‘For the country’s third-fastest-growing confidential document disposal service, the Anglo tapes have been, like, a godsend’
It’s been a mad two weeks. The whole Anglo Irish tapes thing has been bad news, I know, for Ireland. But for the country’s third-fastest-growing confidential document disposal service, it’s been, like, a godsend? As my old man says, there’s nothing like a business scandal to stir a country’s corporate conscience and, for the past 10 days, I’ve been busier than a cat burying shit on a hardwood floor.
Six o’clock on Wedneday night, roysh, I’ve just done my last job of the day, when my mobile suddenly rings and I answer with the usual, “Shred Focking Everything – secure, reliable and environmentally questionable. How may I direct your call?”
It ends up being him – as in, like, my old man? – and he sounds in a seriously agitated slash mullered state. “Can you, um, pop in to see me,” he goes?”
Fifteen minutes later, I’m sitting in his study, listening to him muttering madly to himself, while he pours himself a glass of brandy big enough to strip the paint from the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
“You’d have to worry about the message it sends out internationally,” he goes. “What will it do to Ireland’s reputation as a banana republic if conversations like this can just leak into the public domain? There’s a lot of people won’t want to do business here.”
I’m like, “Sorry, you invited me out here to listen to this?”
He pushes a Dictaphone across the desk to me. “No,” he goes, “I invited you out here to listen to this.”
“What is it?”
“A recording. Of a phone conversation. Between me and a certain David Drumm in the autumn of 2008. It has the potential to be very embarrassing if it ever gets out.”
“Er, you record your phone conversations why exactly?”
“Just in case somebody says something compromising that I can use against them at a later date. It was a piece of advice that Hennessy gave me when I started out in business. But this time it’s me who’s compromised.”
He presses play and I listen to the conversation. I’ll give it to you, like, word for word.
COCK: “Pip pip and what ho!”
I probably should point out that COCK is Charles O’Carroll-Kelly, not David Drumm.
DD: “Hello? Who is this?”
COCK: “Drummer, it’s Charles.”
COCK: “It’s the famous Charles, old bean!”
DD: “Charles O’Carroll-Kelly?”
COCK: “Right and correct.”
DD: “Charles, what do you want? Sorry, I’m kind of busy at the moment.”
COCK: “I expect you are! That’s why I’m ringing. Just to offer you my support – moral, obviously, rather than financial – at what I’m sure is a very difficult time for you and all the chaps at the bank. And to say, you’ll come through this. In five years’ time, you’ll be looking back on this time and laughing.”