Anglo trial hears official call co-accused ‘a bully’

Bernard Daly also says of Tiarnan O’Mahoney ‘I had to sort him out once and I did’

 

One of three former officials at Anglo Irish Bank, on trial at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, told gardaí he was not involved in a conspiracy to hide accounts from revenue.

Bernard Daly, former company secretary at the bank, also described one of his co-accused, Tiarnan O’Mahoney, as “a bully”.

“I had to sort him out once and I did,” he told gardaí.

Mr Daly (67) of Collins Avenue West, Whitehall, Dublin, Aoife Maguire (63) of Rothe Abbey, South Circular Road, Kilmainham, Dublin and Mr O’Mahoney (56) of Glen Pines, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow have been charged with trying to hide accounts, connected to the former chairman of the bank, Sean FitzPatrick, from Revenue between March 2003 and December 2004.

They have pleaded not guilty.

The accounts involved were Lock Ltd/Suzie Ltd, Carnahalla Ltd/Suzie Ltd, Lock Ltd, Carnahalla Ltd, Triumvirate Properties Ltd and Sean FitzPatrick Trust/Crohan O’Shea Trust.

Det Sgt Daniel McGinty, Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation, gave evidence of interviewing Mr Daly on October 31st, 2013. He said Mr Daly attended Ballymun Garda Station by arrangement and was not under arrest.

Dominic McGinn SC, for the prosecution, read the garda interview into the record.

Mr Daly had agreed with gardaí that he was involved in a Revenue audit in 2003 and was to provide a list of non-resident accounts to them. He said he was appointed to conduct the audit as it was felt because of his seniority and age, he was the best person.

“I can’t categorically say that every name that should be on the list was on the list,” he said. He said he was encouraged by the board all along, to have a positive attitude toward revenue.

“The bank was paranoid about the audit ... we kept a lid on it for seven months,” he told gardaí.

He said if he felt an account was “an open and shut bogus case” he informed revenue. He was not put under pressure to exclude any account and he was surprised at revenue’s “horse trading”.

They would, for example, say an account could be bogus, but they wouldn’t include it. They were not that interested in individuals, and were more interested in “getting the cheque”, Mr Daly told gardaí.

Asked about his relationship with Mr O’Mahoney, who was chief operating officer at the time, Mr Daly said it was “colourful”.

“He was a bully ... I had to sort him out once and I did,” he said.

He recounted how he was asked to attend a court case and settle a dispute with a client who owed the bank money. He said he did a deal, but Mr O’Mahoney was annoyed and said he had lost the bank €85,000. He said he told Mr O’Mahoney he’d made the bank £175,000.

“I told him to f-off,” he said, after which they had a good relationship.

Mr Daly denied that either Mr O’Mahoney or Mr FitzPatrick had asked him not to include accounts and he was not aware of any attempts or conspiracy to delete accounts from the bank’s system. He said he wasn’t involved in IT.

Earlier on Monday, Seamus McGill, former senior manager in IT, said Ms Maguire asked him to change the names on client records at the bank. He said names could be changed on the core banking system, but they would leave an audit trail. Ms Maguire asked him to make it look as though the accounts, Susie Ltd and Lock Ltd, were set up in different names.

He said he was taken aback by the “unusual” request and was a bit concerned about doing it.

He also said he was asked to delete accounts from the banking system in 2004. He said associate director at IT, James Shaw, asked him to make the deletions and said Ms Maguire would supply the details of the accounts.

Under cross-examination from Patrick Gageby SC, for Ms Maguire, Mr McGill was asked if he would have accepted Ms Maguire had authority to request the deletion of accounts if he had heard nothing about it from Mr Shaw, he said “no”.

“So both you and Ms Maguire were carrying out instructions relayed to you by Mr Shaw?” Mr Gageby asked.

“Correct,” Mr McGill responded.

The case continues before Judge Patrick McCartan.