O'Leary: 'no integrity'

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary has been attacked by another of Ireland's leading businessmen as a person with "no integrity" who is about "publicity and ego."

Bill Cullen, who hosts the Irish equivalent of “The Apprentice” and runs a Renault dealership made his blistering attack on O'Leary in a lecture at Maynooth University.

"It's all about publicity and ego. He might dress down. He might wear the jeans and the oul' shirt and have the oul' cup of coffee in his hand and all that stuff but that's all an act. He has a huge ego.

"Without a doubt I think he is ruthless, he is cynical and he has no integrity," he said.

Cullen's comments came as a row between the government and O'Leary over O'Learys demands that Aer Lingus vacate a hangar at Dublin Airport if he agrees to site 300 jobs there. Aer Lingus have refused to do so and the government back them.

"Why couldn't he have kept those couple of hundred jobs here instead of telling everybody in the country: 'I've given 200 jobs to Scotland.' Now what sort of an Irishman is that?

"He wanted to kick us in the ass. He basically said: 'Right, so now I'm after giving 200 jobs away and I've 300 more. Do yez want them or don't yez?'

"It obviously wasn't very patriotic. Unfortunately the 'bottom line' is all that counts for Michael. He's very successful financially. But there's more to life than that, such as people. Look at how he treats his suppliers, look at how he treats his customers, look at how he treats his staff. It's his way or the door. That's the way Michael works."

"You can't deal with Michael. You work with his other executives and we do work with them and we have our committee guys go to meet them on a regular basis. But it's very hard to get any co-operation from them. Everything you try to get done it's always: 'No No, No.' It's very difficult."

"Now he wants to be the monopoly. He said openly on the radio that he wanted to kill Aer Arann (a smaller provincial airline). Imagine saying that about Padraig O'Ceidigh, who is a lovely man? That's the way he does business."