Wednesday 22 November 2017

Kenny sticks by claim 'guarantee papers shredded'

Enda Kenny
Enda Kenny

Daniel McConnell and John Downing

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has refused to withdraw an allegation that documents relating to the bank guarantee were "shredded" within his department under the last administration.

Fianna Fáil leader, Micheal Martin, told the Dail he had obtained information that a considerable amount of documentation about the guarantee existed and still does exist in Government Buildings.

Mr Martin told the Dail that he had obtained documents under the Freedom of Information Act from Mr Kenny's secretary general, Martin Fraser, who confirmed documents did exist.

The row comes as the 11 TDs and Senators involved in the banking collapse inquiry meet for only the second time at Leinster House this morning. Committee chairman Ciaran Lynch said the members will discuss the range and scope of the inquiry which some members feel a shortage of time will limit to the September 2008 decision to guarantee bank deposits up to €100,000.

The leader of the opposition called on Mr Kenny to withdraw the allegation he made back in 2011 in the Dail that key documents were missing, and could possibly have been shredded.

He said that it is now clear there was no evidence to make such an allegation and accused Mr Kenny of making lowly partisan slurs.

He said the Taoiseach had sought to prejudge the banking inquiry in comments he made.

Mr Kenny denied that he engaged in low partisan politics, insisting the Government had established a non-partisan, all party banking inquiry.

He said that many of the 119 documents identified in the Freedom of Information request are "inconsequential".

The Irish Independent has obtained a copy of the schedule of records, many of which have been withheld from release by the Government.

Included in the list of documents are briefing notes for then Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, the official decision taken by ministers during the Incorporeal Cabinet meeting on the night of September 29, as well as emails and letters to and from the Government.

Irish Independent

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