My Open Letter to …
Richie Boucher, Finbarr Murphy and Aine McInerney
By: Darrell :of the Ancient Clan O’Deaghadh
This publication came about as a direct result of my personal need to get full and final closure on matters concerning the BANK OF IRELAND / ICS Building Society. The matters date back not just to my own recent history and involvement with the BANK OF IRELAND / ICS Building Society, they date back to my Mother and Father’s time and to my Grandfather’s and Grandmother’s time. The BANK OF IRELAND have directly and adversely affected the three generations of family known to me. From this point, the adversity stops. They will have no more affect on future generations of my family, or on any other families in this, the Sovereign Republic of Eire. My Grandfather was a farmer and also a businessman. He would trade, sell and buy food stuffs, cattle, sheep and horses. He used to rent tillage and land in order to raise and breed animals for slaughter and trade. In his own time he went into business with some wholesome and some un-wholesome characters. One of the less wholesome characters he went into business with, was a cousin of his. This cousin had secretly borrowed money from the then BANK OF IRELAND or NATIONAL CITY BANK LTD as it was known. Of course when my Grandfather’s cousin did a bunk to America in the early 1940’s, the BANK OF IRELAND, as it was then, came directly after my Grandfather for the money. My Grandfather was told that he would be locked up or worse if he didn’t pay back the money. Of course, under threat he then worked to pay the loan off, for the best part of 20+ years until the early 1960’s. The BANK crippled him, his family and his business. ~3~
Finally after paying off the bank, he was practically a broken and well worn out old man. He deserted his homestead and farm, and left Ireland to work and subsist in England for the next 25+ years until he died. He had spent his whole youth and middle years working to pay off a debt that he played no hand or part in creating. The BANK OF IRELAND back then, as now, ruled the commercial roost of Ireland. In the early 1970’s my Father and Mother and me and my baby sister arrived in Mayo to settle down and try our hand at farming, back at the old 17 acre family homestead in Derrew, Ballyheane. The homestead, being that of a two bed-roomed thatched cottage, with no toilet, no running water and no electricity. It faced westward towards the Reek or Croagh Patrick mountain. My father borrowed money from the BANK OF IRELAND back then to stock the land and buy some farm machinery. For the next 10 years or so we struggled with farming and, more to the point, with paying off the bank loans. Inevitably the bank forced my Mother and Father to sell the farm. We could keep the house on the proviso that my father committed to paying down the rest of the debt. To this date it is unknown to me if my father ever paid off the last bit of money to the bank. Both my Father and Grandfather went along with what the BANK had requested and ended up spending many years in commercial servitude. Both my Grandparents and my own family suffered financially, physically and psychologically and had very little in the way of comfort or a quality of life, because they were forever prioritising the bank over and above themselves or their families. ~4~
These scars run deep into one’s psyche. My own Father was forever in a depressed state, as was his own father, both men ended up being suicidal and attempting suicide, and both developed drink and alcohol dependencies. Some people would say that their failure to succeed in business was due to their alcoholism. That to me oversimplifies the matter, and does not recognise the real cause and nucleus of their perceived destructive behaviour. Both men were ambitious, extremely outgoing and smart for their time - real go-getters. The problem stemmed from when they went and got...