Sunday 15 September 2019

Ex-Anglo executive O'Mahoney cleared of conspiracy charges

Tiernan O'Mahoney. Photo: Collins Courts
Tiernan O'Mahoney. Photo: Collins Courts
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

Former senior Anglo Irish Bank official Tiarnan O'Mahoney has been cleared of conspiracy charges.

The ex-chief operations officer at the now-defunct bank was formally acquitted of all counts against him at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday morning.

Judge Martin Nolan directed a jury to acquit Mr O'Mahoney after his trial collapsed on Tuesday.

Mr O'Mahoney (58), of Glen Pines, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, had pleaded not guilty to conspiring to destroy, mutilate or falsify books and documents affecting or relating to the property or affairs of Anglo Irish Bank Corp PLC.

He also pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Court to conspiracy to defraud the Revenue Commissioners, who were conducting an investigation into bogus non-resident accounts which may have been liable for deposit interest retention tax (Dirt).

The offences were alleged to have occurred between March 25, 2003, and December 31, 2004, and referred to eight named bank accounts, all of which were allegedly connected to Anglo's former chief executive Sean FitzPatrick.

Mr O'Mahoney, dressed in a black suit, white shirt and purple-and-green tie, did not address the court during the two-minute proceedings.

The decision to direct an acquittal came after the defence argued that the prosecution had not proved the necessary connection between the accused and Aoife Maguire, former assistant manager at Anglo Irish Bank.

Judge Nolan concluded that the case was "too tenuous" to go to the jury, and a conviction would be "perverse".

Judge Nolan said there was every reason to be suspicious of Mr O'Mahoney's activities in October and November 2003, and his subsequent dealings with gardaí.

But in the absence of formal evidence of conspiracy with Ms Maguire, this was not enough.

He said evidence demonstrated that Ms Maguire was a mere conduit for more powerful voices and was being "directed".

Judge Nolan said the evidence showed that the defendant had an insight into the relevant accounts, and he made enquiries from other employees in relation to the deletions made to the accounts. He said it was obvious that the person who benefited from the deletion of the accounts was Mr FitzPatrick.

"Sean FitzPatrick used the accounts to deal in Anglo shares in a prohibited period.

"For a petty reward he breached the rules in relation to insider trading," Judge Nolan said.

Mr O'Mahoney declined to comment on the case when he left the court building.

Irish Independent

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