Yates twice contemplated suicide
on 03/09/2013 00:00:00
However, he expressed gratitude that he found the inner strength to overcome any suicidal thoughts.
Mr Yates told the Irish Examiner that he found "the sheer mountain" of his financial problems had become "all too much", once in the middle of the night in his apartment in Wales and once while swimming.
Stressing that he did not want to over-dramatise his situation, Mr Yates said he had an acute awareness of the feelings of people who found themselves in a similar situation
Earlier, in an interview on Pat Kenny's inaugural radio show on Newstalk, Mr Yates said he had made a strategic error in trying to double the size of his family-owned betting firm, Celtic Bookmakers.
Mr Yates said the lack of an internet arm was one of the main downfalls for his business after people's disposable income dropped dramatically following the economic crash.
However, he said his biggest mistake was the decision, by himself and his wife Deirdre, to sign personal guarantees with their bank, AIB. Mr Yates admitted he had been "utterly naïve and foolish" in taking on such a debt but accepted he was personally responsible for finding himself in such a position.
Pic: Yates' wife Deirdre.
The former Fine Gael minister said he had made every effort to strike a deal with AIB after the bank had called in its loans following the collapse of Celtic Bookmakers in 2011 - a business which he came close to selling to William Hill for €13m a few years earlier.
Mr Yates said he had offered to sell all his properties plus a percentage of his earnings, which would enable him to pay back 80c for every €1 owed, but claimed that the bank refused.
He issued a scathing attack on AIB over its dealings with him, recalling that two bank executives informed him that they had no authority to reach a debt settlement and would not even agree to an offer to repay 99c of every €1 owed.
"They've destroyed my life," he said.
He noted that the recent Anglo tapes highlighted how the banks had systematically minimised their own losses to secure more money from the Government.
"The State was duped by bankers in bankers' interests," said Mr Yates, who also criticised Government policies for being all "about protecting the banks".
He also admitted feeling a deep sense of shame, especially because of its effect on his elderly mother Mary, and "the indelible stain and stigma" it placed on his career.
He defended his decision to avail of Britain's more lenient bankruptcy regime, claiming he complied with all laws and had not engaged in any asset-stripping.
"I'm just looking for a second chance," said Mr Yates.
He returns to his former role as co-host of Newstalk Breakfast tomorrow.