Thursday 22 February 2018

Noonan says IBRC did not send him important Siteserv minutes

Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has claimed he was not sent the minutes of a meeting at which the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) signed off on the controversial Siteserv deal.

He said the sale was agreed under a previous regime which did not place an obligation on IBRC to inform the Government of the sale.

"I have been informed that my officials were not made aware of the details of the transaction during their monthly meetings with IBRC management in advance of the decision of the Board to approve the sale," Mr Noonan said.

The Fine Gael politician said the rules, which were put in place under Fianna Fáil, have since been changed.

He made the remarks during a debate on a Fianna Fáil motion which sought to cease the review into IBRC transactions, including the Siteserv deal, which is being carried out by KPMG.

Independent TD Catherine Murphy insisted the review should be independent because KPMG was the special liquidator of IBRC.

The motion by Fianna Fáil called for an independent inquiry to be held but it was defeated last night by the Government.

The party's public expenditure spokesperson Sean Fleming earlier accused Mr Noonan of being "asleep at the wheel" in relation to the Siteserv deal.

"(He) wants a shortcut to kill this story off, but I don't think that will work.

"And I think people would prefer to see the full truth emerging through an independent process," Mr Fleming said before the debate.

"We firmly believe that Michael Noonan's decision to direct the same firm involved in the Siteserv deal to now review that very deal, along with other major transactions at IBRC, poses a glaring conflict of interest," he added.

But Government TDs rounded on Fianna Fáil, insisting the appointment of High Court judge Iarfhlaith O'Neill to oversee potential conflict of interests will ensure the review is robust.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Promoted Links

Also in Business