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Top developers donated huge sums to Vatican

NAMA-BOUND property developers Derek Quinlan, Treasury Holdings' Johnny Ronan, Ballymore Properties' Sean Mulryan and Paddy McKillen, one of the so called "Anglo 10", have all emerged as major donors to the Vatican.

The property developers were named in the top 10 borrowers whose loans were bound for Nama in the first wave of transfers last week. Some €16bn worth of loans associated with the 10 biggest borrowers are set to be transferred shortly.

The Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums published recently reveals that these troubled property developers provided 'financial support' for the restoration of the historic Pauline Chapel in the Vatican Museum.

Fellow donors included former Anglo Irish bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick and the controversial former boss of Irish Nationwide Michael Fingleton.

Other donors included digicel owner Denis O'Brien and William Bollinger, the Irish co-founder of the €3bn Egerton Capital Hedge Fund.

Close to €9m was raised from donors for the restoration project. The donors were given special medallions after a private mass in the Pauline chapel, celebrated by Cardinal Lajolo last July. Solid gold 'Michelangelo' medallions were given to donors who had given more than $1m, with silver 'Raphael' medallions for donors of $500,000 plus. 'Bramante' medals were presented to donors of $250,000 or more. A marble plaque listing the names of all 26 donors, including the Irish builders and bankers, was unveiled in the chapel.

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