Saturday 3 December 2016

Cowen is no buddy of mine -- Gormley

DANIEL McCONNELL Chief Reporter

Published 24/01/2010 | 05:00

GREEN Party leader John Gormley has revealed he and Taoiseach Brian Cowen are "not buddies".

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He also said that he and the Greens will insist that former ministers for finance -- including Charlie McCreevey, former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Mr Cowen -- will all answer publicly for their actions as part of the newly established banking inquiry.

On his relationship with the Taoiseach, Mr Gormley

ANALYSIS PAGE 30

said last week: "We're not buddies, there are very few buddies in politics." He added: "We don't socialise together, we work together -- that's it.

"We did have a working lunch with him, there is a degree of mutual respect," he said. "There are disagreements between us. Of course there are times when there are differences and there is a certain sense of exasperation but that is on both sides. That's the nature of two parties being in government."

But Mr Gormley said despite the less-than-warm dynamic, the fact they are still working together two-and-a-half years later is a sign of their mutual respect.

On the banking inquiry, he wants something that will be cost effective, quick and will get the answers.

"This will provide the template for future investigations. There is an impression that we won't have former ministers for finance answerable -- yes, we will. Let's ask the question and put it up to those who were here before this happened, including former finance ministers. I guarantee you there will be no evasion, no cover-up. The Green Party wouldn't tolerate it."

He also said that the final version of the inquiry is by and large what he asked for.

"If you look at what Eamon (Ryan) and I sent over to finance in terms of what we were looking for, the final version is 90 per cent of what we wanted. There is only a small deviation in terms of timeline, it was impossible to go down the route many people were calling for."

Senior party sources said last night that Mr Gormley and Mr Ryan will be pushing for a greater Oireachtas role in the inquiry.

Mr Gormley also said yesterday he is working to prevent the building of the incinerator at Poolbeg, Dublin.

Sunday Independent

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