Politics

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Higgins says Kenny should explain role in managing bank crisis

John Downing Political Correspondent

Published 18/06/2014|02:30

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Joe Higgins
Joe Higgins

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny must explain his own economic management of the bailout and bank crisis, Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins has said.

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Mr Higgins, the newest member of the banking inquiry committee, will replace Independent TD Stephen Donnelly on the group which will meet in private session tomorrow.

The Socialist leader said the inquiry must hear from former Taoisigh Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen about the years of false economic boom and the arrival of the EU-ECB-IMF troika.

"I also believe that Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who continued the bailout, should be among those who would be called," Mr Higgins added.

Mr Higgins was the only member of the technical group to put himself forward as a candidate for the banking inquiry at the group's meeting.

Different views were expressed about the value of involving the technical group in the inquiry committee as the members believe the Government had undermined its credibility with the botched nomination process last week.

Mr Higgins said he understood the frustration which drove Mr Donnelly to withdraw last Sunday.

He had grave doubts about the way the entire inquiry was structured but also felt an obligation to question senior bankers and politicians on behalf of ordinary people about the events surrounding the 2008 bank collapse.

He also insisted that the role of the European Central Bank in pressurising the State to underwrite private losses in the banks must also be explored.

"All secret correspondence between the State and the European authorities, phone conversations and any other form of contact must be revealed," Mr Higgins said.

The Dublin West TD said that the inquiry cannot be confined to the banking guarantee on September 30, 2008.

It must look back at the building boom and forward beyond the bank guarantee to events under the current Government.

Irish Independent

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