Community service orders for ex-bankers

Willie McAteer. Photo: Collins Courts

By Sarah Stack

TWO former Anglo Irish Bank executives have been sentenced to 240 hours community service each for giving illegal loans to the so-called Maple 10 to buy shares in the bank.

Patrick Whelan and his co-accused William McAteer were told by Judge Martin Nolan that the sentence imposed was the maxium and was in lieu of a two year prison sentence.

"Enjoy your community service," he told the men, as they went to leave Dublin's Circuit Criminal Court.

The sentence hearing, which followed a lengthy garda probe and 47 day criminal trial, lasted less than two minutes.

The men were previously convicted of illegal lending to the Maple 10, but found not guilty of making unlawful loans to six members of Sean Quinn's family.

Judge Nolan had previously requested probation reports and told the pair it would be unjust to jail them as the Financial Regulator, has led them into error and illegality.

Mr Whelan (52) of Coast Road, Malahide, Co Dublin, and Mr McAteer (63), of Auburn Villas, Rathgar, south Dublin, nodded at the judge and smiled as they left the court room, with Mr Whelan adding "thank you".

Their co-accused, Anglo's former chairman Sean FitzPatrick, walked free from the court after been acquitted of all 16 charges.

The three had been charged with lending money to the bank's top clients as part of the plan and six members of Sean Quinn's family to unwind the former tycoon's secret stake.

Mr Quinn held his stake through a Portuguese registered company, Bazzely Ltd.

Earlier this week Mr FitzPatrick (66), of Greystones, Co Wicklow, launched a legal challenge against a ruling that he is not entitled to the legal costs.