Mrs Brown’s Boys star Brendan O’Carroll leads the line-up on the Late Late this week as the show tackles everything from the state of the nation to the future of the Catholic Church.
Fresh from collecting his fifth All-Ireland medal, Dublin footballer Philly McMahon is in studio to chat about how life could have been very different for him
The state of the nation will be up for discussion with politician Fidelma Healy Eames, journalist Kitty Holland and columnist Terry Prone on the panel.
Ireland’s favourite wedding planner Franc (Peter Kelly) is back on our screens helping Irish brides to find their perfect gown in Say Yes To the Dress Ireland. He’ll be chatting about all things wedding related
Fr Joe McDonald author of controversial book titled Why The Irish Church Deserves to Die joins Ryan to tell viewers why he believes the Irish Church has failed Jesus and the Gospel.
British broadcaster Vanessa Feltz unwittingly found herself at the eye of a media storm this summer when columnist Kevin Myers singled her out in a now notorious column about BBC pay… she will tell viewers how it felt when she read that column and what it was like to be in the middle of the international outcry that followed.
Tennis legend Martina Navratilova joins host Ryan Tubridy to chat about life after tennis…
Tom Vaughan-Lawlor will be chatting about his new movie Maze; playing icons like PJ Mara and Padraig Pearse; and filming a zombie horror in Croke Park; Jennifer Zamparelli and Bernard O’Shea will be in studio as their alter egos Bridget & Eamon put their marriage to the test in a special Mr and Mrs quiz.
Viewers will also get a sneak peek at some of the cherished objects vying to be declared a National Treasure… and there’ll be music from Hudson Taylor and Derek Ryan.
Ryan Tubridy interviewing Stefanie Preissner, Michael Harding and Blindboy Boatclub, of The Rubberbandits, on the Late Late Show on January 6; from the BAI’s most recent report on complaint decisions
The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has announced its most recent decisions concerning complaints from the public.
It reviewed and rejected 11 complaints it received about Blindboy Boatclub, of The Rubberbandits, referring to the eucharist as “haunted bread” and Stefanie Preissner saying how, as a child, the eucharist being described as body and blood conjured up images of cannibalism, on the Late Late Show in January.
In reference to one of the complaints, the BAI decided:
The Committee noted the discussion as a whole. In this respect, the comments that were deemed by the complainant to be offensive were articulated as part of a broad conversation on faith, which arose from the presenter asking the panellists about the manner in which they spent the Christmas period.
The first contributor, Mr. Michael Harding, outlined how he shied away from the traditional Christmas dinner and instead ate Indian food. He noted his fondness for Diwali, the Indian festival of lights and commented on the beauty of this festival.
The conversation turned to Mr. David Cambers of The Rubberbandits who detailed his Christmas celebrations in a surrealist manner that is the hallmark of the artistic/comedy act of which he is one member.
Finally, Ms. Stefanie Preissner spoke about her disillusionment with the commercial nature of Christmas festivities. The conversation then progressed to a discussion about the Catholic belief and practice, in terms of the decline of vocations and the rise and impact of secularisation on Irish life and faith, the issue of how young people have responded to a decline in traditional Catholic faith and practices and the question of where they can find spiritual ‘refuge’, if at all or indeed if even necessary.
It was at this point in the programme that one of the contributors also featured made reference to The Eucharist as ‘haunted bread’.
While not agreeing with the contention by the broadcaster that this panellist was speaking for his generation, the Committee considered it legitimate for a panellist to articulate their own personal views. In this instance, his views dealt with a religious tenet which rests on a belief in the real presence of Jesus Christ in The Eucharist, a belief which may be difficult to reconcile for those who hold other religious beliefs or or no religious belief and one which the panellist did not appear to hold.
At that point in the programme, the other contributors reflected on this topic. Ms. Preissner spoke about how, as a child, The Eucharist being described as the body and blood of Christ conjured up images of cannibalism.
Mr. Harding spoke about how, over time, the belief in Transubstantiation has for some become difficult to understand, either for those who may only value the empirical or those who value only their own perspective regardless of facts.
Mr. Harding also spoke about the value of belief once it is not a belief that is imposed on others. Learning that Mr. Harding was a former priest, Mr. Chambers apologised for any offence that his description of The Eucharist may have caused him.
The Committee did not agree with the view of the complainant that Ms. Preissner was equating The Eucharist with cannibalism as it was clear that she was describing her thoughts as a child.
