Monday 20 November 2017

Labour backs Kenny over Anglo emails

Enda Kenny with Mayo players Keith Higgins at the Connacht final in McHale Park, Castlebar
Enda Kenny with Mayo players Keith Higgins at the Connacht final in McHale Park, Castlebar

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

THE Labour Party is standing by Taoiseach Enda Kenny over his explanation of contacts with Anglo Irish Bank executives.

Mr Kenny admits he was in contact with a senior member of Anglo management, but only after he received a message asking him to call the banker.

But Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has called on Mr Kenny to make an "urgent response" about his contacts with Anglo.

The 'Sunday Independent' yesterday revealed internal correspondence from Anglo of claims by a senior figure in the bank that Mr Kenny briefed him less than three months before the bank was nationalised in January 2009.

The Fine Gael leader was head of the opposition at the time.

Matt Moran, who was chief financial officer with Anglo, claims in the emails to then Anglo chief executive David Drumm that Mr Kenny rang him twice on November 17 and November 18 to brief him on both Fine Gael and the then Fianna Fail-led government strategy.

Mr Kenny has denied he misled the Dail regarding his contact with Anglo executives.

The Taoiseach said he did not have any meetings with Mr Drumm until an official meeting in the Anglo headquarters.

DENIED

Mr Kenny referred to this meeting in the Dail last month.

He also denied meeting Mr Moran until he received a message to contact him by telephone. "You may ask Matt Moran about that if you wish," he told 'Nuacht RTE' in Castlebar following the Connaught football final yesterday.

Mr Kenny also invited anyone with tapes which contradicted his statement to come forward with those tapes.

Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald said it was "ridiculous" to suggest Mr Kenny was briefing Anglo.

"The idea that the leader of the opposition was in a position to brief Anglo about government policy is really stretching things," she said.

A Labour spokesman said there was no suggestion of wrongdoing on the part of the Taoiseach. "We are happy to take his word on that," he said.

But Mr Martin says Mr Kenny appears to have misled the Dail on the extent of his personal relationship with the bank.

The Fianna Fail leader said Mr Kenny had to come forward and explain the behaviour revealed in emails published by the 'Sunday Independent'.

He said: "In recent weeks, we watched as the Taoiseach reacted to the Anglo Tapes, undermined the independence of an Oireachtas inquiry and compromised his office in talking about an 'axis of collusion' without a scrap of evidence.

"The Taoiseach is left red faced as it emerges he was actually engaged in personal informal contact with Anglo senior management."

Irish Independent

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