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Friday 2 December 2016

FitzPatrick concerned by 'O'Brien' account, trial told

Courts

Former Anglo Irish Bank CEO Sean FitzPatrick mentioned concerns about an account belonging to a Denis O'Brien in the context of a Revenue investigation into non-resident accounts in the bank.

The Circuit Criminal Court has heard that Mr FitzPatrick was concerned about the name of his "mate" being included on a list of non-resident account holders in Anglo Irish Bank due to be submitted to the Revenue Commissioners in 2003.

However, the bank's former head of compliance, Brian Gillespie, told the court that he was able to reassure Mr FitzPatrick that the man on the list was not the well-known businessman.

Trial

The trial of three former Anglo officials accused of taking part in a tax-evasion scheme by hiding accounts from Revenue heard that the then-head of compliance, Brian Gillespie, was appointed in 2003 to find and submit non-resident accounts to Revenue which may have been liable for Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT).

Mr Gillespie said that in one meeting Mr FitzPatrick mentioned the name "Denis O'Brien" and referred to him as "my mate Denis".

He said this was mentioned in the general context of the names being reported to Revenue as part of the investigation and that perhaps Mr FitzPatrick had read the name on a list of accounts being submitted to Revenue.

Counsel asked the witness if he was able to offer Mr FitzPatrick any reassurance on the matter. Mr Gillespie replied that he was.

He told the court: "I didn't believe - and I don't believe - for a second that it was the Denis O'Brien that most people have in their head when they think of Denis O'Brien.

"It was a different individual who was a genuine non-resident in the UK.

Believe

"I don't believe it was the more well-known Denis O'Brien."

He agreed with counsel that it was a common name.

Mr Gillespie said that Mr FitzPatrick then told him he was "being a bit naive".

Former company secretary, Bernard Daly (65) of Collins Avenue West, Whitehall, Dublin; former chief operations officer Tiarnan O'Mahoney (54) of Glen Pines, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow; and Aoife Maguire (60) of Rothe Abbey, South Circular Road, Kilmainham, Dublin have pleaded not guilty to seven alleged offences committed in 2003 and 2004.

The trial will continue on Friday before Judge Patrick McCartan and a jury of six men and six women.

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