Monday 9 December 2019

Dearbhail McDonald: Ex-Anglo chief knew that one day he would have to tell his story

David Drumm knew, or ought to have known, that at some time the Irish authorities would like to speak to him about his unique insights into Anglo's demise (PA)
David Drumm knew, or ought to have known, that at some time the Irish authorities would like to speak to him about his unique insights into Anglo's demise (PA)
Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

When he left Ireland with his family in June 2009, David Drumm must have known that he would one day have to tell his story of the demise of Anglo.

He wasn't under any obligation to stay in Ireland.

But he knew, or ought to have known, that at some time the Irish authorities would like to speak to him about his unique insights into Anglo's demise.

The father-of-two made a new life in Massachusetts, the home of the brave and the land of the free. In Ireland, the presumption of innocence is the golden thread running through our criminal justice system.

In America, it often seems that a presumption of guilt takes precedence.

Despite radical reforms to our bail laws in Ireland, the presumption of innocence ensures that most suspects facing trial - unless they pose a flight risk or constitute a threat to the public - are released on bail.

Ditto for those who are facing extradition proceedings, many of whom are released on bail pending a decision about whether or not they will be extradited.

America is a completely different story. Mr Drumm has now been languishing in what are no doubt harsh conditions in a series of jails in the US since last October.

This was when the DPP sought his extradition back to Ireland to face 33 criminal charges including alleged fraud and false accounting.

Mr Drumm sought to be released on bail as he fought his extradition to Ireland, but was refused twice. He has now indicated he will come home voluntarily.

Mr Drumm sought assurance from the DPP that he would be granted bail pending trial.

It is not in the gift of the DPP to make such a deal - as the granting or refusing of bail is, strictly, a judicial function. But in another sense it is - as less than half of High Court bail applications are actually contested by the DPP.

Mr Drumm's experience has no doubt been hard for him and his family.

But it can hardly be said that it wasn't anticipated given the USA is a country with a sometimes harsher approach to justice than our own.

Irish Independent

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