Seán FitzPatrick timeline: from a dairy farmer’s son to Anglo chief

The rise of the ‘mediocre schoolboy’ who later became head of Anglo Irish Bank

After a flurry of deals that saw Irish Bank of Commerce taken over by City of Dublin Bank and the combined entity buy Anglo Irish Bank Corporation, Séan FitzPatrick becames head of the Anglo unit in 1980. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

After a flurry of deals that saw Irish Bank of Commerce taken over by City of Dublin Bank and the combined entity buy Anglo Irish Bank Corporation, Séan FitzPatrick becames head of the Anglo unit in 1980. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

 

June 1948 – Seán FitzPatrick is born to dairy farmer Michael and civil servant mother Johanna, who already had a daughter, Joyce

1966 – FitzPatrick, a self-confessed mediocre schoolboy, graduates from Presentation College Bray; he works in London on building sites that summer before going to University College Dublin to study commerce

1969 – He joins Reynolds McCarron & O’Connor, a middle-ranking accountancy firm, which would ultimately become part of Ernst & Young

1972 – The newly qualified chartered accountant joins the Dublin office of Atkins Chirnside & Co, which would go on to become part of PwC

1974 – FitzPatrick marries his wife, Caitríona, and is hired by the Irish Bank of Commerce, later saying his primary motivation for joining the lender was to get a loan to buy a house in Greystones on a preferential staff rate

1980 – After a flurry of deals over two years that saw Irish Bank of Commerce taken over by City of Dublin Bank and the combined entity buy Anglo Irish Bank Corporation, FitzPatrick becomes head of the Anglo unit

1986 – City of Dublin Bank is renamed Anglo Irish Banking Corporation and FitzPatrick is appointed chief executive of the enlarged group

1990s – Anglo emerges as a property specialist. It sets up an Isle of Man operation to support its growing sterling loan book and goes on an acquisition spree to boost its international reach

1998 – FitzPatrick is appointed to the board of Dublin Docklands Development Authority

2000 – The executive is made president of the Irish Bankers’ Federation

January 2003 – Food group Greencore appoints FitzPatrick to its board

2004 – Anglo becomes the 10th fastest growing bank in western Europe, having established a reputation as a niche lender with huge exposure to property developers, commercial property portfolios and construction projects; FitzPatrick joins the board of Aer Lingus

January 2005 – FitzPatrick hands over the chief executive role to David Drumm and becomes chairman of the group

February 2007 – The banker becomes chairman of Smurfit Kappa ahead of the cardboard box-maker’s stock market flotation

September 2007 – Businessman Séan Quinn reveals to FitzPatrick and Drumm that his family has built up a sector 24 per cent stake in Anglo through leveraged financial instruments called contracts for difference (it would rise to 28 per cent)

September 2008 – Anglo almost collapses as deposits flow out of the Irish banking system in the wake of Lehman Brothers’ implosion, leading to a snap government guarantee of the industry

December 2008 – FitzPatrick resigns as chairman after it emerges he had routinely concealed Anglo loans from shareholders and auditors by moving them off its balance sheet at its financial year-end; he also quits other corporate board positions

July 2010 – FitzPatrick is declared bankrupt with debts of €150 million and some €50 million of assets

April 2014 – FitzPatrick is acquitted by the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court of charges he had been involved in Anglo’s provision of loans to 10 developers to buy a stake in the bank to unwind the Quinns’ position

May 2017 – On day 127 of the longest running criminal trial in the history of the State, FitzPatrick is found not guilty of hiding millions of euro in bank loans from auditors, as the trial collapses as a result of flaws in the investigation and prosecution

November 2021 – FitzPatrick dies age 73 after suffering a cardiac arrest