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While we bailed out Anglo, it was hosting €80,000 party for staff

ANGLO Irish Bank threw a massive "Back To School Doombuster Party" -- costing over €80,000 -- just weeks before it was bailed out.

Fury erupted today after new revelations emerged about the sheer scale of the squandering of money by the bank's top executive -- even after taxpayers had saved it from going bust.

The bank spent hundreds of thousands of euro on staff parties and client entertainment in the months before the State guarantee scheme came into place towards the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009.

The party invite to staff in September 2008 from the then chief executive, David Drumm, will sicken taxpayers.

In an email, he wrote: "Dear colleagues, the stock markets are down. They say the economy is in recession. It rained most of the summer. The holidays are over. This is Anglo, so there is only one thing to do -- party!"

Three weeks after that email was sent, the Government introduced the bank guarantee scheme to save Anglo from collapse. Today, Dublin Labour TD Alex White, chairman of the Oireachtas Finance Committee, told the Herald: "We already knew that Anglo broke the country. What we didn't know was that its key people were laughing while they did it."

Fianna Fail's finance spokesman Michael McGrath added: "It's very clear Anglo-Irish Bank was a law unto itself for many years. The management of the bank was utterly reckless with no sense of the damage they were wreaking on the country."


Mr McGrath said he was calling on the US authorities to ensure David Drumm was sent home to Ireland so that the people "can see justice delivered".

It was important that those responsible within Anglo Irish Bank were held to account for what they presided over at the bank, he added.

The revelations -- in a new book by Simon Carswell entitled Anglo Republic: Inside The Bank That Broke Ireland -- come on the same day that the IMF approved the lending of almost €1.5bn to Ireland as part of the EU-IMF financial aid package for the country.

It highlights the €80,000 cost of a party thrown for Anglo staff in September 2008 at the Mansion House in Dublin just three weeks before the bank guarantee scheme. The following December, the bank spent another €175,000 on a Christmas party at the Mansion House for its staff.

In December 2008, just before nationalisation, the bank spent €53,000 on hampers and wine for clients and €24,000 bringing customers and their children to the Christmas panto at the Gaiety Theatre.

A year earlier, the bank spent €272,000 on staff parties at Christmas. Anglo spent a further €87,000 on hampers and wine for customers.

The bank also spent huge amounts of money on match tickets, including €21,000 on Manchester United tickets, €19,000 on Chelsea tickets and €42,000 on Ireland's home rugby match tickets.