Saturday 3 December 2016

Taoiseach outlines strategy in ATM row

Published 04/11/2015 | 02:30

Mr Kenny said contingency plans, which also included the potential need to supply fuel, electricity and medicine, were drawn up after he took over as Taoiseach
Mr Kenny said contingency plans, which also included the potential need to supply fuel, electricity and medicine, were drawn up after he took over as Taoiseach

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said the full resources of the State, including the Army and the gardaí, would have been "mobilised" in the event of a collapse of the euro.

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Mr Kenny said contingency plans, which also included the potential need to supply fuel, electricity and medicine, were drawn up after he took over as Taoiseach.

The Fine Gael leader said the plans were "secret" at the time and involved officials from the Department of Finance, Department of An Taoiseach, the Central Bank and the National Treasury Management Agency.

Officials also considered the need to provide "exceptional powers" to local authorities in the event of an economic catastrophe.

"While it is not appropriate to give the details of the contingency plans, the issues considered would have clearly dealt with producing, supplying and circulating a new currency, supplying essential supplies of fuel, electricity and medicines and so on - the normal running of any country," Mr Kenny said.

"It was absolutely appropriate that those discussions around those contingency plans took place."

Mr Kenny gave the detail about the contingency plan during Leaders' Questions after coming under fire over his previous claims that he had been warned by Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan to have the Army on standby to prevent a run on the banks.

During his response to Sinn Féin's finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty, Mr Kenny admitted he did not discuss details of the plan with Mr Honohan.

"I am glad it did not happen and we are now in a very different spot from back in those days of early 2011 and 2012," he added.

However, Mr Doherty accused Mr Kenny of being misleading in his previous comments.

The Donegal TD has written to the Banking Inquiry, asking it to seek formal clarification from Mr Kenny on the issue.

"You've given the impression that somehow, within 48 hours, you thwarted disaster and you saved us all from the catastrophe," Mr Doherty said.

During heated exchanges, Mr Doherty drew a tetchy response from Mr Kenny after suggesting that he wanted a statue erected in his honour.

"Now, Taoiseach, before we start erecting statues in your glory, can you finally clarify matters?"

Mr Kenny replied: "There will be no statues to my glory or otherwise. If that's where your interest lies, then don't talk to me, please."

Irish Independent

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