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Brian Cowen

Government may collapse over Sean FitzPatrick meeting - SEE POLL

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Brian Cowen

The Green Party, the minority party in the Irish government,  has asked for an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Brian Cowen after it was revealed he met the former Anglo Irish Bank boss, Sean FitzPatrick before the bank guarantee scheme was unveiled.

It is possible the Greens may pull the plug on the government early if Cowen is not able to satisfy their inquiries as to why he was meeting with the most notorious of  the corrupt bankers.

FitzPatrick has become the poster boy for the collapse of the Celtic Tiger economy. His bank went bust with debts close to $50 billion.

 Extracts from a new book on Anglo's role in Ireland's financial downfall, show FitzPatrick had several meetings with the Prime Minister in advance of the announcement of the bank guarantee scheme at the end of September 2008.

Published in yesterday's Sunday Times, extracts of The Fitzpatrick Tapes, reveal that the former chairman played golf and dined with Cowen at Druids Glen in Co.Wicklow on July 28, 2008.

 Fitzpatrick said the bank’s affairs were not discussed during the meetings.

Senator Dan Boyle of The Green Party said that his party views the revelations  'very seriously' and it is 'concerned' about the details revealed in it.

Labour Finance Spokesperson Joan Burton stated  it is 'beyond belief' there was no discussion at the July 2008 of the bank's position,” given that its share price had collapsed on St Patrick's Day 2008.”

The extracts reveal that FitzPatrick  phoned Cowen, who was then the Minister for Finance, to discuss the bank’s collapsing share price and voice his concerns over Sean Quinn's dealings in the bank.

John Gormley, the leader of the Green Party has requested a meeting with  Cowen tomorrow morning to discuss the revelations.

In a statement to the Sunday newspaper, the Fianna Fail leader confirmed he has met with  FitzPatrick. He insisted that Anglo's financial woes did not come up at the dinner.

"It was a social occasion and the affairs of Anglo Irish Bank were not discussed," the statement said.

FitzPatrick resigned as the chairman of Anglo Irish Bank in December 2008 and was declared bankrupt in July 2010.

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