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Fine Gael hit out at 'rampant culture of corruption'

THE Government last night put the boot into Fianna Fail in the wake of the damning findings of the Mahon Tribunal.

Environment Minister Phil Hogan said the planning tribunal report drew a line in the sand on corruption as he pointed the finger at Fianna Fail.

"Long after the Haughey era, corruption was still rampant within Fianna Fail-lead governments," he said.

The Government has referred the report to the Garda Commissioner, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Revenue Commissioners and to the Standards in Public Office Commission.

Next week in the Dail, there will be three days' worth of debate on the tribunal.

The Taoiseach declined to respond to his predecessor, Brian Cowen, accusing him of being neither qualified nor able to make allegations of untruths being told at the tribunal.

"I've no comment to make about what the former Taoiseach said," he said.

Mr Kenny also declined to respond to suggestions Mr Ahern had tarnished the office of Taoiseach.

"I think that's a question that doesn't even need an answer -- it speaks for itself. The tribunal speaks for itself -- a litany of unacceptable statements from the former Taoiseach," he said.

He said he was surprised by what he read in the report but wouldn't go into whether people should go to jail on foot of the tribunal's findings.

"The DPP and the other agencies involved here have a completely independent hand to follow through in respect of findings of corrupt payments and other findings," he said.

Irish Independent