IRA may be latest victim of sub prime collapse…

This piece comes with a health warning since it is based on a number of unnamed sources, yet it’s worth noting nonetheless. It alleges that the IRA’s financial portfolio has lost considerable amount of its value because those responsible for its management failed to take evasive action and “get out at the top of the property market and sink the money into high-dividend deposit accounts in Wall Street in the past few years.” It seems plausible given the dramatic turbulence in the markets have scuppered even Wall Street’s finest investment banks. But proving it…?

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  • Henry94

    This piece comes with a health warning since it is based on a number of unnamed sources

    Not to mention the journalist and the paper. It was the second biggest laugh of the day in the Sino. Eoughan Harris was the biggest. Having staked his reputation as a political forecaster on John McCain last week he has predicted an Obama win this week claiming his daughter had changed his mind.

  • Rory

    Eoghan Harris’s scoop has just in its turn been scooped by this startling report from Tottenham:

    The IRA may NOT have lost a substantial amount of its fortune in the banking collapse in the United States, according to republican sources. A spokesman for Rory Carr, little known (and even less renowned) Tottenham republican said, ” Rory thinks, like ye know, mebbe they didn’t lose a lock o’ pounds. But, like, ye’d niver know like, now would ya?”

    Analysts profess themselves to be uncertain as to which of these seemingly contradictory claims holds most merit and in order to make some sense of them have decided to go to lunch.

  • Jer

    So there is a “republican source” who is so high in the movement that he knows about its most secret financial workings and the only person he can spill his heart out to works for the Sunday Independent.
    And of course nobody else in the movement has ever figured who that senior person is.
    You would have to reckon that they would have done the house cleaning by now but no they haven’t.
    Only conclusion is that this is a lie and a fabrication.

  • ggn


    “by JIM CUSACK”

    Have a wee bit of sense.

  • George

    I like to give people the benefit of the doubt but I fear Mr Cusack has used his “sources” line way too often.

    Especially revealing was his source who revealed directly after the Madrid bombings that the Real IRA had passed on the mobile phone detonation technology to ETA, who were initially blamed by the Spanish government.

    How was Cusack’s “source” to know that the Spanish government had jumped the gun on who was to blame.

    Is this the same Republican source or does Mr Cusack have several and why should this one be more reliable?

  • abucs

    Better put an extra padlock on the Northern Bank branches tonight. :o)

  • austin

    Better put an extra padlock on the Northern Bank branches tonight’

    The padlock’s worth mpore than the bank.

  • Rory

    Maybe Cusack has “ties” with former Republican insider (and fashionista), Séan O’Callaghan. Now he knows a thing or two about bonds.

  • Mick Fealty

    So I should ignore the story, because it’s in the Sindo? Even a stopped clock can be right twice a day.

    Set that paper’s unalloyed anti IRA stance against the tightest-lipped PRO in the business (P O’Neill, Esq) and you have a stand off.

    For all that, it remains a plausible if unproven line for the reasons stated above. Please be my guest and try to falsify it. Just spare us the religious man playing.

  • Shore Road Resident

    It does raise the question of what has happened to the IRA portfolio over the past few months – it certainly must have major property holdings at the very least. Perhaps Adams is threatening an election while he can still afford it?

  • One would like to think it was a cunning plan to get the asset hunters off the scent, but then I read the by line.

  • abucs

    Mick, i have no clue as to how many pounds ‘Republican’ insiders have lost in the last few weeks.

    But if they haven’t lost a bundle of money like many others, then i want to be put in touch with their financial advisers. :o)

  • Shore Road Resident

    While there is of course no connection at all, the image of a republican frantically flying to New York to save his hopeless investment does make reading From The Balcony even more amusing than usual.

  • George

    The only ball here is under the man’s jersey and we have to go on his word that it’s a ball.

    But if I was to speculate, I would say that if the IRA did have large amounts of money invested, then like every other person who has large amounts of money invested, they have taken a loss.

    But the story doesn’t say how much of a loss, it only says that up to 200 million was invested in US institutions.

    It doesn’t say which institutions were invested in, it doesn’t say how much was in US property and how much was in banking stocks. Did they do better or worse than the average large investor?

    It doesn’t say anything except that the 200 million was made by the sale of commercial property in Ireland.

