Monday 28 July 2014

FitzPatrick unlikely to face loans trial until end of 2014 – judge

Conor Gallagher and Dearbhail McDonald

Published 23/03/2013|04:00

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Former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick (64), of Camaderry, Whitshed Road, Greystones, Co. Wicklow, leaving court yesterday. He is not likely to stand trial until the end of 2014 on charges of failing to make disclosures to the bank's auditors about loans.

FORMER Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick will likely not stand trial until the end of 2014 on charges alleging failure to make disclosures to the bank's auditors about loans he received.

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The 64-year-old is facing a total of 12 charges in connection with alleged financial irregularities at the bank over a six-year period. He has yet to enter a plea.

Mr FitzPatrick appeared at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday for the first time on these charges after being sent forward from the District Court earlier this month.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring was told that Mr FitzPatrick was "ultimately" likely to take a trial date.

She told the court that this will probably be towards the end of 2014.

This is so a period of 'fade' can take place following the accused's trial on separate matters in early 2014.

Prosecuting Counsel Una Ni Raifeartaigh said some disclosure had taken place but that there was more to be done.

She asked for seven or eight weeks so it could be completed.

Judge Ring adjourned the case until July 8, 2013, for a progress update.

She excused Mr FitzPatrick from attending on that date following a defence request.

In the District Court earlier this month, Mr FitzPatrick, of Camaderry, Whitshed Road, Greystones, Co Wicklow, was charged under Section 197 of the Companies Act 1990.

He faces 12 counts of failing to disclose to auditors Ernst & Young the true value of loans worth at least €139m given to him or people connected to him, by Irish Nationwide Building Society from 2002 to 2007 while he was an officer of the bank.

The 'fade' period may further delay the civil proceedings taken against the former Anglo Irish Bank by members of bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn.

Those proceedings have been adjourned pending the outcome of the criminal charges faced by Mr FitzPatrick and others.

Last February the Government passed an emergency law to liquidate the IBRC, a law that posed an immediate stay on all existing proceedings against the bank.

However, the Quinns challenged the nature of the stay in court and their action is set to proceed once criminal proceedings have concluded.

The Quinn family will next month ask the High Court to set a date for a hearing in which they will seek to join the Central Bank and the Department of Finance as co-defendants, with the IBRC, to their action.

Irish Independent

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