Regarding the comments by Mr. Chambers, the Committee considered his comments an expression of his own views rather than a comment on the views of others and did not agree that they were intended to mock the faith of others.
Regarding the view of the complainant that a reference to the attendance at Christmas midnight mass of people who are ‘half-cut’ with drink as being offensive; the Committee considered this a humorous reference to what may, on occasion, have been the experience of some parishioners at Christmas.
“The Late Late Show will be celebrating 50 years of the Community Games in Ireland with three of Ireland’s sporting stars… rugby star Tommy Bowe, world champion walker Olive Loughnane and former Republic of Ireland international Niall Quinn.
Norah Casey is one of Ireland’s most successful and best known businesswomen. After years of keeping it secret, Norah will, for the first time, speak openly about the violence she suffered in her first marriage…
Paul Burrell was Princess Diana’s rock for a decade… he’ll give viewers the inside track on the royals…
Almost 60 years ago, Irish born Paula Douglas was taken to America by her adoptive parents. It wasn’t until she saw [the film] Philomena that she began to question the circumstances around her own adoption. With no clues to her true identity, she appears on the Late Late on Friday to share her story…
Ryan will be making good on a promise made during the hugely popular The Late Late Show Country Special with legends of the Irish scene Big Tom and Margo in studio to perform their new duet ‘Through the Years’… and new music from Damien Dempsey.
The Late Late Show celebrates the career of one of Ireland’s most beloved singers this week with a Mary Black special tomorrow night.
The Black Family – Mary, Frances, Shay, Michael and Martin – will reunite for a performance. She will also be joined by the next generation for two very special performances with son Danny O’Reilly, lead singer of The Coronas, and daughter Róisín O.
Paul Burrell was Princess Diana’s rock for a decade until her untimely death almost 20 years ago. He’ll be giving viewers the inside track on the royals…
As Enda Kenny bows out as Taoiseach and a leadership battle kicks into gear in Fine Gael, Independent TD Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran will be in studio to chat about what lies ahead for new politics…
Ryan Tubridy will be catching up with Irish garden designer Diarmuid Gavin as he prepares to bring his Chelsea Flower Show medal winning garden to Dundrum.
*plunges garden hoe through telly screen*
The Late Late Show on RTÉ One, tomorrow at 9.35pm.
Handsome Devil star Andrew Scott will join Ryan Tubridy with his Handsome Devil director John Butler. They’ll be telling viewers about the inspiring message behind their critically acclaimed movie and what the marriage equality vote meant to them.
The new Irish will be in studio as The Late Late Show celebrates some of Ireland’s latest citizens.
Journalists Owen Conlon and Stephen Breen will reveal how Christy Kinahan, from a respectable north Dublin family, ended up overseeing a global crime cartel worth an estimated €750 million.
Dancing with the Star’s Katherine Lynch chats about her life changing year and what the future holds for her after hanging up her dancing shoes. And 50 years after his death, she’ll be paying tribute to her grand-uncle, the poet Patrick Kavanagh.
Brendan Murray, Ireland’s representative for Eurovision this year, takes to the stage to perform his ballad ‘Dying to Try’ as he prepares to jet off to Kiev in Ukraine for the biggest song contest in the world. …
Paul McGrath in College Green, Dublin 2 during the Italia ’90 homecoming
And, if you will, ahh.
On the Late Late Show…
Gareth Naughton writes:
As the Irish team prepares for a crucial World Cup Qualifier against Wales, football legend Paul McGrath joins Ryan Tubridy in studio to assess the Republic of Ireland’s chances. He’ll be chatting about the glory days of Irish football and what life has been like for him since hanging up his boots…
Earlier this year broadcaster Maura Derrane, soccer pundit Eamon Dunphy, comedian Jason Byrne and politician Michael Healy-Rae gamely agreed to have their DNA tested to determine their ancestry. On Friday night they will find out the results live on air…
…A perennial favourite, The Late Late Show Antiques Special is back. Viewers will meet the brave souls who’ll be transforming some unloved furniture into treasures to keep.
*refashions telly into footrest*
The Late Late Show, St Patrick’s Day, RTÉ One at 9.35pm.
