Thursday 18 December 2014

Who were the Maple 10?

Published 18/04/2014 | 02:30

Seamus Ross. Courtpix
Gerry Gannon. collins Courts
Paddy McKillen. PA
Gerry Conlan. Fennells
Brian O'Farrell. Collins Courts
Joe O'Reilly. Courtpix
Gerard Maguire. Collins Courts
Patrick Kearney. Laura Creamer/Property Week
Sean Reilly. Courtpix
John McCabe. Courtpix

The Maple 10 were a group of investors who bought shares in Anglo Irish Bank in 2008 under a deal to slash businessman Sean Quinn's stake in the lender. All men, they were long-standing customers of the bank who at the time were wealthy builders and property developers. While loans to the 10 have been at the heart of the case there was never any suggestion that the 10 men did anything wrong by accepting loans.

Seamus Ross

As head of Menolly Homes he was one of the biggest housebuilders in the country before the crash. He was among seven of the Maple 10 who gave evidence in the trial – where he confirmed having been a billionaire at the height of the crash. The Longford developer's loans – many originally from Anglo Irish Bank – ended up in NAMA. One of his estates in Dublin was found to contain pyrite.

Gerry Gannon

Also took the stand, and another self-confessed ex-billionaire. These days Mr Gannon is probably best known to many as the developer with a hat – after featuring in an RTE documentary. He was co-owner of the K Club until he sold it to Michael Smurfit, a move NAMA forced on him after he ended up owing Anglo more than €1bn. His Gannon Homes is developing new schemes in the Dublin commuter town of Swords.

Paddy McKillen

Did not take the stand. Mr McKillen is the developer behind Dublin's Jervis Street centre. He's also a major investor in some of London's poshest hotels – Claridge's, the Connaught and the Berkeley. He was forced into a long running legal battle for the hotels with co-investors in the hotels Frederick and David Barclay because loans originally made by Anglo have been touted for sale, including to McKillen's corporate foes, as a result of the banking crisis.

Gerry Conlan

Did not take the stand. In the boom he invested in houses and horses, but he is probably best known for his co-ownership of private hospitals – including Dublin's Mount Carmel. The high-end private maternity clinic was bought with a €65m loan from AIB in 2006 but NAMA appointed a liquidator at the start of this year.

Brian O'Farrell

Took the stand. The Dublin auctioneer and developer's main business during the boom was Headland Developments. Its biggest planned project was to redevelop the Northside Shopping Centre in north Dublin as a €1bn 'Northside Town Centre – having bought the property for €100m. It was never built. Many of the loans linked to Headland Developments were bundled up and sold by NAMA this year. In his evidence Mr O'Farrell said he was told he wouldn't make money on his investment in the Anglo shares at the heart of the case "but you will be a friend to the bank".

Joe O'Reilly

Took the stand. Like Gerry Maguire and Brian O'Farrell, the developer of the Dundrum Town Centre was on holiday abroad when Anglo Irish Bank executive Pat Whelan came looking for him to pitch the idea of investing in the bank shares. Mr O'Reilly's Dundrum Town Centre is today the jewel in the crown of Irish retail – valued at an estimated €1bn. Its loans are all held by NAMA. In addition O'Reilly's Castlethorn Construction built tens of thousands of homes – and had debts at one point of €2.8bn.

Gerry Maguire

Took the stand. Another developer who was abroad when the Anglo Irish Bank executives came looking for his support. The Meath-based developer built the Carroll Village centre in Dundalk, which ran into trouble when Superquinn called in the receivers. At the trial he said that when a team from the bank came to Nice,France, to ask him about getting involved he asked: "Is this transaction legal?".

Patrick Kearney

Did not take the stand. Mr Kearney is a Belfast-based developer and owner of PBN Holdings, which specialised in developing residential and retail complexes. His projects including high-profile shopping centres in Belfast and Glasgow. Like the rest of the Maple 10 he was a substantial borrower from Anglo Irish Bank before the crash.

Sean Reilly

Took the stand. Another builder who focused on projects in north Dublin during the boom – he was responsible for projects such as the marina in Malahide. Investments in central Dublin offices means he is the landlord for many Central Bank officials now investigating the crisis. In his evidence at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court he explained how he had signed up for a ''very simple share-purchase transaction over the course of a meeting of just 30 minutes."

John McCabe

Took the stand. Meath-based builder who, like a number of the others in the group, had focused as a developer on building homes in the Dublin commuter belt. A customer of the bank, Mr McCabe said he had borrowed around €500m for building projects between 1980 and 2008.

Irish Independent

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