Anglo trial told of requests to remove certain bank accounts
Former IT staff member says he and colleague ‘not comfortable’ with instruction
Former Anglo Irish Bank official Aoife Maguire at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court. Photograph: Court Collins.
A former member of the IT department at Anglo Irish Bank has told the trial of three of its former officers that one of them issued an instruction that certain accounts were to be removed from the bank’s systems.
James Shaw was giving evidence in the ongoing trial before the Circuit Criminal Court in Dublin on Monday.
Former chief operations officer Mr Tiarnan O’Mahoney (54) of Glen Pines, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow; former company secretary Bernard Daly (65) of Collins Avenue West, Whitehall, Dublin; and Aoife Maguire (60) of Rothe Abbey, South Circular Road, Kilmainham, Dublin have pleaded not guilty to seven counts .
It is alleged they deleted or omitted accounts, connected to the former chairman, Seán FitzPatrick, from Anglo’s core banking system or from documentation provided to Revenue between 2003 and 2004.
Mr Shaw recalled that he had been asked in 2003 to arrange some work on a small project to “tidy up some transaction narratives on certain accounts”.
He did not know what the accounts were as there were client numbers attached to them.
Asked whether he recalled any development with the accounts that went beyond changing the narratives, Mr Shaw said this had not happened until the end of the project. His colleague Shay McGill, who was carrying out the work, came to him and told him he had been asked by Aoife Maguire to remove some accounts from the banking system and “we were not comfortable with that”.
He had gone to Ms Maguire and had got confirmation from her that she wanted accounts removed from the bank’s system, he said.
He and Mr McGill had agreed that they should not remove the accounts but should instead archive them. This meant the data could be retrieved at a later date.
Separately, a friend and business partner of former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Seán FitzPatrick told the trial he had no knowledge of transfers of amounts of £196,000 from and later back into an account he said was a trust fund for their children. Crohan O’Shea agreed he and Mr FitzPatrick had set up a joint account and that it had originally been set up to develop two sites at Parkwest in Dublin.
He was shown details of an amount of £196,000 transferred from the ‘Sean FitzPatrick Crohan O’Shea Trust’ on April 25th 1998 to another account. The same sum was transferred back to the trust account from the second account on October 5th 1998. Mr O’Shea said he did not recall that transaction and nor did he recall similar transactions in 1999 and 2000.
Mr O’Shea also said he had no knowledge of various changes made to the name of the account and its contact details between 1998 and 2004.
The witness was later recalled by the prosecution to “clarify” a matter. He said it had been reported in The Irish Times on the opening day of the trial that the account in question had been an “offshore account” and that efforts had been made to hide it from Revenue.
He said it was not an offshore account and that all the taxes had been paid up to date on it every year. The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCartan and a jury of six men and six women.