Sunday 20 May 2018

Department defends its dealings with watchdog

A report ordered by the former enterprise minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor into the botched
investigation is being examined by the Attorney General. Photo: Mark Condren
A report ordered by the former enterprise minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor into the botched investigation is being examined by the Attorney General. Photo: Mark Condren
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

The Department of Enterprise has laid out a robust defence of its dealings with the State's corporate watchdog ahead of the publication of a damning report into the botched probe into former Anglo Irish boss Seán Fitzpatrick.

The department claimed that in meetings as far back as 2011, both the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) and gardaí gave assurances that they had enough resources to properly investigate allegations against Mr FitzPatrick.

"For their part, the ODCE were satisfied with the resources available to them and had received anything that they looked for. If they felt at any stage that anything further was required they would, of course, look for it," the department said in a statement.

But the department's stance was challenged by Social Democrats TD Róisín Shortall.

She claimed that it took three years for the department to approve the hiring of forensic accounts following a request from the ODCE.

A report ordered by the former enterprise minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor into the botched investigation is being examined by the Attorney General.

The Irish Independent revealed that the lead investigator, Kevin O'Connell, raised grave concerns in a series of emails about a lack of resources.

He has since been moved aside.

Irish Independent

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