Home > Opinion > Mathews unveiled as FG candidate

Mathews unveiled as FG candidate

Paul Cullen, The Irish Times – Saturday, January 22, 2011

BANKING commentator Peter Mathews has been unveiled by Fine Gael as its third candidate in the Dublin South constituency.

Mr Mathews, a prominent critic of Government policy on the economic crisis on television programmes over the last two years, has been added to the party ticket for the five-seat constituency, having joined Fine Gael in the past month.

Mr Mathews was introduced to the media on the Leinster House plinth yesterday by TDs Alan Shatter and Olivia Mitchell.

He said his main priority if elected would be to contribute to the reconstruction of the economy and the “powerhosing” of problem areas of society. A new government’s first task should be to renegotiate the €85 billion Memorandum of Understanding with the IMF, EU and ECB.

Mr Mathews, a chartered accountant by training, claims to have predicted the size of the property bubble and opposed the creation of the National Asset Management Agency.

He said yesterday he told the Department of Finance in January 2009 that the level of writedowns in property values would exceed €50 billion but wasn’t believed at the time.

He will be attempting to win for Fine Gael the seat captured by RTÉ economist and former Dáil deputy George Lee in a byelection.

Mr Lee gave up the seat after eight months over differences with the party leadership.

Mr Mathews denied that he was a “celebrity economist” or “George Lee Mark II” candidate. He said comparisons with Mr Lee were irrelevant and his background as a banking analyst was “actually quite boring”.

Mr Mathews was a member of the Progressive Democrats at the time of their foundation but left shortly after.

His wife Susan was involved in Young Fine Gael. The couple have four grown-up children and live in Mount Merrion.


Categories: Opinion
  1. Robert Browne
    February 28, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Peter, Congratulations! Delighted for you and nobody deserves it more.

    From Namawinelake thread

    “Now that Peter Matthews has been elected I hope he is given a role that puts NAMA under his remit.

    Even if Noonan becomes finance minister he will have enough on his plate with the EU/IMF deal and banks to want to share out elements of his portfolio and Matthews is the man for the job.

    From the start, he was never in supporter of NAMA and warnings from him about NAMA were ignored. Matthews even held a public meeting about NAMA in the RDS and subsequently delivered financial projections on the likely workings of NAMA to every TD in the Dail. In fact, when he was before the PAC he was delivering dire warnings about NAMA only to be met with such serious prognostications as “we have to vacate this room in 5 minutes”. Peter has done well to get elected and I have a feeling that he will put some order on the NAMA monster if allowed.

    People think that NAMA is a neutral entity just doing a job, it is no such thing it has been, and is, one of the bluntest tools in the box and has contributed in no small measure, to the accelerated, up front losses taken by our banking system and contributed to driving them into immediate insolvency. It’s also partly responsible for the state being driven into the hands of the IMF/EU rescue. Every NAMA discount that blasted holes in bank balance sheets had to me made up with borrowings on the other side of the bank balance sheets which Lenihan agreed we were all responsible for. Of course, if you force valuations on properties in a market where there is no market you are going create bedlam and that is what was done because it suited certain interests.”

    Robert Browne.

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