Without the extraordinary persistence of Catherine Corless the fate of the Tuam Babies may never have come to light. She’ll be joining Ryan Tubridy to talk about why she was so determined to get to the truth and persevered despite coming under intense pressure from people who doubted the veracity of her claims. She will also be joined in studio by survivors of the Mother and Baby homes…
One of the 80s’ biggest teen idols, Jason Donovan is set to join Ryan Tubridy on The Late Late Show on RTÉ One this Friday.The Neighbours heartthrob will join Ryan to chat about achieving international fame on the soap and as a very successful popstar….
…Dermot Bannon will be telling viewers why he supported the recent occupation of Apollo House and why he believes vulture funds shouldn’t be allowed (to) own private homes…
The last time Eamonn Holmes visited the Late Late he was about to undergo a major double hip operation. What followed was one of the toughest years of his life as he recovered from the surgery and left Sky News after 11 years. Eamonn is popping in for a catch up and he’ll be joined by his wife and This Morning co-presenter Ruth Langsford…
Ryan Tubridy interviews Ian Kehoe on the Late Late Show
On RTE One’s Late Late Show.
Ryan Tubridy interviewed Sunday Business Post editor Ian Kehoe about his forthcoming documentary The Great Irish Sell Off which will be broadcast on Monday night.
Mr Kehoe spoke about vulture funds, the effect they are having on Ireland’s property market, and Irish society in general, and how that effect is an “awful indictment of public policy”.
Grab a large tay…
Ryan Tubridy: “There is a sense, Ian, that while we were all watching Brexit unfold before our eyes and…what was happening in America, that possibly we had our eye off the ball about what was happening under our very noses. Is this, do you concur with that idea?”
Ian Kehoe: “I think something profound has happened in Ireland over the past year, past two years. It’s perhaps the biggest legacy of the crash. We’re all familiar with what happened. The banks went bust, the country went bust, the IMF came in, the ECB came in, we were told we couldn’t burn bondholders, we all know that story but I suppose, almost under the radar, the bigger story has been happening which is €200billion worth of Irish assets, distressed debt, property loans, your personal guarantees, your overdrafts – banks are parceling all this up, stuff up, and they’re selling it off to the highest bidder. And they’re funds. So, we’ve essentially sold off €200billion worth of Ireland to five or six or seven funds over the past couple of years and no one is really talking about it.”
Tubridy: “The scale is what? Unprecedented?”
Kehoe: “Well it is, I mean, when we were doing the programme we were saying, ‘Well, where can we go to? Where can we look to say where it’s been done before?’ So we went to Spain, wasn’t anything like what had happened in Ireland. We went to the United States, the east coast, the west coast, nothing like what happened in Ireland. Ireland is literally writing a new chapter in the book on what happens when you sell so much of the country to distressed debt.”
“Look at the numbers: Nama, we all know was set up, it’s selling off €72.5billion – these are billions, I suppose we’ve become declimatised to billions and billions – but €72.5billion. In the space of six months, a couple of years ago, the liquidators of IBRC, that was what was set up for Anglo and Irish Nationwide, sold €22.5billion. You know. A rapid-fire liquidation. Bank of Scotland Ireland, known to most people, I suppose, as Halifax a couple of years ago, they were so scarred from their Irish experience that they just went home altogether, they brought their ATMs with it and relocated them to Scotland but they sold off €30billion or €40billion in debt and on and on we go. It just, it all adds up and there’s a consequence for all of this.”
Tubridy: “We keep hearing ‘vulture fund’, ‘vulture fund’, and I suppose, for a lot of us, who are kind of rushing around, we don’t have a moment to sit down and analyse, we’re not economic experts, you know, we don’t quite get the business using…in my case, certainly, can you give us a kind of dictionary definition of what a vulture fund is or is there a broader?”
Kehoe: “I suppose it’s a bargain hunter. It’s like somebody going out in the January sales, trying to buy something – except they’ve very deep pockets and they don’t buy clothes. They buy billions, upon billions, of distressed debt. So there’s funds, they raise money from the markets, they raise them from investors and their business model is they tour the world looking for the next distressed market. So they go from Portugal to Greece, to Ireland. If Japan is in trouble, they go there.”
Tubridy: “All the economic basket-case countries that crashed.”
Kehoe: “Yeah. And if they think that country has potential, if they think the country is going to improve, they can buy debt on the cheap so 10, 20, 30 cent on the euro. So, they’re buying it at massive haircuts, massive discounts. And, then they hope, cross their fingers, work their assets really hard and make profits. And when they think they’ve made enough from a country – be it Ireland or Spain or wherever else – they sell and they move on to the next distressed market.”
