Monday 22 January 2018

Gormley demands bank crime probe

Fionnan Sheahan

Environment Minister John Gormley last night said he wants to see criminal investigations into the banking crisis dealt with the same "sense of urgency" as gangland crime.

The Green Party leader expressed his "sense of frustration" at the lack of prosecutions against rogue bankers so far.

Mr Gormley's comments will place pressure on the State authorities to complete the criminal investigations into banking scandals.

But the junior coalition partners' views will also be seen as the Green Party again trying to distance itself from Fianna Fail.

There are currently three investigations ongoing into the banking scandals by the Director of Corporate Enforcement, the Garda Fraud Office and the Financial Regulator.

In a letter to Green Party members, Mr Gormley promised to set up a Cabinet sub-committee on white-collar crime.

"The lack of prosecutions against those individuals who caused the banking crisis is a source of anger and frustration amongst members of the public.

"I share this sense of frustration. It is simply not tenable in a republic that there can be such a marked difference of emphasis in dealing with white collar and other crime.

"Many of you have asked, for example, how is it possible for a man to be arrested for stealing €14 worth of nappies while others live the high life," he said.

Mr Gormley said he appreciated the distinction between Government and the investigating authorities.

"Nevertheless, I have witnessed prompt and zealous measures taken in relation to gangland crime by the authorities," he said.

"I'm simply saying that a comparable sense of urgency needs to apply to these cases involving banking," he added.

Irish Independent

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