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Crean boss Ray McLoughlin admits penning `Furze note'

FORMER rugby star and businessman Ray McLoughlin was the author of the famous note on how to set up offshore trusts in the Cayman Islands being investigated by the Moriarty Tribunal.

The Note to John Furze was given to the Moriarty Tribunal last month and led to interviews with Davy stockbroking chief Kyran McLaughlin, a close friend and business contact of Ray McLoughlin who runs the James Crean group.

Following these interviews Mr McLaughlin stepped down as chief of Davy's corporate finance division.

In a statement last night, Ray McLoughlin said that in September 1983 he was approached by John Furze with details on establishing discretionary trusts in the Cayman. Mr Furze was a close associate of Des Traynor and together both operated the Ansbacher (Cayman) bank with which an estimated 120 leading Irish figures were associated.

Ray McLoughlin said that he was initially contacted by Guinness & Mahon bank, then run by Des Traynor. The note he prepared was a resume of points made by Mr Furze and details of further questions and clarifications the Crean chief wanted to ask Mr Furze.

Mr McLoughlin said that the note indicates that he intended to get legal, tax and exchange control advice on the establishment of such trusts. ``In the event, I did not take the matter any further because I decided not to proceed with a discretionary trust,'' he said in a statement issued through a public relations firm.

The Crean chief said that he no longer has any files relating to Mr Furze or his proposals and that he never placed money on deposit with Ansbacher (Cayman). The Note to John Furze only came back into his possession last week.

It is understood that a copy of this note was sent to the Tribunal by Susan McLaughlin, the estranged wife of Kyran McLaughlin, along with proposals for a secret Liechtenstein trust.

Four weeks ago, after being interviewed by the Moriarty Tribunal lawyers, the Davy corporate finance chief said that he had not been the author of the Note to John Furze. It details that clients may not wish to put their instructions to the trustees in Grand Cayman in writing so they could phone them.

Ray McLoughlin was born in Ballinasloe, Co Galway nearly 60 years ago. After attending the Garbally Park school in the town, he played rugby for Connaught and UCD where he studied chemical engineering. He later worked for the IDA and was capped 40 times for Ireland.

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A taciturn chief executive, his Crean group, a group of industrial and distribution businesses, has been a disappointment for investors in recent years.

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