Isn't it cosy in Clifden?

Mark Tighe’s blog is well worth reading. In his latest post he describes how close bankers and developers in Ireland have become during The Boom Years through Kevin Barry and Declan Maher.

Maher is the manager of AIB Clifden in Galway and Barry is an accountant, seemingly with an eye on development, together they’re BMB Partnership/Marketing.

Tighe’s story in The Sunday Times can be read here – it details a situation with a construction project in which they, two local politicians, a local hotelier and a few others, are involved. However, the blog post is more relevant in this context…

In 2005 Maher and Kevin Barry, an accountant, were busy looking for investors for a land deal in which the BMB Partnership had invested in near Disney World in Florida. BMB was a partnership involving Barry and Maher.

BMB teamed up with with Buena Vista Corp, an American firm for this project. As well as raising $15m from Irish investors BMB had to ensure it had a bank ready to roll in with another $60m to fund the building of 100 villas known as Gables on the Green.

Which bank did BMB get its $60m letter of guarantee from? Well it was none other than AIB. And AIB Clifden to boot.

Read the newspaper article and blog post in full for a complete understanding.

Worth noting:

The ex-Fianna Fáil councillor mentioned in the newspaper piece, Josie Conneely, came to prominence recently after he managed to get his own land rezoned despite the objections of the county manager.

Eammonn Barrett, mayor of Bundoran Town Council, is the Fine Gaeler referred to.

(Additionally, Brian Hughes, a politically-appointed board member of  Fáilte Ireland and well-known Galway hotelier, is another of the 11 investors in the Orlando project.)

Politicians, bankers and developers all in one nice package. And they wonder why we want more transparency with NAMA?

7 thoughts on “Isn't it cosy in Clifden?”

  1. Ya, it’s all pretty sad really and I don’t know how people get away with it. Stuff like this has been going on for years in Clifden, and elsewhere too, I’m sure.

    Not sure if it’s true, but heard that the AIB manager got arrested today. Heard RTE was on the scene too, but sure we all know how rumours spread, so I’ll be keepin’ an eye on the news.

  2. I’m from the area and lets just say they weren’t the nicest bunch going, a lot of hubris, greed and arrogance involved. One of the problems in Connemara is too many cute fuckers like these guys around the place always looking for the leg over. I’m not going to get in to it, but Clifden needs better leader ship in business and politics if it is maintain its population.

  3. Weird I wonder why our comments containing very helpful information for this site is been deleted from here? looked at a number of the blogs on here and the information posted seems to have vanished, why censor the truth if thats what you guys are after, should the Irish People not be told the full truth, thats the trouble with all these sites you never know who is actually running them.

  4. I tried emailing you to the email you use to leave comments and got a bounce back. I’d like to discuss all the stuff you are mentioning with you but you appear to be using a fake email so I cannot contact you. Also, some of the things you say risk getting us, as publishers, sued, unless we can prove it 100%.

    Contact me from an email address I can respond to and we will talk more, if you wish. Until then, we have to protect ourselves legally.

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