Monday 18 November 2019

Family defend Lenihan after Drumm attack on Anglo Tapes

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

FORMER minister Mary O'Rourke has defended her late nephew Brian Lenihan over the Anglo Tapes and their political fallout, saying she wants to stand up for him because he is no longer here to stand up for himself.

The tapes reveal that former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm wanted to "punch" the former finance minister in frustration during the banking crisis.

Ms O'Rourke said the comments displayed an attitude that Mr Lenihan did not succumb to.

Mr Lenihan's brother, former junior minister Conor Lenihan, said: "Mr Drumm should not be doing interviews with the media, but rather with An Garda Siochana."

Ms O'Rourke directed most of her anger and criticism at Taoiseach Enda Kenny for his claims that an "axis of collusion" existed between Fianna Fail and Anglo at the time of the crisis.

"I am really angry and outraged by Enda Kenny speaking of an axis of collusion," the former Longford-Westmeath TD said.

"On behalf of my family, I want to rebut that.

"Everyone else can stand up for themselves; I'm standing up for someone who can't stand up for himself because he is no longer here.

"There was no nexus of collusion between Brian Lenihan and Anglo Irish Bank.

"That was an outrageous thing for Enda Kenny to say."

The tapes showed Mr Drumm and other executives were full of "hubris" and sounded like a "bad rugby team" which had a problem with the authorities, she said.

"Brian didn't succumb to that, he would have smelled it coming," she said.

Ms O'Rourke was highly critical of Mr Kenny, and called his comments "wrong, abject and foolish".

"The reporting has been very good, and well done to the Irish Independent," she said, "but all this political carry-on is damaging internationally.

"What is all this pussy-footing about an inquiry? It should be set up immediately."

She said there should be an investigation similar to the Leveson Inquiry into press standards in the UK, which was headed up by a judge, rather than an Oireachtas investigation.

Irish Independent

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