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We never discussed Anglo at golf - Fintan Drury


Fintan Drury

Fintan Drury

Fintan Drury

Former director of Anglo Irish Bank Fintan Drury said he had never discussed the bank's affairs with his friend Brian Cowen during his time as Finance Minister or as Taoiseach.

Mr Drury has told the Banking Inquiry there was never any "material discussion" about the affairs of the bank at an Anglo dinner attended by himself and Mr Cowen, nor at a golf outing where the two played a round with Anglo chairman Sean FitzPatrick.

He also said his friendship with the former Taoiseach had to be curtailed in the past year because people would "think we were up to no good".

Mr Drury also admitted bank bonuses - including one of €1.7m to an unnamed person in 2001 - were out of step with remuneration in other areas of industry.

The former non-executive director of Anglo was present at a dinner with Mr Cowen, organised by Anglo just weeks after the bank share collapse in March 2008.

Mr Drury said there were no formal speeches at the dinner on April 24, 2008, Anglo was not discussed, and there was a very broad discussion.

Pressed by Inquiry members about undue influence on the Taoiseach in relation to Anglo, Mr Drury stressed that he had privileged access to the Taoiseach as his friend and if he had wanted to influence Mr Cowen: "I could have gone to see him, walked into his office and had a conversation".