Former Anglo official tells court of audit clash

Fraud officer examined work by team he had been involved in, court hears

A former Anglo Irish Bank official said he was not aware when a fraud officer was appointed in 2010 to examine the "archiving" of certain bank accounts that the same officer had been involved with a team assisting in that audit.

Giving evidence at the trial of three former Anglo officials at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Walter Tyrrell said he was not aware in April 2010 that fraud officer Patrick Peake was on a team in 2003 that prepared a list of non-resident accounts for Revenue.

The former head of internal audit with Anglo and Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) said he was not aware of the “potential conflict of interest” until it was brought to his attention in September the same year and, when it was, he “didn’t escalate it upwards”.

Aoife Maguire (60) of Rothe Abbey, South Circular Road, Kilmainham, Dublin; Bernard Daly (65) of Collins Avenue West, Whitehall, Dublin; and Tiarnan O'Mahoney (54) of Glen Pines, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, have been charged with trying to hide accounts connected to former chairman of the bank Seán FitzPatrick from Revenue between March 2003 and December 2004.

They pleaded not guilty.

Investigate loans

Mr Tyrrell told the court the issues surrounding the archiving of bank accounts in the bank came to light when he was asked to investigate directors’ loans by incoming chairman of Anglo, Donal O’Connor, in late 2008. He said Mr FitzPatrick resigned as chairman amid “commentary about directors’ loans”.

He told counsel for the prosecution Dominic McGinn SC he mentioned the archive issue to Mr O’Connor but events took over. “My mind was on other things,” he said.

He returned to it in March 2010 when the bank had “settled down a bit” compared with earlier “chaotic” months.

He agreed with Mr McGinn that he told Mr O’Connor again about the archived accounts and was told to report it to the risk committee. “We tried to clarify our facts as best we could,” he said.

Request refused

Mr Peake was then appointed to examine the archiving in April 2010.

Seán Guerin SC, for Mr Daly, said at a meeting in September 2010, Zita Madden, another bank official, raised the conflict with him and asked for written details about the nature of the investigation. She was refused the request by Mr Tyrrell, Mr Guerin said.

Mr Tyrrell said he did not recall.

Mr Guerin suggested Mr Peake was able to choose the emails he examined in his investigation and did not examine his own emails or those of another official, Brian Gillespie. He asked Mr Tyrrell if he was happy with that.

Mr Tyrrell said he accepted there was a conflict of interest, but it was a matter for Mr Peake. He also said he was “90 per cent sure” he never read the report of the investigation carried out by Mr Peake.

The trial is expected to continue before Judge Patrick McCartan this afternoon. The judge told jurors the morning would be spent in legal argument.