Enda Kenny to be asked to clarify ATM Army comments to Banking Inquiry
Published 03/11/2015 | 12:40
The Oireachtas Banking Inquiry has been asked to seek formal clarification from Taoiseach Enda Kenny in relation to his controversial claims that the Army was on standby to prevent a run on the banks.
Sinn Fein's finance spokesman Pearse Doherty has requested that the Inquiry contact Mr Kenny and ask him to explain his claims.
Mr Doherty, who is a member of the Inquiry, will also raise the issue today on behalf of Sinn Fein during 'Leaders' Questions'.
Mr Kenny sparked uproar after telling an event in Madrid that he was warned by Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan that the Army may be have needed to be despatched in order to protect the ATM machines.
The Governor of the Central Bank in Ireland said to me: 'it looks like this weekend...you'll have to put army around the banks and around the ATM machines and introduce capital controls like they had in Cyprus'. So we've pulled back from that brink," Mr Kenny said.
The Fine Gael leader said the warning was made shortly after Fine Gael and Labour took over Government during the economic crisis.
Other ministers, including Michael Noonan, subsequently said a taskforce was discussed in 2012 amid security fears for the banks and the ATMS.
However sources close to the Central Bank said they were puzzled by Mr Kenny's claims.
Amid the confusion, Mr Kenny appeared to climbdown on the remarks and said he did not receive a specific briefing.
Senior Coalition sources are concerned the controversy, which has lasted several days, is damaging public perception of Mr Kenny.
Now, Sinn Fein has ramped up the pressure.
Speaking on the plinth, Mr Doherty said the Banking Inquiry needs to seek clarification from both the Taoiseach and the Central Bank Governor.
"This is a matter of importance. We need to know as we are spending millions of euro on the Banking Inquiry, as these issues were raised in the Banking Inquiry in relation to the contingency plans that were there...now we learn after spending all this money, writing our final report, that the Taoiseach is walking about, both this city and European cities saying we are within 48 hours of seeing the collapse of the euro and the Army being deployed on the street," he said.
"Now I think it's an affront to the banking Inquiry that the Taoiseach didn't impart that information to the inquiry itself. Or if it's one of his other tall tales then he needs to clarify that...".