Thursday 23 February 2017

'I didn't overrule Lenihan on bank guarantee'

Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen at the launch of John O’Leary’s memoir ‘On The Doorsteps’ in the Gleneagle Hotel, Killarney, Co Kerry, last night. Photo: Don MacMonagle
Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen at the launch of John O’Leary’s memoir ‘On The Doorsteps’ in the Gleneagle Hotel, Killarney, Co Kerry, last night. Photo: Don MacMonagle

Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen has said he did not overrule his Finance Minister Brian Lenihan's desire to nationalise Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society on the night of the bank guarantee.

Mr Cowen said when he appears at the Banking Inquiry in July, he would explain how the conversation developed.

He said: "When you're looking at options, there were pluses and minuses in everything we were trying to do.

"And then we had to decide what was the best way of trying to deal with the situation. We probably had a once-off shot at it. A statement had to be produced for the markets the following morning at 7am and we eventually made the decision we did."

He denied it was a question of anyone being overruled.

"Obviously, Brian (Lenihan) had some views. We discussed them. There were problems with nationalisation and there were problems with guarantee.

"There was no one who could say there was one correct thing to do. If that happened, everything would have been a lot different."

He was speaking at the Killarney launch of John O'Leary's book, 'On the Doorsteps - Memoirs of a long-serving TD'.

Irish Independent

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