Ireland Catholic dioceses lose millions in stock market bets

Just when one wouldn't think things could get worse for Catholics in the Emerald Isle, a news report discloses that Catholic dioceses have lost millions of dollars in stock market investments in the Bank of Ireland and in the Allied Irish Bank.

[To assist the reader with the currency conversion to U.S. dollars from Euros, I inserted a bracket below with a quick conversion formula to U.S. dollars from Euros using the online currency conversion site, http://www.xe.com, which conversions have not be double-checked by an accountant!]

The Belfast Telegraph reports:


"Catholic dioceses headed by Cardinal Sean Brady and Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin are nursing multi-million euro losses following the collapse of the Bank of Ireland share price, it has been revealed.

They are among a number of dioceses, political figures and charities which have lost a fortune on their Bank of Ireland shares.

At their highest value in February 2007, the shares traded at €18.70 (£16.21), but they were trading at their lowest point this year yesterday at just 43c (37p).

Visit EarthBeat, NCR's new reporting project that explores the ways Catholics and other faith groups are taking action on the climate crisis.

According to the register of Bank of Ireland's shareholders, Cardinal Sean Brady's Armagh archdiocese holds 409,000 shares that have plunged in value from over €7.6m (£6.6m) to just €204,000 (£176,883).

[My quick conversion to U.S. dollar values: $7.6 million Euros minus $204,000 Euros (the current value of the investment) = $7,396,000 Euros x the current conversion rate of 1 Euro = $1.40322 dollars, or a loss of the equivalent of $10.4 million U.S. dollars.]

Dr Martin's Dublin archdiocese, which also lost money on AIB shares, had a much larger investment in Bank of Ireland with almost 400,000 shares, worth over €10m (£8.67m) three years ago but now valued at just €270,000 (£234,110).

[$10 million Euros minus $234,110 Euros (the current value of the investment) = $9,730,000 Euros x the current conversion rate of 1 Euro = $1.40322 dollars or a loss of the equivalent of $13.6 million U.S. dollars.]

A spokesperson for the archdiocese said the shares were held in trust for 199 parishes and that a large number of shares were bequeathed to these churches over the years."

Join the Conversation

Send your thoughts and reactions to Letters to the Editor. Learn more here

Advertisement