A jury has been sworn in to hear the trial of former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Seán FitzPatrick.

Mr FitzPatrick, 66, from Whitshed Road in Greystones, Co Wicklow has pleaded not guilty to 27 counts under the 1990 Companies Act.

He has denied failing to disclose to Anglo's auditors, Ernst and Young, the true value of loans given to him or people connected to him between 2002 and 2007, while he was an officer of the bank.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring, who will be hearing the case, gave the potential jury members a number of warnings.

She said there was a requirement to come to jury service in an impartial fashion and they would be obliged to take an oath or affirmation swearing to give a true verdict in accordance with the evidence.

She said no one should serve on the jury who knows Mr FitzPatrick or anyone connected with the case.

She also told them that anyone who has expressed themselves in public on the internet or on social media, or in any way in public on issues concerning Anglo Irish Bank or the banking crisis or on bankers in general, such that it might embarrass them at a later stage should not serve.

She also said that anyone who has strong feelings about the banking crisis or has been personally affected in a way that would affect their ability to be impartial, should not serve on the jury.

She said people who cannot come to the case with impartiality or people who would hold such strong views about Anglo Irish Bank that they believed they could not deal with the case fairly, should not serve on the jury.

Judge Ring said anyone who held shares in Anglo, who was a customer of Anglo or was employed by the bank or who directly held shares in any other financial institution or was employed by another financial institution, should not serve.

She said anyone who was connected with auditors, Ernst and Young should not serve on this jury.   

The judge also said anyone who worked as a professionally qualified auditor or accountant or who was subject to the professional bodies connected with those bodies, should not serve.

She said the case could last up to the end of next month and may hear from almost 80 witnesses.

Potential witnesses include Alan Dukes of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, as well as witnesses from Ernst and Young, Anglo Irish Bank, Irish Nationwide Building Society, the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement as well as other gardaí.

Mr Fitzpatrick is charged with 27 offences under the 1990 Companies Act.

21 offences accuse him of making a misleading, false or deceptive statement to auditors. Six accuse him of furnishing false information.

He is accused of failing to disclose to Anglo's auditors, Ernst and Young, the true amount of loans to him or people connected with him.

The prosecution claims he authorised arrangements to ensure that the balance of those loans would be reduced or appear to be reduced at the end of the bank's financial year and failed to tell the auditors about those arrangements.

He is accused of failing to tell the auditors about arrangements between Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society in connection with loans to him by Irish Nationwide.

He is also accused of producing financial statements about the value of loans to Anglo's directors, which failed to include the true amounts outstanding by him to the bank.

A jury of six men and six women has been sworn in to hear the case.

Potential jurors were asked to give their occupations before being sworn in.

The jury includes a childcare worker, a property manager, a computer programmer, a pharmaceutical technologist, a chef, a housewife, an engineer and a carpenter.

They are expected to begin hearing evidence on Monday.

Before sending them home, Judge Ring reminded them that they were the judges in this case. 

She directed them not to discuss the case with anyone and not to search the internet in relation to it.

She said what was written in the newspapers or broadcast on radio or television was only someone's opinion and she said this might be a time to take a break from the media.