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Thursday 28 August 2014

Sean FitzPatrick: I was Anglo chairman but I wasn't in charge

Published 27/03/2014 | 12:24

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Former Anglo Chairman Sean FitzPatrick. Picture: Collins Courts
Former Anglo Chairman Sean FitzPatrick. Picture: Collins Courts

SEAN FitzPatrick told gardai he was never involved in any executive discussions while chairman at the former Anglo Irish Bank, a court heard.

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The former chairman said his role was very important at the bank, but maintained chief executive David Drumm – who replaced Mr FitzPatrick as CEO in January 2005 – was “the man in charge”.

The trial of three executives heard Mr FitzPatrick was first questioned by fraud squad officers over a loan-for-shares deal on March 18, 2010, at Bray Garda Station.

He said he was very much a "non-executive" at the bank, adding that he only had a professional relationship with Mr Drumm and had never been in eachothers homes.

“As chairman he came to me for advice on various matters, where possible I would give whatever advice I could give him,” Mr FitzPatrick told fraud squad officers.

“But David to his fellow executives wanted to show he was very independent to me so I was never involved in any executive discussions or matters of an executive matter.”

Mr FitzPatrick (65), from Greystones, Co Wicklow; former head of finance and risk William McAteer (63), of Rathgar in Dublin; and Pat Whelan (51), of Malahide, Co Dublin, deny 16 counts each of providing unlawful financial assistance to 16 individuals in July 2008 to buy shares in Anglo Irish Bank.

The loan-for-shares deal involved unwinding Sean Quinn’s secret 29pc stake in the bank, build up through contracts for difference (cfds).

The 16 charges relate to loans to six members of the Quinn family and 10 high net worth Anglo clients, who became known as the Maple 10.

Mr Whelan, former head of lending (Ireland), also denies being privy to the fraudulent alteration of loan facility letters to seven individuals.

Dressed in a dark grey suit, a white and blue striped shirt and pink and blue tie and wearing thick rimmed glasses, Mr FitzPatrick studied documents as his Garda interview notes were being read in to the record at the Circuit Criminal Court in Dublin by prosecuting counsel Una Ni Raifeartaigh.

The trial, before a jury seven men and seven women, continues.

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