Seán FitzPatrick, the former chief executive and chairman of Anglo Irish Bank, was well-known for the role he played in the rapid expansion and subsequent collapse of Anglo Irish Bank, following the property crash over a decade ago.

A chartered accountant, in 1986 Seán FitzPatrick - or "Seanie" as he was known to his friends - was appointed chief executive of what was then City of Dublin Bank, which then became Anglo Irish Bank.

At the time the bank was tiny, with just a handful of staff, while it was worth around €5m.

But over the subsequent two decades, he led the transformation of the lender from a minnow to the third largest in the country, with a balance sheet worth billions.

He did this by building what was a small commercial bank into a significant lender to property developers who were operating in Ireland, the UK and elsewhere.

The growth of Anglo, championed by Mr FitzPatrick, coincided with the rise of the Celtic Tiger economy, which in turn was driven by a property bubble fuelled in part by credit lent by the bank.

The expansion made the bank extremely profitable and in 2004, his last year as chief executive, Mr FitzPatrick was paid €2.7m.

The following January, he was replaced by David Drumm and moved to the position of chairman.

Over the subsequent four years, under the leadership of both men, Anglo's loan book trebled to €72 billion.

Seán FitzPatrick, pictured in 1989

In June 2007, Mr FitzPatrick criticised what he described as the culture of "corporate McCarthyism" surrounding entrepreneurs in Ireland.

That year, the bank's annual profits peaked at €1.2 billion and Anglo shares also hit a height of more than €17, valuing the bank at €13 billion.

But over the following year, the property and banking crash began to unfold and the Celtic Tiger disintegrated, exposing the many gaps in the balance sheets of Anglo and the other main Irish banks, and creating a liquidity squeeze.

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On 17 March 2008, the bank's share price fell by almost 15% following announcements in the US the previous day relating to the emergency sale of Bear Stearns.

The situation rapidly became more serious and by September 2008 the Government decided to introduce a €400 billion scheme guaranteeing the country’s main banks, including Anglo Irish.

Anglo Irish Bank headquarters on St Stephen's Green

In an interview with broadcaster Marian Finucane on RTÉ Radio One days later, Mr FitzPatrick declined the opportunity to apologise.

"The cause of our problems are global," he said. "So I can't say sorry with any degree of sincerity and decency. But I can say thank you," he added.

But in December of 2008, Mr FitzPatrick stood down from his position as chairman of the bank amid an investigation by the financial regulator into the temporary transfer of his multi-million euro loans between Anglo and Irish Nationwide over an eight-year period.

The effect of the transactions had been that his loans did not appear in Anglo's annual report. He also left the boards of Aer Lingus and Smurfit Kappa where he was serving as a director.

The State began to recapitalise Anglo Irish Bank, but ultimately it was nationalised in January 2009.

In the 15 months to the end of December 2009, Anglo recorded a pretax loss of €12.7 billion as result of having to write off €15 billion in bad loans.

Loans totalling €34.4 billion were later transferred to the National Asset Management Agency, which bought them for €13.4 billion.

Anglo was eventually combined with Irish Nationwide to become the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, which is still being wound down today.

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The combined cost of the collapse of the two banks to the taxpayer was estimated by the Comptroller and Auditor General to be in the region of €36 billion.

In February 2009, it emerged that in an attempt to prop up the bank’s share price, Anglo had lent €450m to a group of ten customers, known as the Maple 10, to purchase a 10% chunk of a much larger shareholding built up by businessman Sean Quinn's in the bank via contracts for difference.

Gardaí and members of the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement raided Anglo’s offices in February 2009.

Then in March 2010, Mr FitzPatrick was arrested by members of the garda fraud squad and questioned at Bray Garda Station, near his home in Greystones in Co Wicklow, before being released without charge.

Seán FitzPatrick

In the same month, Anglo began legal proceedings against him in an attempt to recover unpaid loans of €70m.

Later that year, Mr FitzPatrick was declared bankrupt with debts of €147m.

FitzPatrick's affairs also had implications for politicians as well, when it emerged he he had played a round of golf with Taoiseach Brian Cowen a few months before the bank guarantee was issued in 2008.

It heaped additional pressure on a Mr Cowen who was already struggling amid the political pressure brought about by the banking and economic collapse leading to his eventual resignation as leader of Fianna Fáil in January 2011.

A year on, Mr FitzPatrick was arrested a second time by gardaí as part of an investigation into financial irregularities. He was again released without charge.

Seven months later, he was arrested for a third time and this time charged with 16 offences relating to his role in the Maple 10 case.

However, he denied the charges and in April 2014 he was acquitted of them all.

That year Mr FitzPatrick was also discharged from his bankruptcy.

In November 2016 though, he again went on trial, this time accused of 27 charges under the 1990 Companies Act related to allegedly misleading the bank's auditors over a five-year period by failing to disclose tens of millions of euros worth of loans.

There were 22 charges related to making misleading, false or deceptive statements and five to furnishing false information. Mr FitzPatrick again pleaded not guilty to the charges.

But the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement's case was mired with problems and during the trial it emerged potentially valuable documents had been shredded and witnesses coached.

In 2017, after the longest running criminal trial in the history of the State, Judge John Aylmer directed that Mr FitzPatrick be acquitted, criticising the ODCE for its handling of the probe.

Two years later, Mr FitzPatrick was expelled from membership of Chartered Accountant’s Ireland and fined €25,000.

Mr FitzPatrick is survived by his wife Catriona and three children, David, Jonathan and Sara.