Business Irish

Monday 18 December 2017

Seanie's protestations will soon be put to the test

Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

HE is public enemy number one following the dramatic collapse of our banking system -- but it appears that Sean FitzPatrick will not go down without a fight.

Judging from his comments to the Irish Independent yesterday, he is as bullish as ever and is clearly refusing to carry the can for the present crisis.

In a rare public comment, Mr FitzPatrick said he had been unfairly treated by the press and would one day be in a position to refute many of the allegations made against him.

It was a clear echo of his infamous RTE interview from October 2008, not long after taxpayers had guaranteed the liabilities of Anglo and five other banks.

More than a year-and-a-half later, it is clear that he is still not accepting any of the blame.

Before his departure over the concealment from Anglo's auditors of up to €87m in loans, Mr FitzPatrick was chairman of a bank worth €12bn.


Now, it is a nationalised bank on life support after announcing the largest losses in Irish corporate history -- €12.7bn in the 15 months up to the end of last year.

Mr FitzPatrick's claim that he will one day vindicate himself is likely to be tested sooner rather than later.

A 16-month-long criminal investigation into the bank is showing signs of reaching a conclusion.

The Director of Corporate Enforcement, Paul Appleby, has signalled that a file could be with the Director of Public Prosecutions in a matter of months.

Later this year, Mr FitzPatrick may be invited to give evidence to investigations by the Comptroller and Auditor General and the Public Accounts Committee into the running of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority, where he sat on the board and a number of key committees.

Mr FitzPatrick is hoping the High Court will offer him protection from his creditors later this month as they seek tens of millions of euro from him.

If it doesn't, Mr FitzPatrick's hope that he can one day rehabilitate his reputation could be the least of his worries.

Irish Independent

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