Official probes to produce in six months' time
Major investigations by the Garda Fraud Squad and Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions into goings-on at Anglo Irish Bank are set to hit crunch time in 2010.
They centre around the nationalised group's hidden loans of up to €122m to former chairman Sean FitzPatrick; the movement of €7.5bn of deposits between Irish Life & Permanent and Anglo in September 2008; and a controversial €450m loan to a 'golden circle' of 10 investors to buy bank shares, originally built up by businessman Sean Quinn.
Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy said recently that the inquiries should come to an end within four to six months and that a file would then be sent to the DPP, who would determine if criminal charges should be brought.
Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see if there is any appetite in the Government to act on calls from new Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan for a US-style congressional probe into the financial crisis.