This week Ulster Bank took more than 40 Donegal mortgage holders to court in Letterkenny who had got seriously behind in their payments. It’s not known what areas these are in but with an Ulster Bank here in Moville there is likely to be some from around here.

It’s a very hard time at the moment and people were suckered in by the banks to take mortgages that they couldn’t afford. I think Enda Kenny and some others said that the people of the country went mad during the boom years. However, this wasn’t the case. All people who bought houses wanted was a roof over their heads and their own home.

Throwing Money at them

Many couldn’t afford the deposit but the lenders were coming out with 100% mortgages and then 105% mortgages and then 110%, 115% and. at the worst of the boom, 120% mortgages.

The people didn’t go mad. They were just able to afford, for the first time, their own home.

Mad Folk

The people who went mad were those at head office at the Irish banks who were throwing money at anybody that wanted it. The bonus system meant that they got their money at the end of the year and it didn’t matter if the people buying houses got into financial problems in future years as the head office boys had their end-of-year bonuses for selling them he mortgages in their back pockets.

Others who went mad were the German and French banks who were able to borrow the money more cheaply on the market than the Irish banks and then lend it to them.

Local People

The local people who took out mortgages didn’t have a Risk Assessment department, stuffed with the top graduates, like the banks had to advise them as to whether it was a good investment or not. They did not have access to the best risk assessment software as the banks did.

Indeed they took their advice from the bank managers. In the UK the big banks have had to pay back a lot of money as they mis-sold insurance and other products to customers.

Mis-sold Mortgages

Perhaps they should look in Ireland at whether people were mis-sold mortgages. People looked upon those at the bank as their advisors when those, especially at head office, were just lining their pockets with no worries about the future and whether the people borrowing would be able to pay the money back.

The advice they were giving was buy, buy, buy – borrow, borrow, borrow. And local people took tis advice.


Maybe some of the 40 who were up in courts his week were mis-sold mortgages. One wouldn’t be confident in this country, if it were proved that they were missold mortgages, that anything would ever be done about it. The clique of bankers, construction company owners and politicians all hung around together and screwed the country up together.

As usual, as with the taxpayers paying back the German banks for their own bad investment decisions, it is the small guy who is left holding the debt and who has to shoulder the burden.

One sympathises with the plight of those being pursued by Ulster Bank. They must be very worried about their futures in the run up to Christmas.