Friday 20 April 2018

Kenny red-faced as officials admit bank guarantee file never existed

Taoiseach Enda Kenny rejected claims that the public's endorsement of the European fiscal treaty had failed to leverage an advantageous deal
Taoiseach Enda Kenny rejected claims that the public's endorsement of the European fiscal treaty had failed to leverage an advantageous deal
Fionnan Sheahan

Fionnan Sheahan

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny was left red-faced last night when his officials admitted there was never any file on the bank guarantee decision -- despite his claim it was "shredded or disposed of".

A piece of paper does exist documenting the decision by the Cabinet in the former Fianna Fail-Green Party coalition government on the night of the €440bn state bank guarantee. And that's it.

Aside from the Department of Finance documentation, there's no detail of the deliberations in the Taoiseach's department in September 2008, when a decision was taken to tie banks debts to the taxpayer.

However, it is not clear why the Taoiseach would seriously claim in the Dail that a non-existent file was destroyed, which would be a criminal offence.

The bank guarantee was controversially approved by the Cabinet over the phone in the middle of the night following meetings between then Taoiseach Brian Cowen and the late former Finance Minister Brian Lenihan and bank chiefs.

But Mr Kenny has been aware since coming into office there was no formal file in the Department of the Taoiseach on the decision.

Yet he bizarrely claimed the file -- that never existed -- was "shredded or disposed of".

"Nobody in the country knows what was said, and there is no file in the Department of the Taoiseach. It is either shredded or has been disposed of, dispatched of, in other words, the Government has no evidence of the discussion that took place," he said in the Dail on Tuesday in reply to Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News