Sunday 17 December 2017

Former DDDA chief 'surprised' Anglo funded glass bottle site bid

Lar Bradshaw
Lar Bradshaw

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

THE former chairman of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) - who was also a director of Anglo-Irish Bank - says he was "surprised" when the bank stepped in at the last minute to help finance one of the biggest land deals of the boom.

Lar Bradshaw, who was a non-executive director of Anglo at the same time he was chairman of the DDDA, said he didn't think Anglo would have the "mandate" to help fund the purchase of the Irish Glass Bottle site in Dublin's docklands in 2006 by the DDDA and developer Bernard McNamara.

The eventually sold for over €400m.

Mr Bradshaw told the Dail Public Accounts Committee (PAC) he was told Mr McNamara - who was in a joint bid for the site with the DDDA - in October 2006 that he had "switched horses" from Ulster Bank to joint financing by Anglo and Bank of Ireland.

Mr McNamara told Mr Bradshaw and others from the DDDA about the switch the night before an authority board meeting to approve the bid.

Then Anglo chairman Sean Fitzpatrick was also on the board of the DDDA, as was a Bank of Ireland director, Declan McCourt.

Regarding Anglo's involvement, Mr Bradshaw said he had no prior knowledge, and that he was "a bit surprised".

He said he "didn't expect" Anglo to be in a position to offer, and said he thought they wouldn't have a "mandate to lend at that stage".

"Let's just say I was surprised," he said. He said he assumed Mr Fitzpatrick had no prior knowledge of the Anglo involvement either.

Mr Bradshaw said the DDDA board discussed whether there was a conflict of interest for himself, Mr Fitzpatrick and Mr McCourt, but decided there wasn't.

He added that later legal advice backed them up.

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