No baying for blood, Anglo jurors warned

Defence barrister Brendan Grehan SC says trial was not about “seeing three men in the dock as a way of getting vengeance”

Jurors at the trial of three former

Anglo Irish Bank

directors have been told they are not there to “satisfy the baying for blood of the mob

”.

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Defence barrister Brendan Grehan SC, said everyone had been affected by the collapse of the Irish banking system but that the trial was not about "seeing three men in the dock as a way of getting vengeance for it".

In his closing speech on behalf of Pat Whelan, Anglo's former head of lending in Ireland, Mr Grehan said someone told him the other day that a spectator had come into the court, and having watched the proceedings, said: "Give them a fair trial and then hang them."

'Not spectators'
"You are not spectators, ladies and gentlemen," he said. "It is vital that you divorce yourselves from that kind of thinking – that you are here to satisfy the baying for blood of the mob."

Mr Grehan said this was a case about a provision of Companies Act that went back to 1963 and had never before been prosecuted. People outside the court had not heard all the evidence, he said, but the jurors had.

He said the transaction at the centre of this case was a perfectly valid commercial transaction and that his client did not have “the slightest inkling” that anything he might have been doing was wrong.

Earlier, prosecution counsel Paul O'Higgins SC, told the jury that loans given by Anglo as part of the July 2008 transaction to unwind businessman Seán Quinn's stake in the bank were "spectacularly not in the ordinary course of business".

Ruadhán Mac Cormaic

Ruadhán Mac Cormaic

Ruadhán Mac Cormaic is an Assistant Editor of The Irish Times