Friday 24 November 2017

Brian Cowen met Sean FitzPatrick in home of Anglo director Fintan Drury

Former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick
Former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick

Clodagh Sheehy

Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Anglo Irish Bank's then chairman Sean FitzPatrick met in the private home of Anglo's former non-executive director Fintan Drury before their famous golf outing in 2008, it has emerged at the Banking Inquiry.

It had previously been believed that this meeting was held over coffee at the golf club before the game between Mr Cowen, Mr FitzPatrick and Mr Drury.

Relevant

Gary McGann, also a former non-executive director of the bank, who was present at the meeting, first told the inquiry he did not think the location was "particularly relevant".

But under persistent questioning by Deputy Kieran O'Donnell yesterday, he revealed that the meeting at around 9am on the morning of the golf outing at Druids Glen was in fact held in Mr Drury's home.

The controversial game took place in Druids Glen on July 23, 2008 just months after a catastrophic collapse of Anglo Irish Bank shares.

Mr McGann said yesterday that he had met with Mr Drury, Mr Cowen, Anglo's then chairman Mr FitzPatrick and economist Alan Gray - who was a director of the Central Bank - before the golf outing.

He insisted that the group had not discussed banking "because it wasn't on the agenda".

The discussion was a general one about the economy, he said.

He added that the group had met again for dinner in the golf club restaurant that evening where again there was a general social discussion about the economy.

Mr McGann confirmed he had spent about four to four-and-a-half hours in Mr Cowen's company that day and to his recollection there was no mention of banking.

Mr Cowen played the course with Mr FitzPatrick and his long-term friend Mr Drury.

Dinner

Later the trio joined Alan Gray, a director of the Central Bank , Mr McGann and Mr Cowen's driver for dinner at the golf club.

Mr Cowen had previously told the Banking Inquiry the discussions that day did not relate to Anglo Irish Bank.

Mr Cowen said he had asked Mr Drury to get some people together to discuss the economy which was clearly slowing down, and there had been no discussion during the entire day about banking.

Irish Independent

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