Anglo Irish Bank
Anglo Irish Bank

Ex-Anglo Irish CEO Seán FitzPatrick was arrested at Dublin Airport by gardaí attached to the Office of the Director Corporate Enforcement (ODCE), following charges that relate to an investigation that has put former head of lending Patrick Whelan and former finance director Willie McAteer in court.

The arrest was part of an ongoing investigation by officials from the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation and the ODCE into alleged financial irregularities at Anglo Irish at the time shares plummeted and the group needed a government bailout.

FitzPatrick's arrest follows the appearance in court yesterday of two other former high-ranking executives at the bank.

Anglo Irish's former head of lending and a member of the bank's board from 2006 to 2009 Whelan joined former finance director McAteer for being charged with alleged financial irregularities at the bank.

McAteer, the second most senior executive at the bank before his resignation in January 2009 was arrested and was in court for 16 charges, under Section 60 of the Companies Act. Whelan has now been identified as the second person to be charged under the same investigation and will be due to appear in court, however exact details over the charges related to him have not been released.

Ireland's ODCE and the police launched a fraud probe in the lead up to the nationalisation of Anglo for over three years, which has included whether deposits were used to mask large withdrawals.

McAteer's 16 charges relate to giving unlawful financial assistance in connection with the purchase of Anglo shares to 16 people in July 2008, after a failed attempt to prop up Anglo's share price after a stock market collapse.

Recently renamed the Irish Banking Resolution Corporation (IBRC), Anglo Irish was nationalised in 2009 at the cost of €30bn from taxpayers. The group is still being wound down.

Initially, money was given out by the bank to a select group, nicknamed the Maple 10, for the purchase of shares in the bank in 2008.

The 16 people mentioned in the charges include six members of the Quinn family, some of whom are currently fighting their own lawsuits, as the IBRC chases debts of €2.8bn run up by former billionaire, bankrupt Sean Quinn senior.

Sean Quinn senior's son Sean junior is also one of the 16 people cited. He was imprisoned last week for contempt of court after trying to hide €500m of property assets from the bank.

The court heard that McAteer made no reply when the charges were put to him in the Bridewell garda station in Dublin city centre and was granted bail until 8 October by Judge Cormac Dunne with conditions.