Saturday 16 December 2017

FitzPatrick ordered to face judge again over bankruptcy

Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

FORMER Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick was told yesterday he must be back in court to face a judge in September.

Mr FitzPatrick yesterday had the formal sitting of his bankruptcy case adjourned at the High Court. His former employer, Anglo Irish Bank, told High Court judge Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne it wanted to appoint a trustee in bankruptcy who would replace a court appointed official assignee who took over Mr FitzPatrick's affairs earlier this month.

The statutory sitting, which Mr FitzPatrick is legally obliged to attend, has been adjourned until September 22.

Mr FitzPatrick has liabilities of almost €150m, including €110m to his former employers, and was in court yesterday when the matter was mentioned briefly during a record bankruptcy list when almost 50 cases were listed before Ms Justice Dunne.

Following the hearing, the diminutive banker, who looked tanned and fit, said he had no comment to make as he was collected by a friend.

Eddie Farrelly, for Anglo, Mr FitzPatrick's largest creditor, told the court they were applying to appoint a trustee over the bankruptcy who will replace official assignee Chris Lehane who was previously given control over Mr FitzPatrick's assets.

Earlier this month, the High Court officially declared Mr FitzPatrick a bankrupt after his counsel said he was "bowing to the inevitable" having failed to get sufficient support from his creditors for a private settlement scheme to pay off his debts.

His counsel said this scheme would provide a "significantly better" outcome for the creditors than if he was to be declared a bankrupt.

However, this was disputed by state-owned Anglo Irish Bank, as the largest creditor, and it refused to support the scheme.


According to court papers, Mr FitzPatrick's assets are estimated to be worth €50m, including investments of €45.7m, and some €1.23m in accounts in various financial institutions.

He is joint owner of six properties, including his family home and another house in Greystones, Co Wicklow; a house in Bray, Co Wicklow; apartments in Marbella, Spain; at Smithfield Market, Dublin; and Killiney Court, Killiney. Only the Marbella apartment is not subject to a mortgage.

The estimated level of Mr FitzPatrick's unsecured creditors is €70,292,885 while he is also appealing some €2m in various tax liabilities.

His ill-fated scheme to avoid bankruptcy included selling his half share in his family home (worth €1.5m) and making available his half share of total pension assets of €3.4m to creditors.

Irish Independent

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