Around 300 shareholders of Anglo Irish Bank met in a Dun Laoghaire hotel this afternoon for an information meeting with a solicitor who is considering organising a class action style lawsuit against the bank and others.

The meeting lasted over two hours. The media were excluded and the solicitor who organised it declined to be interviewed.

But it is understood the shareholders present were told that it was a preliminary meeting, designed to discuss all options and gauge the appetite for further action.

It is understood that a decision was taken to have another meeting at a later date, and that a committee would possibly be formed to consider taking the action forward.

Shareholders heard it was too early to decide who exactly any claim could be taken against. They were also told that it was not possible to take a class action in this country, but that there were ways for individuals to take action as a group.

They were told a senior counsel and a firm of forensic accountant had been consulted on the way forward.

Speaking on their way into the meeting, individual shareholders told the media that they are angry about the circumstances under which they lost their money. For some investors the losses run into tens of thousands of euro.

A number of people travelled significant distances to attend the meeting, with two people expected from England and one from the Isle of Man. Many said they would be prepared to put up money in order to back a legal action.

Meanwhile, a second firm of solicitors, Lavelle Coleman, has confirmed it has received approaches from around 100 shareholders interested in taking a group action against the bank. The company also confirmed that it has received preliminary advice from senior counsel about such a move.