Some Catholic dioceses in Ireland lost a fortune after the Bank of Ireland share price collapsed, according to an investigation by the Irish Independent. On Friday, the shares were at 43c, their lowest point this year. Their highest value was in February 2007 at €18.70
Several dioceses, political figures and charities have suffered tremendous losses.
Cardinal Brady's Armagh archdiocese’s 409,000 shares have fallen in value from more than €7.6m to €204,000, while Dr Martin's Dublin archdiocese, which also lost money on AIB shares, had nearly 400,000 Bank of Ireland shares that were worth over €10m three years ago but are now valued at €270,000.
Other politicians and organizations that have been affected include the Masonic Trust Company, Fianna Fail backbenchers Ned O’Keefe and Mary O’Rourke, Fine Gael frontbencher Richard Bruton, Health Minister Mary Harney, the governors of Mercer’s Hospital in Dublin, and the Health Service Executive on behalf of Cork University Hospital, whose shares were bequeathed to the hospital to fund cancer research.
The Independent also revealed that the Church of Ireland suffered big with its AIB shares, which fell from €17.6m to just over €260,000.
Despite the huge losses from the banking crisis, Bank of Ireland was able to escape nationalization and has said it doesn’t need any further financial assistance from the government.