Former TD and minister Ivan Yates, who has carved out a successful career for himself as a radio and tv presenter, has made the shock announcement this evening that he will be stepping down from his roles with both TV3 and Newstalk. According to independent.ie, he is planning to take a year out and travel with his wife, stepping back completely from public life.
Ivan was one of Ireland’s youngest ever TDs when first elected aged 21, and also one of our youngest government ministers when he was the Fine Gael Minister for Agriculture in his late 30s. Aged 43, however, he resigned from politics in 2002 of focus on his business, Celtic Bookmakers. Ivan then branched out into broadcasting, joining Newstalk in 2009 and helping to make its breakfast show extremely popular.
In early 2011, however, Celtic Bookmakers went into liquidation, and Ivan had to go and live in the UK to declare himself bankrupt in that country. Since returning, however, he has continued to grow the Newstalk breakfast show, and has also become a firm favourite in TV3. Starting out by filling in for Vincent Browne on his late night show, Ivan last year was given his own gig by TV3, as co-host of the weekend version of Ireland AM alongside Anna Daly. And again, Ivan has made a great success out of that show.
With his financial troubles having been hanging over him for some years, it seems that Ivan has decided to take some time out with his wife, Deirdre, who has also been through a lot as the banks have pursued the Yates family for repayment of loans given to Celtic Bookmakers, which Ivan guaranteed.
We wish him the best on his break, and no doubt there will be more than one job open to him when he returns.