I wasn't heckled -- minister
Published 04/10/2010 | 05:00
FINANCE Minister Brian Lenihan last night dismissed claims he was mocked by international investors during a conference call about the state of the Irish economy.
His officials are now looking to track down a recording of the call to prove beyond doubt that some traders did not make "chimp sounds" or call out "dive, dive" and "short Ireland" while he was speaking.
A spokesman for Mr Lenihan said there was absolutely no basis to the story reported in the 'Daily Telegraph'. "If what they claimed had happened, you would have known before the conference call was over. It would have been the talk of the town within an hour. It's just absolute rubbish," he said.
Mr Lenihan was taking part in a conference call with international investors last Friday to begin the process of calming their fears about the cost of the Irish banking bailout.
The 'Daily Telegraph' reported that Mr Lenihan had been speaking for less than two minutes on Friday before a mistake by Citigroup meant that the bank's clients were all able to be heard on the line.
Between 200 and 500 investors are understood to have been on the call, and as they realised their lines were not muted many began to heckle Mr Lenihan. Yesterday, the 'Daily Telegraph' was standing over its story.