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