Saturday 22 October 2016

Taoiseach Enda Kenny defends silence over IBRC row

Says new inquiry is correct thing to do

John Downing Political Correspondent

Published 04/06/2015 | 14:50

Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Taoiseach Enda Kenny today defended his week-long silence in the row over IBRC bank, businessman Denis O’Brien, and the High Court hearings over reporting the Dail.

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Mr Kenny also said yesterday’s decision to set up a Commission of Inquiry into the operations of the IBRC bank was the right thing to do.

Mr Kenny said he had always defended the right to privileged speech for TDs to speak out on issues of public importance in the Dail.

He said he chose to stand back from court deliberations in recent days until a verdict emerged.

“There was a lot of hysteria about recalling the Dail to discuss something over which the Dail had no control,” Mr Kenny told reporters.

The Taoiseach said up until recently the Government deemed an internal review by the liquidators of IBRC was the best way to find out more about the row of the sale of the company, Siteserv, to the businessman, Denis O’Brien.

But the row over Dáil reporting of related issues and the subsequent High Court hearings changed that and led Cabinet to decide to set up a Commission of Inquiry.

“Events have since overtaken that. So, it’s right to have an investigation,” he said.

Mr Kenny was asked if he felt the businessman, Denis O’Brien, had too much power and influence.

He said that there were rules on how much of a share of media ownership any one person can hold and also that the High Court had also ruled on the balance between public interest and a citizen’s right to privacy.

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