'I wonder was that the right transaction to do' - former Anglo CFO reveals FitzPatrick concerns

Sean FitzPatrick

A court has heard former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick expressed regret that he had not been more involved in the Maple Ten loans.

Today’s hearing began in evidence for the day at 11.45am after an hour or so of legal discussions.

Paul O'Higgins SC, for the prosecution, told the court that Fiachre O'Neill would now be called as a witness in the case. Yesterday, the court heard that he was not being called as a witness.

Matt Moran, who was Anglo's chief financial officer was giving evidence in the trial of the former chairman, along with former directors Willie McAteer and Pat Whelan, who all deny charges of providing unlawful financial assistance to the Quinn family and the Maple Ten group of investors for the purchase of shares in July 2008.

Mr Moran said that Pat Whelan told him that a side letter altering the recourse of the Maple loans would not be sent out.

He said he went into Mr Whelan's office with Fiachre O'Neill to raise his concerns about a side letter being sent out which would alter the loan agreements.

He said: “I thought a side letter in this case was inappropriate. There is no other party involved - there is no need for a side letter.

“If the recourse element was not to be in place because of the side letter that would be inappropriate. I was told the side letter would take away the 25% recourse element.”

He said he went into Mr Whelan and asked him: “Why would you do that?”.

“He responded that we sometimes and often do send out side letters. I said, not for this type of instance. Mr Whelan said it wouldn't be done and he gave me assurance of that,” said Mr Moran.

Mr Moran told the jury he had a conversation with Sean FitzPatrick either in the week or fortnight following the weekend of the Maple Transaction.

He said: “Sometime after Sean visited my office. He asked me about the transaction. He asked, as if talking out loud: 'I wonder was that the right transaction to do', specifically in respect of the recourse to the 10 borrowers.

“He made a comment, he regretted he had not become more personally involved in this issue than he had done.

“He questioned if 25% was enough”.

Following this evidence, another legal issue arose which had to be discussed in the absence of the jury. The jury have been told to return at 2.10pm.

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