The political, sexual and religious scandals of the 1980's may have shocked and outraged the nation but the litany of financial scandals that emerged, some big and some not so big, hit people where it affected them most - their pockets.
The bleak, war-torn, blackspot that was west Belfast in the late seventies got a major boost when the dream-machine De Lorean sports car rolled off the assembly lines. Hopes that this sleek, immortal design would give employment security and much needed skills to a workforce that had known generations of unemployment. Within three years the dream had turned into a nightmare. Having given the project over £80 million sterling the British Government decided to pull the plug, £17 million had been siphoned off fraudulently. Having been catapulted to the height of international fame his crashing downfall came with his involvement in a multi million dollar cocaine deal- Yet to this day there are few in Belfast who will find fault with the Hollywood faced John De Lorean.
Many CIE bus drivers and conductors felt very smug and privileged when they were allowed membership of the Tontine saving schemes run in the company in the Seventies and Eighties- savings that would see them through the hard times in their old age - "It was as solid as the rock of Gibraltar" or so they thought - in the early eighties started to emerge of the Tontine being in trouble- In a Today Tonight Programme by Joe Little their rock was submerged. Harrowing stories were told by working class men who had lost everything and whose lives were left in ruins.
Elio Malocco, was a flash young solicitor in a hurry in the eighties-
Dealing with such cases as Fr. Partrick Ryan and Kevin McDonald . A young entrepreneur, he became a director in the Irish press and dealt with their libel cases. However, what many of his clients began to slowly realise is that monies owed to them never materialised.
Entertainer "Twink" claimed she had nearly lost her home because of him. In 1993 Elio Malocco was charged with 49 offences including fraud and larceny, he was eventually sentenced to five years in Jail with the law society having to pay out over 2.5 million Euro to Elio's company.
Padraig Ó Drisceoil Reporter / Presenter
Kevin Burns Director/ Producer