Judge agrees to recuse himself from Seán FitzPatrick trial

Judge Rory McCabe to take case after Judge Patrick McCartan steps aside

Former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Seán FitzPatrick. Photograph: Collins

Former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Seán FitzPatrick. Photograph: Collins

 

Circuit Court judge Patrick McCartan has agreed to recuse himself from Seán FitzPatrick’s trial on charges of misleading auditors of Anglo Irish Bank.

Mr FitzPatrick (66) of Whitshed Road, Greystones, Co Wicklow has pleaded not guilty to 27 offences under the 1990 Companies Act. These include 21 charges of making a misleading, false or deceptive statement to auditors and six charges of furnishing false information in the years 2002 to 2007.

Judge McCartan was assigned to the trial earlier this year, which led to Mr FitzPatrick, who was chairman of Anglo, making an application in the High Court to have another judge take the trial.

Judge McCartan previously presided over the trial of three Anglo officials who were jailed for between one and three years. The Court of Appeal later quashed the convictions of two of the accused, Bernard Daly and Tiarnan O’Mahoney.

Judge McCartan initially refused to recuse himself from Mr FitzPatrick’s trial.

In the High Court last week, his defence counsel Bernard Condon SC was told to again ask Judge McCartan to step aside. This would allow the judge to discuss the issue with the Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Richard Humphreys said.

Since then, Judge McCartan has agreed to recuse himself and allow Judge Rory McCabe take the case.

On Monday, Judge McCabe said he is anxious for the trial to proceed in late May. The trial is due to take three months and will require a specially enlarged jury of 15 members.