McEvaddy defends Anglo Irish investor 'heroes'


Businessman Ulick McEvaddy has described the so-called golden circle of 10 investors in Anglo Irish Bank as “heroes” who were supporting an economy that is “at war”.

The 10 individuals borrowed €451 million from Anglo Irish Bank to buy 10 per cent of the bank's shares. Some €83 million has been paid back, the bank's annual report for 2008 shows.

The transaction has created huge political controversy for the Government, which is under pressure to name the investors.

Green Party leader and Minister for the Environment John Gormley said yesterday their names should be made public if it is legally possible, while Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny last night said the public was entitled to know “who they are bailing out in Anglo”.

Despite the controversy over the group of investors, Mr McEvaddy defended them strongly today.

“I think they’re heroes to have supported the bank in its hour of need,” he told RTÉ Radio. “We’re in an economic war and if we don’t have a good, solid, stable banking system, we’re going to be in serious trouble.”

Mr McEvaddy said he would have invested in Anglo himself if he had been approached to be part of the group. “I’d have joined the circle,” he said. “And I’d have felt that it was the right thing to do to support a very valuable banking institution.”

He described the controversy surrounding the investors as a “misplaced uproar” and denied that it has undermined the Irish banking system. “We must do all we can to bring liquidity to the market and get the economy moving again.”

Asked if the names of the 10 people should be revealed, Mr McEvaddy said: “I think they should put their hands up and say ‘yes, we’re here’. They have nothing to hide in my view. They supported the bank in its hour of need.”