    But wait a minute, this could mean that the IRA has actually made a fortune because they managed to sell 200 million worth of property in Ireland before the crash.

    What would that portfolio be worth now?

    It could be argued that they have divested out of Irish property just in time but with so little information it’s hard to know what to think.

  • Jer

    Its certainly valid to post the story. Its in the public arena and should be considered. You were right to post it so no quibbles there.

    Its certainly plausible and thats is its strength. Its out in the public arena and enters the public consciousness. Neither proven or disproven but the message is out. The spin is made.

    As a journalist Jim Cusack invests his reputation in each story. Like all investments sometimes you lose out. As ordinary readers we review his story like the markets analyse companies and we make judgements on that investment.
    People have lost confidence in those investments. Thats not playing the man but simply withdrawing the confidence normally accorded to Journalists believed to offer new insights from reliable sources.
    I personally dont believe someone very senior in the republican movement is spilling the beans for years to Jim Cusack.

  • El Paso

    Remarkble that nobody has considered the considerable IRA sums invested in Lybian oil which has been doing rather well for some time now.

  • Ann

    Yet there seems to be agreement that the IRA has large sums of money, if they have they must have it somewhere, so its plausable

  • lorraine

    no doubt jim cussack will follow his conscience now and report what he knows to the guards and we can expect to see many arrestes over money-laundering, etc.etc. -methinksnot..

  • In appearing on slugger, this story has a certain contradiction about it. For years posters to this blog, along with Mr Cusack, have been telling us that the PIRA was riddled with touts from top to bottom, and that the British security services all but dictated the Provos every move.

    Are we now to believe that these same touts failed to pass on to their masters the whereabouts of the provo gold.

    It seems to me some folk want both their cake and be able to eat it.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Err, bollocks, Mick Hall. You can square that circle very easily by assuming the provos were allowed to keep their gold as a quid pro quo for peace – and evidence for that policy is plentiful, ranging from SF’s special exemption from foreign funding restrictions to the non-prosecution of the Northern Bank robbery.

  • Henry94


    So I should ignore the story, because it’s in the Sindo?

    No, I think blogging it with the health warning was appropriate. It gives people a chance to express their skepticism/incredulity.

    Even a stopped clock can be right twice a day.

    High praise indeed for the integrity of a journalist. If you make up enough stories you might get one right now and again but like with the clock it would be just a coincidence.

  • Mick


    Indeed, and scepticism is always welcome as part of the mix. Although I would say the Sindo attracts more than its fair share of cynicism, which is not.

    Code word: ‘Bad’

  • doctor

    “Indeed, and scepticism is always welcome as part of the mix. Although I would say the Sindo attracts more than its fair share of cynicism, which is not.”

    Mick, cynicism does tend to develop when a large share of the “hard news stories” in the Indo, particularly those that deal with the North, would be more appropriate in the opinion section. And the opinion section is bad enough as it is. Its one thing to have a different point of view, but in the Indo world-view we would all be living in a gulag state right now run by commissars Adams and McGuinness if it wasn’t for the writing brilliance of Ruth Dudley Edwards, Eoghan Harris, and a handful of other Indo writers informing the great unwashed masses of those satanic republicans.

  • USA

    I read a couple of his articles and this guy Cusak seems to be a vile bitter and twisted individual. I found many of his comments very insulting.
    With regards to this comment: “senior Sinn Fein figures enjoy an extraordinarily lavish lifestyle in the US, staying in suites in top hotels and dining in top restaurants.”
    I know this to be factually untrue in the US city where I reside. Cusak is making it up.
    I also found this article to be very offensive in several places.
    He is a nasty and bitter little man, a prerequisite apparantly for working at the Independent.

  • Henry94


    Although I would say the Sindo attracts more than its fair share of cynicism.

    I would say they are cynical and we are skeptical. I enjoy the paper by the way. I like the political columnists in general even the ones I disagree with. But genuinely I don’t believe their news reports on any subject. Or their opinion polls. Or their concert reviews.

    They are very good for sport.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    jobs were up for grabs in financial fraud in the police ombudsmans department. check to see if there are more!

  • Jer

    Henry94, you commend their sports and its not so bad. I have to say that i grew to like some of gene kerrigan’s work.