Ivan Yates

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

Ivan Yates
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry
In office
15 December 1994 – 26 June 1997
TaoiseachJohn Bruton
Preceded byJoe Walsh
Succeeded byJoe Walsh
Teachta Dála
In office
June 1981 – May 2002
Personal details
Born (1959-10-23) 23 October 1959 (age 60)
Enniscorthy, County Wexford, Ireland
Political partyFine Gael
Spouse(s)Deirdre Yates (m. 1985)
Alma materUniversity College Dublin

Early lifeEdit

Yates was born in Enniscorthy, County Wexford.[2] He was educated at Aravon School, Bray; St. Columba's Church of Ireland College in Rathfarnham, Dublin; and Gurteen Agricultural College, County Tipperary.

Political careerEdit

When he was first elected in 1981, Yates was the youngest member of the 22nd Dáil and is also the fifth-youngest ever member of Dáil Éireann at the age of 21. 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.[3]

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 Irish Veterinary Union over the tuberculosis eradication scheme.[4] 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.[5]

He receives annual pension payments of €74,836 from his time in politics.[6]

Business careerEdit

Yates was 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. On 4 January 2011, it was announced that the company had gone into receivership.[7]

He headed a group of bookmakers in a court case against the British Horseracing Board (BHB) over fees for licences to access a racing information database in 2005. The issue was resolved in the High Court with the termination of the BHB's licence agreement and a payment of €300,000 to the bookmakers, who were reported to have access to the BHB's former database until 9 January 2006.[8]

In 2011, he described the Irish bankruptcy process as "purgatory", and publicly announced that he was contemplating moving to the UK to avail of the British bankruptcy process.[9]

On 21 August 2012, the High Court in Dublin dismissed an attempt by Allied Irish Banks to have him declared bankrupt.[10]

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.[11][12]

Media workEdit

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 both the station and his column in the Irish Examiner with effect from 6 April 2012, to concentrate on his personal finances.[13] He also presented Tonight with Vincent Browne on TV3 during summer 2011.

He returned to Newstalk in September 2013, once again co-presenting the breakfast show with Chris Donoghue.[14]

Yates is a regular conference speaker, motivational speaker and MC at business events in Ireland.[15]

He co-hosted The Tonight Show on TV3 and presented The Hard Shoulder on Newstalk until his retirement from broadcasting in July 2020.[2] Kieran Cuddihy replaced Yates as the host of The Hard Shoulder in September 2020.[16]


  1. ^ "Ivan Yates". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 12 April 2009.
  2. ^ a b Ó Scannáil, Mícheál; Gataveckaite, Gabija (2 July 2020). "'This time it's different' - Yates retires from his television and radio shows". Irish Independent. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Ivan Yates". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 12 April 2009.
  4. ^ Mac Connell, Seán (13 January 1996). "Outflanked IVU forced to negotiate on Yates plan". The Irish Times. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  5. ^ Brennock, Mark (6 February 2001). "Ivan Yates to announce his retirement from politics". The Irish Times. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  6. ^ Kelly, Fiach (10 November 2011). "Thanks big fellas: Ahern and Cowen get massive pensions". Irish Independent. Archived from the original on 14 September 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  7. ^ Edwards, Elaine (4 January 2011). "Receiver appointed to Ivan Yates's Celtic Bookmakers". The Irish Times.
  8. ^ "Lower betting costs expected after bookmakers' dispute is settled". Irish Examiner. 11 November 2005. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  9. ^ O'Doherty, Caroline (30 December 2011). "Yates may move to Swansea to declare bankruptcy". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  10. ^ "Application to have Ivan Yates declared bankrupt dismissed in High Court". RTÉ News. 21 August 2012.
  11. ^ "AIB won't recoup €3.7m as Ivan Yates ruled bankrupt in Wales". Irish Independent. 3 September 2012.
  12. ^ "Ivan Yates discharged from bankruptcy in UK". Irish Independent. 1 September 2013.
  13. ^ Wade, Jennifer (23 March 2012). "Ivan Yates to leave Newstalk". TheJournal.ie. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  14. ^ "Ivan Yates returns to Newstalk Breakfast". Newstalk. 1 September 2013.
  15. ^ "Ivan Yates - Personally Speaking Bureau". Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  16. ^ Heaney, Mick (4 September 2020). "Newstalk's new drivetime host Kieran Cuddihy tries too hard at taking it easy". The Irish Times. Retrieved 15 September 2020.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Joe Walsh
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry
Succeeded by
Joe Walsh