Sunday 21 January 2018

Kenny: Anglo probe will get extra resources

Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Fionnan Sheahan and Fiach Kelly

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny is expected to offer the state authorities investigating Anglo Irish Bank any extra resources they need to pursue prosecutions.

In the wake of the Anglo Tapes revelations, the Government is also set to park a referendum on giving the Oireachtas additional powers of inquiry – for now.

Instead, the Cabinet will approve the start of a banking inquiry under new legislation brought in by Public Spending Minister Brendan Howlin.

Mr Howlin's legislation passed through the Dail yesterday.

Attorney General Maire Whelan ran

through the five options for a banking inquiry available to the Government – without expressing a preference for any one choice.

"I'd still be open to re-running the referendum – just not this autumn," a cabinet source said.

"There's a fine balancing act between satisfying the public demand for accountability and not putting any trials at risk."

The Cabinet will discuss the matter again at its meeting next week.

"I don't think there will be any new referendum. The Taoiseach will see if there is additional resources needed for the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement or the Garda Fraud Squad or the Director of Public Prosecutions," another source said.

Mr Kenny spoke yesterday about investigations and trials taking place, "which I understand are scheduled for some time next year".

He also faced questions about compelling the release of Department of Finance files on Anglo.

"Nobody was aware of the extent of these files at all until the kind of behaviour that was going on became the subject of garda activity and warrants were served and these tapes were confiscated and sent to the DPP.

"Those books of evidence have been prepared, charges have been prepared against a number of individuals and those, I am sure very extensive, materials will become the subject of public discourse and public debate," he said.

In addition yesterday, Mr Howlin published new legislation aimed at protecting whistleblowers.

Irish Independent

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