The investigation into the €7.2 billion conspiracy to defraud, culminating in this trial, is understood to be the most complex ever carried out by the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (previously the Bureau of Fraud Investigation).

It began more than nine years ago.

Gardaí had to examine 950,000 electronic files, and around 80,000 telephone recordings in Anglo and Irish Life & Permanent had to be analysed for potential evidence.

When the investigation began, technology to extract "keywords" from the calls was not yet available, meaning investigators had to listen to all these calls.

Court orders had to be served on a number of financial institutions seeking documents and inquiries had to be made in parts of Europe and the United States.

More than 400 witness statements were taken - some running to hundreds of pages.

The length of time the different Anglo investigations took was heavily criticised since they began in early 2009. 

Issues such as whether material was subject to claims of privilege also contributed to a delay in getting files to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The various Anglo trials were among the first prosecutions of their kind in this country.

Legislation was brought in to allow them to be heard by expanded juries of 15 people. 

Many of the subsequent criminal cases have been among the longest criminal trials in Irish legal history. 

This afternoon, Garda Superintendent Gerard Walsh of the GNECB thanked the jury for their patience and perseverance during the court process.

He added: "Statistics show that economic criminals are increasingly targeting business, however businesses need to be aware that wrongdoing can also come from within.

"Today's verdict emphasises the importance of corporate responsibility at all levels and the very real obligation to conduct business with honesty and integrity at all times."

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