Great news as AIB spares us a BoI (Thursday 23 February 2012)

The AIB – which we own – yesterday decided to give us its art collection. The frontline beneficiary will be the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, which will receive a body of very significant works, some immediately, others spread over the next two years, but a very large number of other works will also be made available to public galleries around Ireland.
The AIB collection - much of it built up under the guidance of Frances Ruane - is probably the most significant corporate collection in Ireland. It is very good news that many of its core works will remain together, in the Crawford. It is also highly important, not just for the integrity of the collection and the works' remaining in Ireland, that they will not be auctioned off. The Bank of Ireland, which it seems we also own a lot of, went the other route in 2010 - see news item here - taking €1.5m out of the pockets of potential purchasers of contemporary art in Ireland.