FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan has been forced to express confidence in his most senior civil servant amid demands to explain correspondence with controversial British billionaires.
Mr Noonan said Department of Finance secretary general John Moran had "absolutely" acted properly in contacts with representatives of British developers, the Barclay Brothers.
The minister said Mr Moran will continue in his role.
Irish businessman Paddy McKillen claims the department was engaged in an inappropriate level of contact. Mr Moran discussed the Barclay brothers' efforts to buy the loans of Mr McKillen from the IBRC in a series of emails with representatives of the British tycoons.
Mr Noonan said Mr Moran was doing an "excellent job". When asked if Mr Moran had acted properly, Mr Noonan replied, "absolutely".
Fianna Fail spokesman Michael McGrath said Mr Noonan had to make a statement on Mr Moran's correspondence regarding the "confidential banking affairs of a customer of a state-owned bank".