Monday 11 December 2017

Patrick Honohan told to “make bloody sure" all Anglo Tapes listened to

Patrick Honohan

CENTRAL Bank Governor Patrick Honohan should "make bloody sure" all the Anglo Tapes are listened to, the Dail was told this morning.

Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin was asked by Sinn Fein's Mary Lou McDonald if the Government is happy with the Central Bank's decision not to refer the tapes to the gardai or the Director of Corporate Enforcement.

Ms McDonald said it was "simply incredible" that all the tapes hadn't been listened to by Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan or his staff, as Prof Honohan told the Oireachtas Finance Committee yesterday.

"It is not appropriate for the Governor to sit on his hands," she said, adding it was the "most basic requirement for someone who should be a regulator".

She added Mr Honohan should "make bloody sure" all the tapes are listened to.

Mr Howlin said he did not want to jeopardise any possible criminal proceedings, and said Irish people also wanted a "real accounting, not some denunciations from the benches here".

"We operate courts of law under the constitution, not courts martial," he also told the Sinn Fein deputy leader, to which she replied: "Don't be such an idiot."

However, Finance Minister Michael Noonan has backed the controversial decision of Mr Honohan not to listen to all of the tapes.

He said that Mr Honohan had given a full and frank explanation at the Oireachtas Finance committee, which was examining his decision not to refer the Anglo tapes to the gardai or the Director of Corporate Enforcement.

"The Central Bank is independent in the exercise of its function and I don't have a different view," he said.

Mr Noonan did not agree that Mr Honohan and his staff should have listened to all the tapes before deciding not to refer them to the Gardai. He said it was a delicate situation at the moment, given that criminal prosecutions were being taken against former Anglo Irish bank executives.

"And if there's anything of evidential quality in the Anglo tapes which can contribute to prosecuting individuals, then I wouldn't like to contaminate the evidence by making a value judgment comment on it," he said.

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

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