Anglo probe 'will take months to complete'
A probe into possible wrong-doing at Anglo Irish Bank will take months to complete, Director of Corporate Enforcement Paul Appleby told a Dail committee yesterday.
Questioned repeatedly by TDs about when the probe might end and about any evidence handed over to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Appleby remained tight-lipped, saying only that it would take "several months".
He noted that a similar probe into National Irish Bank began in 1998 and lasted six years. Subsequent court cases against nine officials were still waiting to be heard in seven cases, he added. "Obviously Anglo is similar, to an extent. First of all, it's a bank and there's a lot of work involved," Mr Appleby said, while adding that he did not expect the Anglo probe to last as long as that.
About one-third of Mr Appleby's officials are involved in the Anglo probe, which is the biggest since the office was set up in 2001. Officials, gardai, lawyers and computer experts are poring through seven million documents which have been seized from Anglo's headquarters in paper or electronic form.
Mr Appleby told the Oireachtas Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment that there had been good co-operation from current bank staff but declined to say whether all former Anglo workers were co-operating with the inquiry.
"From our perspective, Anglo is the largest and most complex investigation ever undertaken by us," Mr Appleby said yesterday.
This newspaper revealed last week that Mr Appleby's officials had not yet spoken to former Anglo chief executive Sean FitzPatrick about the bank's problems.