BILL CULLEN: I’LL TAKE ON O’LEARY, ANYTIME
In the Hangar 6 row, the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) rolled out a howitzer at the weekend and turned it on Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary. High-profile millionaire Bill Cullen, who has been a non-executive director of the DAA for the past five years, said that O’Leary was all ego and no integrity. “It’s all about publicity with him. He might dress down. He might wear the jeans and the oul’ shirt and all that stuff but that’s all an act. He has a huge ego,” Cullen said in a speech to students at NUI, Maynooth that was widely quoted in the Sunday Independent.In the no-punches-pulled speech, Cullen said : “My mother had more balls than he ever had. She would make mincemeat out of Michael O’Leary. She would chew him up and spit him out.”
Cullen asked his audience to look at how O’Leary treats his suppliers, his customers, his staff. It is his way, or the door, that’s how he works. He also questioned O’Leary’s patriotism, saying he wanted to humiliate the Government and kick the DAA “in the ass” rather than keep jobs at Dublin Airport.
“I’ve been on the board of the DAA for five years, so I’m the senior non-executive director. In that context, we could sit down with Michael anytime, provided he is not playing games. But if he wants to play games, I could play games too. I wouldn’t have a problem taking him on,” Cullen added