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Lynn trial told of ‘target-driven’ BoI lending
Pic: RollingNews.ie

22 Nov 2023 / courts Print

Lynn trial told of ‘target-driven’ BoI lending

A former bank worker has told the trial of former solicitor Michael Lynn that his “job would have been on the line” if he had sanctioned a loan for a purpose other than that set out in the agreement.

Mr Lynn (55), of Millbrook Court, Redcross, Co Wicklow, is on trial accused of the theft of around €27 million from seven financial institutions. He has pleaded not guilty to 21 counts of theft in Dublin between 23 October 2006 and 20 April 2007.

It is the prosecution’s case that Lynn (pictured) obtained multiple mortgages on the same properties, in a situation where banks were unaware that other institutions were also providing finance.

‘Job on the line’

Yesterday (21 November), former Bank of Ireland worker Sean Dooley told Karl Finnegan SC, prosecuting, that he worked in the bank until September 2005. He agreed that he had sanctioned certain loans for Lynn – including an apartment development at Carrick-on-Shannon in around 2003.

He said that Lynn had a wide investment portfolio, and that the Carrick-on-Shannon development required a “sizeable loan” of about €1.5 million.

He said that at no time was he involved in arranging loans for Lynn that were to be used for any purpose other than that set out in the agreement, such as property investments abroad.

“There's absolutely no way,” Dooley told the court. “My job would be on the line if I sanctioned a loan for one purpose and allowed it to be used for something else.”

He agreed with prosecution counsel that he left the bank in 2005, before the Bank of Ireland loan that the jury has to consider was taken out.

Lending targets

Under cross-examination from Paul Comiskey O'Keeffe BL, defending, Dooley said that he had last met Lynn in late 2004 or early 2005. When asked if it was normal for a Dublin-based banker to arrange a loan in Leitrim, Dooley said that it wasn't unusual.

“Everybody in the bank was target-driven ... I had lending targets,” he said.

He agreed that he had attended a rugby match – possibly more than one, including attending the hospitality suite – but couldn't remember if there were other tickets given to him by Lynn.

“That was kind of standard at the time – corporate entertaining,” he said.

Credit committee

Gerry O'Gorman of Bank of Ireland also gave evidence on Tuesday.

John Berry BL, prosecuting, told the court that O'Gorman had been named by Lynn in the last trial as someone who “agreed with Mr Lynn he could do whatever he wanted with the money given to him”.

O'Gorman denied that this was ever the case.

O'Gorman was also named by Lynn as being on Bank of Ireland's credit committee, the court heard.

O'Gorman told the court that he was working as an assistant to senior business manager Jim Madden in 2006 and 2007. He said that he had no recollection of meeting Lynn.

“There's a suggestion you were on the credit committee and you met with Mr Lynn in that capacity?” Berry asked.

“No,” the witness replied. He said he was “definitely not” on the credit committee.

Under questioning from Paul Comiskey O'Keeffe BL, defending, O'Gorman said that the credit committee comprised “really senior bank officials”.

‘No recollection’ of meeting Lynn

He agreed that the entity in Bank of Ireland that was involved in approving loans was called ‘group credit’, and that he went on to work for group credit in 2008.

Comiskey O'Keeffe put it to O'Gorman that, in the last trial, he had stated that he might have met Lynn if he came into the branch, and that he did not remember.

“I have no recollection of meeting Mr Lynn,” the witness replied. “In the circumstances set out in the statement sent to me, I never met him.”

The trial continues before Judge Martin Nolan and the jury.

Gazette Desk
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