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AIB six 'plotted to steal clients'

SIX senior AIB executives secretly and systematically colluded in the preparation and execution of a strategy to undermine and damage the bank's International Financial Services business for their own gain, the High Court has heard.

Barrister Michael McDowell, senior counsel for the bank, told the court that following an internal investigation the bank had been astounded at the conduct of "the six" top managers.

They are Pat Diamond, of Merlin, Elton Park, Sandycove, Dublin; Aidan Foley, formerly of Grawn, Kilmacthomas, Wexford; Gerry McEvoy, formerly of Shandon Park, Phibsboro, Dublin; Derek O'Reilly, of Fernleigh Drive, Castleknock, Dublin; Andrew O'Shea, formerly of Ashbrook House, Julianstown, Co Meath, and Joe Walsh, formerly of Grosvenor Terrace, Monkstown, Co Dublin.

The court was told they secretly schemed to take over clients, business and staff of International Financial Services Ltd which the bank had put up for sale. The bank is seeking damages.

Mr McDowell said the internal inquiry revealed that their actions had led to significant loss. From an original offer of €55m from a preferred bidder, the bank was now in a situation of having to accept €33m.

The proceedings were adjourned to a sitting of the Commercial Court on September 20.