Tubridy: “At a big profit. So, essentially, it’s Vegas. They come along and say ‘we’ll take all this. We think it’s rubbish but we see the potential’…”
Kehoe: “‘We see the big picture’. Individually, your loan might be in trouble. If I parcel up thousands of loans, and you get them all at a discount, you get 80 cent back from one or 70 cent back from another and, over time, when you keep on working it out, and if the economy improves, if you believe in the recovery of the country, you can make staggering sums of money, massive returns.”
Tubridy: “Vulture, as a word, is pejorative…”
Kehoe: “Well, they hate being called ‘vultures’..”
Tubridy: “There’s a shock.”
Kehoe: “You very rarely hear from a vulture fund unless you call them a vulture and then they’re on the phone, giving out.”
Tubridy: “Is that right?”
Kehoe: “That’s the one word that drives them absolutely mad.”
Tubridy: “Tell me why…in other words…are they the bad guys? Are they vultures, do you think?”
Kehoe: “I suppose…”
Tubridy: “Are they just businessmen?”
Kehoe: “I mean, look, it’s not a charity, it’s not altruism, they’re capitalists. They’re businesses and business will do what business will do. I mean I work for a pro-business newspaper and business does what business does and that’s the way it works. The real issue is how you regulate. What sort of tax structures you put around it, what sort of regulatory structure – the checks and the balances…”
Tubridy: “This country doesn’t have a great track record with regulation and…”
Kehoe: “And it hasn’t got much better, certainly in terms of vulture funds. But, you know, business will do what business will do and it’s up to the Government and the administrators and the policymakers to make sure they’re doing the right thing..what’s in the best interests of the country.”
Tubridy: “I hear of two waves, of two tranches where you have the first wave, say between 2011 to 2013 or thereabouts of hard assets, buildings. Tell me about that wave one if you want to call it that.”
Kehoe: “Yeah, a couple of years ago we made a programme ‘Who’s Buying Ireland’, it was great fun because we got to go off, we talked to Wilbur Ross, who’s been put into Donald Trump’s cabinet and he was buying Bank of Ireland, talked to guys buying bonds or, really rich guys – men and women – who were buying tangible, physical things and what happened then, in the last two to three years, these guys, extremely wealthy as they were, just got squeezed out of the market. That, instead of selling physical things, instead of selling tables, or buildings or hotels or apartment blocks, we started selling just distressed debt. And we didn’t do it in terms of €100million or €200million. You look at what Nama sells, they sell debt in terms of the billion.”
Tubridy: “How do you define distressed debt?’
Kehoe: “Distressed debt is where it’s barely covering the interest repayments. So it’s as if you’ve got a mortgage and you’re way in negative equity and you’re barely able, the cost, the value of the asset can barely cover the interest repayment on it.”
Tubridy: “But these guys see something…”
Kehoe: “These guys see potential because they can buy it really, really cheap and the really interesting thing is if they buy your mortgage – and this has happened all over the country – the liquidators of IBRC sold 15,000 mortgages and I think they sold them for maybe 20-30cent in the euro. The borrower is still on the hook for the 100 so they will be pursued for that 100, so there’s potential there to make a 70 per cent profit on your mortgage.”
Tubridy: “Who watching tonight should have reason to be concerned by vulture funding and funds and capitalists?”
Kehoe: “Well, I think there’s a lot of people already worried. I mean during the programme, we spoke to scores of people, whose loans had been transferred and the one thing that they couldn’t understand was how it happened to them. You know, you take out a loan from a bank and you assume you owe that money to a bank and, suddenly, it happens by a letter, every single time it happens by a letter in the post that says, you no longer owe your money to AIB or Bank of Ireland, you now owe it to some bizarrely titled special purpose vehicle called Tanager or Promontoria Arrow or Promontoria Eagle and all these really obscure titles and they’re all special purpose vehicles set up by a couple of vulture funds to manage the assets and then they just pursue you for what you’re owed..”
Tubridy: “Pay, pay, pay, pay, pay. You can’t go to the bank manager and say ‘hang on a second’…”
Kehoe: “There’s no one to even talk to…unless..if you’re a really big borrower, they say, if you owe millions or ten of millions…”
Tubridy: “I’m talking about someone who has a mortgage in a housing estate.”
