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Revealed: fifth man in Anglo's gold circle

The billionaire businessman behind some of Dublin's biggest property developments is revealed today as a fifth member of the so-called 'Golden Circle' of Anglo Irish investors.

Paddy McKillen, a well- connected but reclusive property developer, is one of 10 businessmen who borrowed between them over €450m from the bank to buy shares in the bank to support its struggling share price.

Mr McKillen is the man behind the successful Jervis Shopping Centre in Dublin and is a member of the consortium that recently mothballed the proposed U2 tower in Dublin docklands.

So far, four other members of the so-called 'Golden Circle' have been identified. They are: Joe O'Reilly, the property developer behind Dundrum Shopping Centre; Seamus Ross, of Menolly Homes; another developer, Gerry Gannon; and healthcare businessman, Jerry Conlon.

Last week Mr McKillen declined to return a series of telephone calls from the Sunday Independent.

Last July, 10 significant clients of Anglo Irish Bank were approached to buy substantial shareholdings in the bank. At the time Ireland's richest man Sean Quinn and his family was unloading its stake in the bank.

Mr Quinn converted his 25 per cent contracts for difference stake into a 15 per cent shareholding.

Former Anglo Irish chairman Sean FitzPatrick then organised for the 10 investors to purchase a remaining 10 per cent.

The regulatory authorities, including the Director of Corporate Enforcement, are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the deal. At this stage it seems as if the taxpayer will be left to pick up most, if not all, the €450m bill.

When details of the transaction were first revealed in the Sunday Independent it provoked public outrage.

Mr McKillen, a known supporter of Fianna Fail, owns large swathes of property in the Grafton Street area of Dublin.

The developer was recently involved in a bitter legal dispute with the high-profile solicitor/businessman, Ivor Fitzpatrick. It related to the ownership of a joint venture property company called Canton Caseys Ltd. The case was settled during negotiations at the Commercial Court.

Full story, Business, Page 1

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