Quinns demand letters between Lenihan and Anglo

Family of bankrupt ex-billionaire wants Drumm email password broken

The family of Seán Quinn is demanding access to three letters sent between former minister for finance Brian Lenihan and then chairman of Anglo Irish Bank Donal O'Connor as part its €2.34 billion claim against the state.

This correspondence relates to late January 2009 and early February 2009, just after the state took the decision to nationalise Anglo as it tottered on the brink of collapse.

The family also wants efforts to be made to crack a password-protected email sent by the bank's chief executive David Drumm to Matt Moran, a close lieutenant, in the midst of the financial crisis in April 2008, according to documents filed in relation to their legal battle.

The Quinns also want to see seven letters between the bank and Ann Nolan, a senior banking figure in the Department of Finance, as well as 20 emails or memos sent between Anglo and Mr Drumm after he resigned from his position in December 2008, among other documents.


Legal advisers to the liquidators of IBRC, who are now in charge of Anglo, are refusing to release about 168 documents which they claim are legally privileged, with the exception of the email from Mr Drumm to Mr Moran which they cannot access.

The Quinns claim they have been given “insufficient information” about the documents to determine if they are legally privileged. They also dispute whether correspondence between the bank and the Department of Finance could be considered to be privileged.

They have asked the liquidators of IBRC to instruct IT experts to crack the encoded email or give it to the family so that they can try to do so.

Access denied

Another document which the family is not allowed to access is an email called “handwritten notes of Gary McGann” (chief executive of Smurfit Kappa) dated January 2009 and created around the time he resigned as a non-executive director of the bank.

An email from PR adviser Fintan Drury to Mr McGann dated January 22nd, 2009, about a week after Anglo was nationalised, is another privileged document, despite neither man being a director of the bank at that stage.

Court documents show that 2.19 million phone calls were recorded inside Anglo, but only 18,000 have been listened to. The Quinns claim an electronic search should be used to scan these calls for information which relates to their case, which is that the bank loaned them billions for the illegal purpose of supporting its own shares.

Some 256 Anglo phone lines were recorded, but only one has really emerged in a leak called the Anglo Tapes.