Kehoe: “No. They’re lucky to get through to anybody on the phone. That’s the constant refrain, we kept on hearing from people. They were in a situation, they didn’t know what to do, they didn’t know where to go, they’re trying to ring through and every time you get through to a call centre, in Dublin or Scotland, or Wales or wherever else, you’re through to somebody different. And you’re there, I suppose, it’s one of the most stressful things to be in difficulty with your own mortgage and not to be able to talk to somebody who knows your personal situation is a very profound thing.”
Kehoe: “It’s no coincidence that we have a housing shortage when the vast majority of the development land is controlled by private equity funds and hedge funds who’ve never built a house in their life and it suits their own agenda to keep supply down because, demand, the value of their assets goes up and they can sell it without building a thing and make a vast profit.”
Tubridy: “Are we being a little mealy-mouthed about the practicality of what had to happen in this country as an economy. The fact that we had to bring them in. I mean was this just a horrible fact of life, whatever about the Troika, the vultures, so-called, had to come in and pick at our carcass.”
Kehoe: “Someone had to do it. I mean the recession was so deep and, I suppose, so textbook as a recession that there was always going to be a period of catharsis and we talk about recovery. And we see the Government talking a lot about recovery and we would almost convince ourselves that we’re fully recovered. But we’re not. The recession was so bad and the crisis was so bad that we’re going to be dealing with this for the next ten to 15 to 20 years.”
Tubridy: “At least, I’d say.”
Kehoe: “At least. This is a generational event. You don’t just wake up one day and say, ‘great, the tax returns were good last month, we’re great again’. We’re not. This is part of it. But the question I would have and an awful lot of people, I suppose, who we talked to would have, is did it have to be done so quickly.”
Tubridy: “Yes. Was there panic nearly?”
Kehoe: “There was a panic. I mean we had so many great assets. You know, I’ve heard economists, like David McWilliams and these guys, saying ‘we’ve so many great assets’. Wouldn’t it have been great if we’d have taken stakes in brilliant hotels in Britain which we bankrolled and all over the world and put them into a sovereign wealth fund to try and fund our pensions for years to come. And there was some hope that that was something that Nama might do but, in the end, they just decided, let’s sell as quickly as we can, turn a profit and move on. So, I think we did panic, we sold far too much, too quickly. But we were being told to do this by the Troika.”
Later… and after a clip from Mr Kehoe’s documentary shows chief executive of
Ires Reit David Ehrlich showing Mr Kehoe a two-bedroom apartment next to the Facebook offices in Dublin which is renting for €2,800 a month, in a block which has 99 per cent occupancy
Kehoe: “This guy [Ehrlich] isn’t just anybody. This guy is the largest landlord in the State. Now, unlike vulture funds, he’s here for the long haul because he thinks Ireland will do well in the long haul, but he’s the largest commercial landlord in the State. Within the space of four to five years, he, David and his fund Ires, have gone from having zero apartments to close to 3,000 of them.”
Tubridy: “Just buying them up.”
Kehoe: “Just buying them up. Buying apartment blocks. If you go out to Sandyford and walk around…”
Tubridy: “Yeah, they’ve been abandoned for years..”
Kehoe: “They’ve been abandoned, they bought them all, pretty much all of them. You walk around, you go ‘that block’, ‘that block’, ‘that block’ – they’re all theirs and they control the market. We have created the perfect breeding ground for funds like this where we have poor rental laws, to push people in and out, you can rise rents, there’s no supply and massive pent-up demand. It’s a brilliant investment case, great investment case for investing in his company but it’s an awful indictment of public policy.”
Tubridy: “And it creates a dysfunctional scenario, doesn’t it? Because people , I just, anyone I know, looking, like €2,800 a month, what? It’s lunacy. And is that the future. To skew. And if they’re sitting on parcels of land that they won’t release because they’re..to screw the market, essentially to strangle it…”
Kehoe: “Well I can tell you one thing, if you’re spending €2,800 a month on an apartment to rent it, you’re never going to be able to afford to buy because you’re never going to be able to put the money aside. And what we’ve seen, and they’ve seen it, specifically on the east coast of the United States, has been a massive drop-off in housing ownership. So, in Ireland, we have this thing, it’s in-built within us that we all like to own our property…the future is more long-term, more long-term renting and that’s just another consequence of it.”
The Great Irish Sell Off will be broadcast on Monday, on RTE One at 9.35pm.