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Where were the Public Interest Directors? - Morgan

22 July, 2010


Speaking today after the Public Accounts Committee examined documents relating to the bank guarantee and was revealed that Anglo Irish bank issued a substantial loan to its former chief executive on the day it was nationalised, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Finance Arthur Morgan has questioned how such a huge loan was issued without the knowledge or approval of the two public interest directors appointed to Anglo prior to nationalisation. Deputy Morgan said that this revelation ‘rubs salt in the wounds’ of the taxpayers who were forced to take ownership of a bank and the liabilities accrued from a decade of corruption and cronyism.

Deputy Morgan said:

“The revelation today that Anglo Irish bank issued a substantial loan to its former chief executive on the day it was nationalised is deplorable. Not only did Sean Fitzpatrick benefit materially from the bank during the boom but he was able to secure a loan on the day the bank was supposed to have run out of money.

“Furthermore the fact that some of this money was used to buy a plush villa on the French Riviera rubs salt in the wounds for the millions of Irish people in this State who have been forced to take ownership of this corrupt bank and its liabilities.

“The pertinent issue with respect of this loan is how the public interest directors, Frank Daly and Alan Dukes, were unaware of this loan and how it was sanctioned. There needs to be an explanation on whether the public interest directors, who were appointed to Anglo Irish long before nationalisation of the bank, were aware of this loan.

“How was such a huge loan issued without the knowledge or approval of these directors?

“The Minister for Finance needs to confirm whether these ‘public interest’ directors advised him of the sanctioning of this very substantial loan on the day taxpayers were taking ownership of the bank and the liabilities accrued from a decade of corruption and cronyism.

“The failure of the public interest directors to come across such an anomaly or to put an immediate halt to such a crooked exchange raises serious questions, not just in terms of the governance of Anglo but the role of the Government and senior civil servants. There was penetration by the Government in the affairs of Anglo prior to nationalisation and for Sean Fitzpatrick, the architect of the golden circle, to receive such a loan for such a ludicrous cause makes a mockery of this Government banking strategy.

“There was Government infiltration into the affairs of Anglo Irish prior to nationalisation and the public interest director Frank Daly was chair of the audit committee. The people of this State deserve an explanation as to whether the public interest directors were ignorant of, blind or indifferent to this loan. There can be no excuse for endorsing such a lavish loan to Sean Fitzpatrick on the day the bank ran out of money and had to be taken into public ownership.” ENDS

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