Cross-party group of politicians met with regulator
Published 08/04/2010 | 05:00
A CROSS-PARTY group of politicians took legal advice before they held a special meeting about the Quinn Insurance crisis with the Financial Regulator.
There were concerns among the group that it might be seen as interfering with the work of the regulator, who has appointed administrators to Quinn Insurance due to concerns the company may not be able to meet its liabilities.
But the group of politicians, who included representatives from Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Labour and Sinn Fein, were told by their own parties' legal advisers the meeting could go ahead as long as they did not interfere with the independence of the regulator
The politicians were surprised to find Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan also present, even though they had not requested a meeting with him.
Last night a spokesman for Mr Honohan was asked if he had turned up to support the recently appointed financial regulator, Matthew Elderfield, in his meeting with the group of politicians.
"We can confirm he attended, but we can't get into the reasons why," he said.
Last Tuesday morning, the politicians attended a workers' meeting with the administrators of the company in the Kilmore Hotel in Cavan town and then travelled to the headquarters of the Financial Regulator in Dublin for a 6pm meeting.
Fine Gael Cavan-Monaghan TD Seymour Crawford said they were representing the interests of the Quinn Insurance workers worried about their jobs, not the interests of Sean Quinn.
"It is up to Sean Quinn and his company to meet the demands of the regulator and the sooner that is done, the better for everybody," he said.
He and the other politicians told Mr Elderfield of the urgent need to lift the ban on the company doing business in the UK so that the jobs of the 700 employees who carry out this work in Enniskillen are not put at risk.
Mr Elderfield responded by saying that he would consider the situation as soon as he got a provisional report from the administrators about the state of the insurance business.
Fianna Fail Cavan Monaghan TD Margaret Conlon said the main focus of the meeting was on securing the jobs of the Quinn Insurance workers.
She praised the other politicians at the meeting for adopting a cross-party approach and not making a "political football" out of the crisis.