Friday 23 March 2018

Anglo trial hears: 'Tiarnan asked me to remove name from documents'

Former Anglo official Tiarnan O’Mahoney arriving in court
Former Anglo official Tiarnan O’Mahoney arriving in court

Conor Gallagher

A senior manager with Anglo Irish Bank claims she was asked by the chief operations officer to remove a name from documents requested by Revenue as part of a tax evasion investigation.

Zita Vance (formerly Madden) told the trial of three former Anglo officials that she was asked by one of the accused, Tiarnan O'Mahoney, to remove the name before giving the documents to Revenue. She said that she was no longer on the team after telling Mr O'Mahoney that she could not carry out his instructions.

Former chief operations officer Mr O'Mahoney (54) of Glen Pines, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow, former company secretary Bernard Daly (65) of Collins Avenue West, Whitehall, Dublin and Aoife Maguire (60) of Rothe Abbey, South Circular Road, Kilmainham, Dublin have pleaded not guilty to seven counts at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

It is alleged they deleted or omitted accounts connected to ex-chairman, Sean FitzPatrick, from Anglo's Core Banking System (CBS) or from documentation provided to Revenue between 2003 and 2004.

On day 16 of evidence, Ms Vance told prosecuting counsel Dominic McGinn SC that in 2003 she was manager of treasury operations in the bank and was assigned to head up a team which was gathering documents for Revenue on non-resident accounts which may have had Deposit Interest Retention Tax owning on them.

She said the team worked from a converted meeting room on the ground floor of Anglo's headquarters on St Stephens Green. Ms Vance said she wasn't on the team for about two weeks when she was called up to Mr O'Mahoney's office.

She said she couldn't remember the exact conversation but her understanding was that she was asked to remove a name from the list that was to be given to Revenue.

She could not recollect what name he said, she said.

"When I left I sat and considered the request. That evening I rang Tiarnan directly. Again I can't quote the conversation exactly but the outcome was that I was no longer part of the project. I left the project the next day," Ms Vance continued, adding that she was relieved but apologetic for not "carrying out an instruction from the chief operations officer of the bank".

She agreed under cross examination that she was put under no pressure by Mr O'Mahoney to do anything she wasn't comfortable with and that her memory from the time was "fuzzy in terms of details".

The trial also heard evidence from Monica Kearney who was personal assistant to the then CEO Sean FitzPatrick in 2003 before going on to be David Drumm's assistant when he became CEO. She said her main role as assistant to Mr FitzPatrick was taking messages, answering calls and opening his post.

She said he had poor computer skills so she also sent and received his emails.

Ms Kearney identified an email she sent to Mr O'Mahoney in November 2003 detailing four account numbers. She said she sent this on behalf of Mr FitzPatrick and that he often asked her to send such messages.

Irish Independent

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