Wednesday 24 January 2018

Taoiseach: Dail inquiry will be powerful enough for bank probe

Fiach Kelly

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny is insisting Oireachtas inquiries will be powerful enough to carry out the banking inquiry – and says former politicians should answer questions.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin called for a tribunal of inquiry similar to the Leveson investigation into press standards in the UK.

Mr Martin said the Anglo tapes showed the banking culture lacked "any moral compass" and "cannot be held to account by a Dail committee". He also said political impartiality would be impossible in such an inquiry.

But Mr Kenny ruled this out and said thousands of Irish families are victims of an "axis of collusion" between Fianna Fail and Anglo.

The Taoiseach said an investigation carried out by TDs and senators would be sufficient and said he assumed “our predecessors here and (who) served in high office" would come before the inquiry. 

Mr Kenny also said he and Richard Bruton were given a presentation by Anglo executives on the bank guarantee in 2008 which was "a tissue and fabrication of untruths". 

And he added: "That culture of hail fellow, well met...keep her rolling...we know very little about that.”

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said the Anglo tapes showed David Drumm met with senior ministers and Mr Adams asked who the ministers were.

But Mr Kenny said: "I don't know what ministers from previous governments met with these serious, influential bankers,” he said.

"The issue of who met one is I think politicians and former politicians should have no difficulty addressing."

He also said the gardai had the Anglo tapes four the past four years after seizing them under warrant, and added that garda and corporate enforcement investigations should be allowed take their course. The Government did not have access to the tapes, he said.

Independent TD Mattie McGrath praised the Irish Independent for revealing the tapes, saying: "We must have individual culpability.”

He called for a commission of investigation to carry out the banking inquiry.

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

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