Donncha O'Callaghan opens up on losing fortune in investment scam
"I’ll be honest with you, I'm more disappointed with myself than anything else"
Former Munster and Ireland rugby player Donncha O'Callaghan has opened about becoming embroiled in an investment scam which saw him lose vast sums of money.
O'Callaghan, who has transitioned into a successful media career since hanging up the rugby boots, admitted on the Sean O'Rourke podcast to being one of the victims of the Custom House Capital scam.
Last week saw the sentencing of four Custom House Capital (CHC) members, who included the firm's former chief executive Harry Cassidy.
Speaking to their sentencing, the RTE 2FM host reflected on having to learn the hard way about managing your money;
"My mom had to scrap for every penny. I was probably involved with this time of Celtic Tiger where money was so easy to get a hold of. I think it's a real cop out to say I took bad advice".
"I was ill informed - that lies with me. I took people's experience in certain areas as if yeah that's good enough for me because he knows it inside out whereas I've learned you have to know it inside out".
O'Callaghan went on to reveal that he had made the misjudged investments at the peak of his playing career, and that he went on to max out his pension contribution over the course of six years.
"It was a hard lesson but vital for me - you cannot offload responsibility for stuff like that. In a mad way I had a gut feeling before it… I wish I’d backed it", reflected the Grand Slam winner.
However, despite falling foul to machinations of Custom House Capital, O'Callaghan remarked how he still put the entirety of the blame on himself;
"I look at that whole scenario and I look at myself at that time, I’ll be honest with you I'm more disappointed with myself than anything else".
When asked if he could calculate the exact amount he had lost, the Ireland's Fittest Family presenter said that;
"I won't say the amount [he lost] but I was maxing out my pension contribution and putting it all in there every time, every year I put in the max I could over the course of six years".
Furthermore, O'Rourke went on to ask O'Callaghan about the jailing of the CHC members last week, but he refused to take pleasure in their punishment.
Customs House Capital were a regulated Dublin investment firm, which ultimately collapsed in 2011 after High Court inspectors appointed under the direction of the Central Bank confirmed that client funds had been used without their knowledge or consent to try prop up commercial property investments in continental Europe.
However, O'Callaghan himself now stands in a better place, with his newfound career on radio and television going from strength to strength.
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