Three officials from the bank that almost bankrupted Ireland have become the first bankers to be jailed for offences related to the Republic’s financial crash.
The failure of Anglo Irish Bank, which became synonymous with the casino-style lending practices that drove Ireland’s “Celtic Tiger” boom and subsequent bust, cost the state €30bn (£21bn), part of what forced the government to seek a bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
The trio worked at the now defunct bank and were found guilty on Friday afternoon at Dublin’s circuit criminal court of hiding accounts related to bank boss Sean Fitzpatrick and of conspiring to defraud the tax authorities.
On Friday the court sentenced former chief operations officer Tiarnan O’Mahoney, 56, to three years in prison and former company secretary Bernard Daly, 67, to two years. Aoife Maguire, a former assistant manager, was given 18 months.
Maguire closed her eyes when her jail term was announced, while her two co-accused looked straight ahead.
All three had denied any wrongdoing and their defence teams claimed they did not benefit personally from any of the transactions.
Ahead of sentencing Judge Pat McCartan told the court he would measure the maximum penalty for each offence as five years imprisonment.
After the rescue of Anglo-Irish Bank, it was nationalised and renamed the Irish Banking Resolution Corporation.
The sharp practices at the bank during the Celtic boom, when it became the major financier for over-stretched Irish developers and investors playing the global property market, caused national outrage in Ireland.
This article was written by Henry McDonald in Dublin, for theguardian.com on Friday 31st July 2015 20.43 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010