Finbarr still running for Renua party
BUSINESSMAN GETS POSITIVE PUBLIC RESPONSE TO BANKRUPTCY
BANKRUPT businessman Finbarr Filan still intends running as a candidate for political party Renua Ireland in either the next local or General election.
The former developer announced his bankruptcy last week to the tune of ¤15 million.
He doesn’t regret going public and says the response he’s received so far has been “very good.”
“I’ve had three people into our shop who are not far behind me in the same process. I’ve been surprised by the amount of people who are affected by it,” he told this newspaper.
For Finbarr, there was no relief at the High Court in Dublin where he declared bankruptcy.
“Relief is the wrong word. It’s hard to describe it. It’s not a line being drawn in the sand, it’s the start of the line being drawn.
“I will have to work with the Insolvency Agency over the next few years. It’s the start of the end. You’re glad it’s going to be over eventually. You know you’re getting towards the end of a traumatic time in your life,” he said.
He maintains the issue of both personal and business insolvency is “a huge issue out there” and people don’t realise how bad it is.
“If people think the whole Tracker mortgage is a scandal, there’s 70,000 people in debt and that’s just personal,” he said.
“There are over 32,000 mortgages in arrears over two years. These people will end up having to have some kind of debt settlement with the banks but the banks aren’t playing ball,” he said.
Finbarr says the banks are not acting fairly in the whole banking crisis but believes High Court Judge Justice Marie Baker is, to coin a phrase, starting to ‘put manners on them’.
“The banks are continuing to take silly issues to court to delay matters. Justice Marie Baker is doing great work,” he said.
He supports calls by anti-cartel campaigners such as founder of the International Small Business Alliance Seamus Maye for a public savings bank system to be introduced in Ireland.
Finbarra also points to the fact that a public banking system was included in the Renua Ireland General Election manifesto last year.
“We were the only party calling for public banking but it’s fallen on deaf ears because the Government doesn’t want to break up the cosy cartel of the banks,” he said.
“Public banking is the way forward. We do need to do it,” he added.
He also believes in business-to-business banking where businesses can lend to businesses directly and cut out the middle man.
For this reason perhaps, Finbarr is still planning to run as the Sligo Leitrim Renua candidate in either the next local or general election: “I believe the local elections in 2019 will be held first.”