Business

Thursday 27 April 2017

Noonan bows to pressure and announces probe into IBRC

Mr Noonan last month said he did not receive the IBRC board meeting minutes relating to the Siteserv sale
Mr Noonan last month said he did not receive the IBRC board meeting minutes relating to the Siteserv sale

Philip Ryan Political Correspondent

The Government yesterday bowed to mounting political pressure and established a Commission of Investigation to review transactions and lending practices at Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC).

Finance Minister Michael Noonan brought the proposal to Cabinet on the back of allegations of inadequate corporate governance at the former Anglo Irish Bank raised by Independent TD Catherine Murphy.

The move sees Mr Noonan abandon the review of IBRC transactions by KPMG special liquidators Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson, which he initiated last month.

That review was established after concerns were raised by Ms Murphy over the sale of Siteserv to a company owned by businessman Denis O'Brien.

Ms Murphy cautiously welcomed the new investigation, saying she hoped the inquiry will comprehensively deal with the areas of concern she raised.

The Irish Independent understands there were robust discussions between Fine Gael and Labour over the course of two Cabinet meetings to discuss the establishment of the inquiry.

Meanwhile, in a bizarre twist, it also emerged last night that the Department of Finance had discovered a tranche of board meeting minutes from IBRC which Mr Noonan previously told the Dáil he had not received.

The minutes include an IBRC board meeting at which the sale of Siteserv was discussed. However, details including the payment of €5m to Siteserv shareholders and the fact it was the highest bid for the company, were not outlined.

Irish Independent

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