Conflict of interest is so deeply embedded in Ireland, no one seems to notice

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Conflict of interest is so deeply embedded in Ireland, no one seems to notice

The cops were very swift to close down the demonstration in the NAMA building that  Unlock NAMA occupied on Saturday the 28th. They haven’t been as swift though to investigate Anglo Irish Bank. A big blow to that investigation is due, apparently, to the fact that the cop leading it went to work for Bank of Ireland. It is not unusual for people from the fraud squad to move into the private banking sector, we are told, just as we were told that it isn’t unusual for people to move from the regulators office or the Central Bank (when they were separate bodies) to the boards of private banks. Unlock NAMA revealed that the building they occupied was in a very bad state of repair. Add to that the difficulty in establishing that it was a NAMA building at all, considering that it was added to the foreclosure list incorrectly. This should open up discussion on what is happening to all the other NAMA buildings, at the very least. At the most there should be uproar about the massive stock of properties that NAMA controls the loans of which is being allowed to rot and devalue. These properties are being held on to simply to try and artificially hold the price on property and provide the means for future speculation.

Senior garda fraud specialist retires to work for Bank of Ireland

The senior garda detective who was in charge of the Anglo-Irish investigation for 18 months took early retirement at the end of last year and is now working with Bank of Ireland, it has emerged.

Former detective superintendent Pat Collins, 52, was regarded as the Garda’s top expert in corporate fraud investigation. He spent much of his career in the Fraud Squad and before taking charge of the Anglo investigation he spent time on secondment with the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement working with its director, Paul Appleby.

Former colleagues say his departure — on full pension after having served 30 years in the force — will be a major blow to the investigation.

Coveney adviser’s patriotism stressed to secure special pay

Elsewhere, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney is in the news for asking for a €130,000 salary for his special advisor Fergal Leamy, a former chief executive of Greencore USA. The cap as we are well aware after all the breeches of it is €92,672. Leamy didn’t last long, despite Coveney pleading that he was desperate to do the state some service he left after four months. He got an offer from an equity firm in the London that he couldn’t refuse. However, the story also reveals that Simon  Coveney’s brother, Patrick Coveney is chief executive of Greencore. Of course Greencore has a long and controversial history, which Shane Ross referred to as a template for the worst excesses of corporate Ireland, a close rival to DCC.

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Donagh is the editor of Irish Left Review. Contact Donagh through email: