Belfast Telegraph

October trial for ex-bank chairman

The trial of the former chairman of Anglo Irish Bank over alleged failures to disclose bank loans will not take place until later in the year.

Evidence against Sean FitzPatrick, 66, of Whitshed Road, Greystones, Co Wicklow was due to start seven weeks ago but the case has been dogged by legal argument since mid-April.

The ex-banker has pleaded not guilty to 27 offences under the Companies Act, 1990 including 21 counts of making a misleading, false or deceptive statement to auditors Ernst and Young and six charges of furnishing false information.

At the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Mary Ellen Ring discharged the jury of six women and five men.

The case is due back before the court in October when a new jury is expected to be sworn in.

Judge Ring told the jury the courts system was working with procedures that were out of date.

"It is unfortunate as I said that in the 21st century we have not come up with a way of dealing with procedures," she said.

But she thanked them for their service and said the issues raised during legal argument could not have been aired without them being empanelled.

"It's clearly a trial that's not going to last an estimated eight weeks," she said.

"It's hard to believe but by being empanelled on April 14 you have played a vital role. What has transpired could only have transpired when a jury was empanelled."

The judge added: "It may seem to you an odd way to run a business or run a procedure, you may not be alone."

The case will be back before the court on October 5.

Mr FitzPatrick was chief executive of Anglo from 1986 to January 2005 when he took up the role of chairman until his resignation in 2008.

Following prolonged legal argument in the trial the foreman of the jury was excused last week while a second juror revealed the delays were interfering with his ability to get a job.

Two weeks before that the jury was told that an illness was causing a delay in proceedings.

Jurors had initially been told at the outset that the trial would last eight weeks.


From Belfast Telegraph