15 jurors finally sworn in for Anglo-IL&P fraud trial

Judge says trial set to take 20 weeks and that evidence will be somewhat complicated

A potential juror suffered a panic attack during jury selection for the trial of former Anglo Irish Bank executive officials in a "financial fraud" case. The empanelling in the trial of William McAteer and three others was completed yesterday after Dublin Circuit Criminal Court ran out of potential jurors last Friday. Eight men and seven women make up the enlarged 15-member jury.

Judge Martin Nolan told the jury panel that this was a "financial fraud" trial which is set to take 20 weeks and that the evidence in it will be somewhat complicated.

Yesterday, a number of people were excused from serving on the jury after they cited reasons that included working in the financial services and having booked holidays.

One man told Judge Nolan he had “very strong views” on the issue. Judge Nolan had already warned that persons must not serve if they had any “strong views” on Anglo Irish Bank. A woman from the jury panel had to step out after she had a panic attack.


Judge Nolan said the jury, once sworn, would likely not begin hearing evidence in the case until the week after next. He told the jurors to return to court next Monday, but said they would be contacted by Courts Service if this changed.

Former Anglo executive Mr McAteer (65), Greenrath, Tipperary town, Co Tipperary, will stand trial alongside three other Anglo and Irish Life and Permanent officials.

John Bowe (52), Glasnevin, Dublin, former head of capital markets at Anglo Irish Bank; Denis Casey (56), Raheny, Dublin, chief executive of Irish Life and Permanent (IL&P) until 2009, and Peter Fitzpatrick (63), Malahide, Dublin, IL&P's former director of finance, have all pleaded not guilty to conspiring together and with others to mislead investors through financial transactions to make the bank appear €7.2 billion more valuable than it was between March 1st and September 30th, 2008.

Last Friday, more than 270 people answering their jury summons passed through the court for the selection. One man was excused after describing himself as “an adamant protester”, while another man was excused after revealing he had profited and lost from Anglo shares.

Once the jurors had been sworn in, Judge Nolan warned them not to investigate any matters concerning the case on the internet as that would be against the oath they had sworn. He also told them they must not discuss the case with other parties. He repeated that the four men were entitled to a fair and impartial trial and it was the duty of jury members to come to court with an open mind.