Tom Lyons

The FitzPatrick Tapes

The FitzPatrick Tapes

The Rise and Fall of One Man, One Bank, and One Country


One day in May 2009, Sean FitzPatrick - the disgraced former chief executive and chairman of Anglo Irish Bank - sat down to lunch in a Holiday Inn in Dublin. Across the table sat Tom Lyons, a business reporter with the Sunday Times.

Seven months later, the two met for the first of what would be seventeen formal, tape-recorded interviews over the course of 2010: a year when Ireland, its public finances ruined in large part by the cost of covering Anglo's losses, went bust itself. In these interviews, FitzPatrick talked at length and in detail about his banking experiences and philosophy, his colleagues and clients, his investments, his public disgrace, his arrest and his bankruptcy.

Lyons and his colleague Brian Carey, who have been covering the Anglo story brilliantly since the bank's crisis began in 2007, have drawn on the FitzPatrick tapes and on their many sources within Anglo, the state and the business community to tell the story of that crisis - and of the man who became the face of it. This is a tale of toothless regulators, hopeless accountants, politicians and civil servants out of their depth, and businessmen in denial about the crash. Above all, though, it is the story of FitzPatrick: the man who built that bank that has been at the centre of Ireland's economic meltdown.