Kenny says ex-Anglo chairman Dukes is 'no lapdog'
TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has said former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Alan Dukes was "nobody's lapdog" as the fallout from the Anglo Tapes continues.
It came as the Government pulls back from a referendum on giving the Oireachtas more powers of investigation for a banking inquiry. To run the referendum in the autumn, alongside the vote on the abolition of the Seanad, the Coalition would have to pass enabling legislation before the summer break.
But the Cabinet's failure to approve legislation yesterday means it is highly unlikely the referendum will proceed.
Instead, the inquiry will operate under new legislation being introduced by Public Spending Minister Brendan Howlin.
Mr Howlin is also setting aside €3m in extra funding for the Oireachtas to get the inquiry up and running. However, the Anglo Tapes continue to generate attacks on the Government.
Mr Kenny was questioned in the Dail by Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams on the public interest directors of Anglo and other banks, and claimed Mr Dukes was a "lapdog".
Mr Kenny said he had disagreed with Mr Dukes – a former Fine Gael leader – over Anglo, but added: "Alan Dukes is nobody's lapdog."
The Cabinet only briefly touched on the banking inquiry yesterday and is expected to have a more comprehensive discussion on the matter next week.
The Coalition is considering a banking inquiry that would question politicians and officials – but not bankers.