Ballinalee native and former Anglo Irish Bank director Anne Heraty told the trial of three former Anglo-Irish executives this week that she was “horrified” when she learned Sean Quinn held a quarter of the bank through secret shares.
She told the trial that a deal that resulted in 10 “high net worth individuals” buying some of Mr Quinn’s holding, “may not have been the most ideal solution to the problem”.
“I believed the Maple 10 issue – the name given to 10 businessmen lent €45m to buy Anglo shares – had been dealt with satisfactorily with the support of the Financial Regulator and the Central Bank,” she added. “There was a lot of pressure to find a solution and it probably wasn’t the most ideal.”
Ms Heraty went on to tell the court that the first she heard about the matter came from rumours, and subsequent newspaper reports that Mr Quinn held a 10pc or 11pc interest in the bank in the summer of 2007. “I was told his stake was close to 24pc at a board meeting that November and was horrified when I heard it,” the founder chief executive of recruitment firm CPL Resources continued.
“There was some discussion and the decision was made to encourage Sean Quinn to sell down his shares or to try and figure out what his intention was.”
The court heard Ms Hearty was told about the Maple 10 in July 2008 by former Anglo chairman Sean FitzPatrick, but only discovered their identities when the names appeared in newspapers after the bank was nationalised in 2009. The trial continues.