Belfast Telegraph

Shamed banker David Drumm sorry for his foul mouth on tapes

By Michael McHugh

Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm has apologised for using inappropriate language before the institution received a massive cash bailout from the Irish government.

He said he fully understood why the published excerpts of taped conversations with senior executives offended some people.

The apology came as Irish President Michael D Higgins said the Anglo tapes highlighted greedy attitudes at the root of Ireland's failed economic model.

Mr Drumm (below) was one of three Anglo chiefs recorded laughing about trying to source the money from Irish authorities.

Leaked tape conversations between Anglo executives were recorded on the eve of the Irish government introducing a controversial €440bn (£380bn) bank guarantee in September 2008.

In one discussion with a senior colleague, Drumm outlined his strategy for persuading the Irish government to support a bank which was losing billions.

"Get into the f****** simple speak: 'We need the moolah, you have it, so you're going to give it to us and when would that be?'," he said.

Mr Drumm told the Irish Central website: "I accept that the tone and language used in the tapes is inappropriate and I fully understand why the excerpts published have offended many people."

He said the recording was made at a highly stressful and uncertain time and was an "embarrassing" and "shocking" reminder of the pressure they were under.

"However, there is no excuse for the terrible language or the frivolous tone and I sincerely regret the offence it has caused. I cannot change this now but I can apologise to those who had to listen to it and who were understandably so offended by it."

Mr Higgins used a garden party in Dublin to reinforce his views of the terrible damage inflicted on society by a speculative economy.

"This week, voices from the past have been heard which serve to highlight behaviours and attitudes at the very root of that failed economic model. They do not make for easy listening," he said.

"But let us be certain of one thing: these are not the voices of the people of Ireland; the attitudes they reveal are not shared by the people of Ireland; the behaviours they reflect are not characteristic of the people of Ireland."


Anglo was the first Irish bank to seek a government bailout. It ran into trouble after lending tens of billions of euros to property developers before the collapse of the property market. A government rescue package eventually cost Irish taxpayers around €30bn. The banking crisis led to Ireland having to ask the IMF and the EU for a €85bn bailout in 2010.

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