Ivan Yates says he is broke and wants to make a fresh start
Former government minister and bookmaker will resume working on Newstalk’s breakfast show from tomorrow
Newstalk has announced that broadcaster and former government minister Ivan Yates will return to the station.
Bankrupt former government minister and bookmaker Ivan Yates said yesterday that he is “broke” and wants to make a new start in life having spent the past 16 months in exile in Wales while he awaited discharge from bankruptcy.
Mr Yates emerged from bankruptcy on Saturday and will resume working on Newstalk’s morning radio breakfast show from tomorrow. He is also standing in this week for Vincent Browne on TV3.
Speaking to The Irish Times, Mr Yates said: “I’m broke. I need to earn money. The media thing is a bit fickle so I don’t know how long it will last. I’ll just have to play it by ear.”
Mr Yates said his arrangement with Newstalk is “ad hoc” and he has not signed a contract with the Denis O’Brien-owned station. “They asked me in recent weeks if I’d like to come back.”
Mr Yates sought bankruptcy in the UK last April after being advised by his legal team that it would not be possible to reach an agreement with AIB. The bank claims he owes it €3.69 million on foot of a personal guarantee relating to debts owed by Mr Yates’ former company Celtic Bookmakers, which collapsed in two years ago.
“I’ve lost my home. I’ve lost the property and farm in Enniscorthy and the whole idea is that you get a fresh start.
“I don’t have full legal clarity on precisely what will happen for future earnings for the next two years but my intention is to make a fresh start and to try and procure a home for my family. I’ve incurred significant professional costs and I need to get going again. I’ll be 54 next month. I need the money.”
Mr Yates lived off his pension as a former TD and Government minister during his time in Swansea to meet his “reasonable living expenses”.
This was paid in sterling and he received £3,130 after tax each month. When asked about the irony of him living off a State pension when he owed a State bank more than €3 million, Mr Yates said: “I can understand where people are coming from there. The terms and conditions of employment meant that I was entitled to this money. There was nothing deceitful or underhand about it. I did work for 20 years, the best years of my life, in politics, and I earned it in my view.”
Mr Yates has written 170,000 words for a book about his life in politics and business and his dealings with AIB. One chapter about banks is titled – “Arrogant, inhumane bastards”.
Mr Yates said the bank got “hardcore” in late 2011 over the debts and claims that AIB rejected a settlement that would have yielded it up to 86 cent in the euro on its debts and would have netted it €1 million more than it now stands to make.
In a statement, AIB said it “adopted a position of negotiating in good faith to secure a resolution of Mr Yates’ situation”.