The Fitzpatrick Tapes by Tom Lyons and Brian Carey

The Fitzpatrick Tapes by Tom Lyons and Brian Carey is a good read for anyone with an interest in Ireland’s banking crisis. Published by Penguin in January 2011, it is based on interviews conducted  with Sean Fitzpatrick, the former Chief Executive and Chairman of Anglo Irish Bank.

Written by Sunday Times journalists Tom Lyons and Brian Carey, The Fitzpatrick Tapes is a pacy, well-written and gripping read that provides some real insights into what went wrong in Ireland’s banks, particularly in the later chapters where it goes in to the circumstances surrounding the bank guarantee.

Contemporary accounts based on conversations with key players are interesting because they fill in gaps and provide colour for what we know of the story. It’s also interesting to get a sense of the thought processes of one of the key players. But as every historian knows, sources are rarely objective and so the reader must sift and read more widely for a more rounded understanding of any subject.

If you like this book, chances are you will also like Simon Carswell’s Anglo Republic, also published by Penguin. Kindle editions of both books are also available.