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FitzPatrick tries one last spin of the golden wheel

AS Seán FitzPatrick tries to stave off bankruptcy he has offered half his pension to his creditors, the balance being off-limits because it represents his wife’s entitlement.

We must assume Mr FitzPatrick was at least as focused on building a pension pot on the scale of that of his very helpful colleague Michael Fingleton of Irish Nationwide.

Mr Fingleton retired with a fund of just under €28 million to insulate him from the chaos he left behind at Irish Nationwide and which we must all pay to resolve.

Half of such a fund still represents a spectacular arrangement – one which the vast majority of Irish workers can only fantasise about.

If we assume, for the sake of the argument, that Mr FitzPatrick has a pension pot of ‘Fingletonesque’ proportions, that might leave him and his wife with a fund of many, many millions.

This domestic obligation is no more than another golden circle dodge to ringfence assets no matter how they are accumulated.

Surely justice dictates that there should be a modest limit on funds protected in this way? A figure in the region of the state old age pension would act as an effective deterrent to the more creative financiers.

Then, of course, there is the question of how Mr FitzPatrick’s fund was built up. It must be assumed Anglo Irish Bank was a primary source of the funding.

Why are we still tolerating this nonsense?

Seán de Paor


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