Tuesday 22 January 2019

Wife of ex-Anglo chief FitzPatrick claims €6m in assets battle

Catriona FitzPatrick said she had a ‘comfortable’ life. Picture: Collins
Catriona FitzPatrick said she had a ‘comfortable’ life. Picture: Collins

Tim Healy

The wife of former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick is claiming around €6m in assets, some of which were jointly held by the couple before her husband was declared bankrupt in 2010, the High Court has heard.

Catriona FitzPatrick was giving evidence on the second day of the hearing of three actions relating to whether she has any interest in assets which were the subject of the bankruptcy.

Mr FitzPatrick was declared bankrupt with assets of some €47m and debts of €147m and has since exited bankruptcy.

Ms FitzPatrick has brought proceedings against Chris Lehane, the official assignee in the bankruptcy, and her husband (as the bankrupt) claiming she has an entitlement to various assets which the court heard include property, shares and bonds.

Mr Lehane, in the estate of Mr FitzPatrick, has brought his own proceedings against Ms FitzPatrick and the couple's three children, David, Jonathan and Sara FitzPatrick.

Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, which took over Anglo, has brought separate related proceedings against Ms FitzPatrick, in which it denies she is entitled to claim monies loaned to fund asset investments or that the loans were given on a non-recourse basis to her.

The court heard that when the couple refinanced their loans in 2009, she was aware the amount owed by them in loans for their investments was around €80m.

She said repeatedly she was not aware of all the details, leaving the figures and paperwork entirely to her husband.

Ms FitzPatrick, who worked as a secretary before she married in 1974, told her counsel Gerard Durcan that most of the investments came after Mr FitzPatrick became non-executive chairman of Anglo in 2005.

She said that she and her husband jointly held shares in Anglo which, before its collapse, were worth €50m.

Ms FitzPatrick said her husband was a good provider and she never worried about money.

He had a very good pension and when he retired they were very comfortably off, she added. However they did not lead an extravagant lifestyle.

"Money was not my common denominator, we wanted it for security but I did not lead an extravagant lifestyle at all," she said.

The case continues before Ms Justice Marie Baker.

Irish Independent

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