Tuesday 26 September 2017

Anglo's role in €412m land deal revealed

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

THE former chairman of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) – who was also a director of Anglo Irish Bank – has said he was "surprised" when the bank stepped in at the last minute to help finance one of the biggest land deals of the boom.

Lar Bradshaw – who was a non-executive director of Anglo at the same time that he was chairman of the DDDA – said he didn't think Anglo would have the "mandate" to help fund the 2006 purchase of the Irish Glass Bottle site in Dublin's docklands by the DDDA and developer Bernard McNamara.

The DDDA took a 26pc stake in the bid, with Mr McNamara making up the rest. The site eventually sold for over €412m.

Mr Bradshaw revealed that Sean Mulryan was the first developer to express an interest in a joint bid with the DDDA, before Mr McNamara.

Mr Bradshaw told the Dail's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) he was told Mr McNamara in October 2006 that the developer had "switched horses" from Ulster Bank to joint financing by Anglo and Bank of Ireland.

VALUATION

Mr McNamara told Mr Bradshaw and others from the DDDA about the switch at a meeting in the Radisson Hotel in Stillorgan, Dublin the night before a meeting of the authority's board to approve the bid.

The then Anglo chairman Sean FitzPatrick was also on the board of the DDDA, as was a Bank of Ireland director, Declan McCourt. Mr Bradshaw said he assumed that Mr FitzPatrick had no prior knowledge of the Anglo involvement either.

Mr Bradshaw said he could not remember when Mr Mulryan's interest stopped and Mr McNamara took over and was not sure if the DDDA board was aware of Mr Mulryan's interest. He also said the DDDA did not formally tell the Department of Environment that the price of the site had doubled from €220m to €412m in the space of a fortnight in October 2006 and admitted that there had been no independent valuation carried out on the site.

Mr Bradshaw said he had waited five years to tell his side of the story.

Irish Independent

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