Fin­barr still run­ning for Renua party

BUSI­NESS­MAN GETS POS­I­TIVE PUB­LIC RE­SPONSE TO BANK­RUPTCY

The Sligo Champion - - NEWS - BY SORCHA CROW­LEY

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.”

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