Ivan Yates

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Ivan Yates
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry
In office
15 December 1994 – 26 June 1997
Preceded by Joe Walsh
Succeeded by Joe Walsh
Personal details
Born (1959-10-23) 23 October 1959 (age 54)
Enniscorthy, County Wexford, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Fine Gael

Ivan Yates (born 23 October 1959) is an Irish businessman, broadcaster and former politician. He was elected as a Fine Gael Teachta Dála (TD) representing the Wexford constituency at the 1981 general election and at each election until his retirement from politics in 2002.[1] He has also served as Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry from 1994 to 1997.

Early life[edit]

Yates was born in Enniscorthy, County Wexford. He was educated at Aravon School, Bray, St Columba's College, Dublin and Gurteen Agricultural College, County Tipperary.

Political career[edit]

Aged 21 years and 8 months, when first elected in 1981, Yates was the youngest member of the 22nd Dáil and is also the fifth youngest ever member of Dáil Éireann. He became involved in local politics when he became a member of Wexford County Council, serving until 1995 and again from 1999 to 2004. He joined the Fine Gael front bench in 1988 and was appointed Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry when the party came to power in 1994.[2]

Yates oversaw a particularly difficult period for Irish agriculture. Farmers saw the prices they received for their produce plummet, he stopped live animal exports in response to controversy over cruelty in shipping and took on the veterinary union over the tuberculosis eradication scheme. He also had to deal with a sharp rise in the number of BSE cases during 1996 and the consequent banning of Irish beef by Russia. When John Bruton resigned as leader of Fine Gael in January 2001, there was much speculation that Yates would be a contender for the vacant position. Instead, he announced to his colleagues that he was leaving full-time politics to concentrate on his family and business interests and that he would not be contesting the next general election.

He receives annual pension payments of €74,836 from his time in politics.[3]

Business career[edit]

Yates is the chairman and managing director of Celtic Bookmakers, an Irish chain of betting shops, and expanded the company from its Wexford base to a chain of 64 shops around the country at its peak. It was announced on 4 January 2011 that the company had gone into receivership.[4]

Yates' leadership has been very much in evidence in the bookmaking industry. He has been heading a group of bookmakers in a court case against the British Horseracing Board (BHB) over data rights. Although the issue has yet to be resolved in the Irish courts, UK bookmaker William Hill has already defeated the BHB on this issue in the Court of Appeal and the European Court of Justice. Yates is hoping that the court will also force the BHB to pay back the £15m a year that Irish bookmakers have been paying the BHB for data rights since 2002.

Yates in 2011 described the Irish bankruptcy process as "purgatory" and publicly announced that he was contemplating moving to the Wales to avail of the UK bankruptcy process.[5]

On 21 August 2012, the High Court in Dublin dismissed an attempt by Allied Irish Banks to have him declared bankrupt.[6] He was declared bankrupt in Wales on 24 August 2012.[7]

In September 2013, it was announced that Yates was discharged from bankruptcy, having fulfilled the requirements set down by Swansea County Court, where he made his application for personal insolvency on 24 August 2012.[8]

Media work[edit]

Yates co-presented the Newstalk breakfast show from 2009, firstly with Claire Byrne and subsequently with Chris Donoghue. On 23 March 2012 he announced he would be leaving the station, and his column in the Irish Examiner, with effect from 6 April 2012 to concentrate on his personal finances. Yates also presented Tonight with Vincent Browne on TV3 during summer 2011.

Yates returned to Newstalk in September 2013, once again co-presenting the breakfast show with Chris Donoghue.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mr. Ivan Yates". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 12 April 2009. 
  2. ^ "Ivan Yates". ElectionsIreland. Retrieved 12 April 2009. 
  3. ^ Kelly, Fiach (10 November 2011). "Thanks big fellas: Ahern and Cowen get massive pensions". Irish Independent. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  4. ^ Edwards, Elaine (4 January 2011). "Receiver appointed to Ivan Yates's Celtic Bookmakers". The Irish Times. 
  5. ^ O'Doherty, Caroline (30 December 2011). "Yates may move to Swansea to declare bankruptcy". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "Application to have Ivan Yates declared bankrupt dismissed in High Court". RTÉ News. 21 August 2012. 
  7. ^ "AIB won't recoup €3.7m as Ivan Yates ruled bankrupt in Wales". Irish Independent. 3 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "Ivan Yates discharged from bankruptcy in UK". Irish Independent. 1 September 2013. 
  9. ^ "Ivan Yates returns to Newstalk Breakfast". Newstalk. 1 September 2013. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Joe Walsh
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry
1994–1997
Succeeded by
Joe Walsh