Friday 22 September 2017

Kenny comments make impartial inquiry impossible, claims Dooley

Political Correspondent

DANIEL McCONNELL

Fianna Fail transport spokesman Timmy Dooley has said Taoiseach Enda Kenny's comments about an "axis of collusion" between Fianna Fail and "Anglo bankers" has created an inability for a banking inquiry to act impartially.

Mr Dooley, in a previously unreported speech to the Dail on Wednesday, lambasted the Taoiseach for "apportioning blame in advance of the establishment of an inquiry".

Mr Dooley rejected Mr Kenny's comments, saying it was his view that collusion existed between the previous Rainbow coalition of Fine Gael, Labour and Democratic Left – of which nine members of the current administration were in Cabinet at the time – and the mobile phone company ESAT Digifone, the firm which won the second mobile phone licence in the 1990s, when Michael Lowry was Fine Gael Minister for Communications. Mr Dooley cited Mr Kenny and his Government's "failure to address" the findings of the Moriarty tribunal, which investigated the granting of that licence.

"He has consistently failed to address the issues relating to the decision to award the second mobile phone licence to Esat, when nine members of the current administration were in Cabinet at the time. None of them has cried foul with regard to the collusion that existed, in my view, between the then government and the company that won that licence," Mr Dooley said.

He added that one could say the current Government is "part of an axis of collusion with the banks to allow the banks to do what they want at the expense of homeowners".

Mr Dooley also drew attention to previous comments made by Mr Kenny in opposition, that under a Fine Gael administration, "bankers would be held to account".

"I do not see any sign of that, nor any effort by the Government to hold the banks to account for past or current omissions. He said at the time that Fine Gael was the only party that would hold people to account for failure, irresponsibility and criminality. I do not see any of that whatsoever, and neither do the people who are finding themselves in extremely distressed situations as a result of the continued procrastination of the banking institutions. The people have lost faith and hope," Mr Dooley said.

"He has sought to level political charges against my party and others. He has sought to apportion blame. He has done so in advance of the establishment of an inquiry. In my view, he has created an inability for such an inquiry to act impartially," he added.

"All the while, the Taoiseach and the Government failed to address the findings of the Moriarty tribunal. They are prepared to splash around and suggest that there is an axis of collusion between my party and others," he added.

The legislation to enable a banking inquiry is to be put through the Oireachtas before the summer recess, the Government has said.

Irish Independent

Also in this section