protection for the taxpayer from corrupt developers and others who may have transferred assets offshore while abusing the bankruptcy system to evade their liabilities within Ireland.

Those primarily responsible for the Irish financial crisis are, first, the Government and politicians who failed to govern in the people’s interests; second, the financial institutions and regulators and, third, the developers and builders.

I propose a campaign to increase sanctions and impose accountability on reckless traders, reckless regulators and reckless politicians, and let’s begin by opposing any relaxation of the bankruptcy laws.

Edward Horgan



Co Limerick


Aileen Lee meets Christina Kenny - co-founder and design director of Lamb Design - to talk about her work and inspirations.Christina Kenny of Lamb Design: ‘I love bringing the outside in and inside out’

Tyrone designer Sharon Wauchob on her career and the worth of luxury fashion. By Paul McLauchlan.From Marc Jacobs to her own label, Tyrone designer Sharon Wauchob on her life in fashion

The recent sentencing of two teenage boys for the murder of Ana Kriégel has once again brought the issue of pornography into public discourse. The details of the case, which are finally coming into public knowledge, illuminate some very worrying trends that are pervasive in the modern adolescent world and as parents and indeed as a society we can no longer languish in complacency.Learning Points: Hardcore porn can pollute our children’s minds

If children are confident in interacting with others it takes away so much stress and social anxiety for them. Not too long ago, my daughter Joan and I were out with friends at a restaurant and we wanted extra water and a few other bits and Joan volunteered to go up and ask the waiter for them. My friend was really surprised at this and said that none of her children would willingly do that.Mum’s the word: We should look for chances to strengthen our kids’ social skills

More From The Irish Examiner