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It is good to have that reassurance. Also good is that a director of Bank of Ireland promptly bought shares in that company after the results, and that the recent director purchase in our own company was O'Donnell, the CFO.

Against that are the frustrating facts of recent times that a) elsewhere, banks' directors have got it totally wrong and made insider purchases which proved they were totally unaware of the shambles on the books, b) the alarming propensity of banks in the last few months to say 'all's well' and then a month later 'it turns out we've got a small problem'.

Which is why I keep my eye on the share price, as with my other holdings, only in respect of downward movement relative to the sector/market (up is not useful unless you want to replace the rigor of curiosity with warm fuzziness), as an indicator of news.

The greater than normal unknowns (Irish property exposure, Irish economy as influenced by 'one-size-fits-all' EU interest rate, derivative-exposure) mean we are having a day at the races. I am not sure it is possible categorically to say just now of any financial (except possibly dear old Goldman) that it is a sound company or a certain bargain, though it may be the year after next.
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