Monday 19 March 2018

Sinn Fein: ‘We have been sent more Anglo Tapes’

Sinn Fein's Pearse Doherty. Photo: Tom Burke
Sinn Fein's Pearse Doherty. Photo: Tom Burke

SINN Fein is claiming it has sent more Anglo Tapes to the gardai and the Central Bank.

The party’s finance spokesman Pearse Doherty told the Dail this morning the party had come into possession of the tapes but cannot publish them or reveal their contents at the moment.

However, he said they wanted to publish them “at a future date”.

Mr Doherty was speaking during a debate on the Finance Bill and said the tapes had been passed “anonymously” to Sinn Fein in recent weeks.

He said he had “hand delivered” the tapes to Garda headquarters in the Phoenix Park this morning, as well as to the Central Bank.

Mr Doherty said the tapes were largely new and covered the period of February to September 2008.

A first set of tapes was leaked to the Irish Independent earlier this year and exposed conversations between some of the most senior figures at the toxic lender during its dying days.

Some of those recordings, known as the Anglo Tapes, were also examined by gardai and the Central Bank.

Two trials are pending in relation to the collapse of the bank.

Mr Doherty said the party will release the tapes at a later date because it believes their contents to be in the public interest.

He urged the Government to move speedily in setting up a banking inquiry.

"There is a public demand for truth," he said.

"People want to know what was going within the banks and the contact between senior bankers and the Fianna Fail government in the run up to the guarantee.

"It has always been my view that the Fianna Fail government had more information in relation to the bank prior to the guarantee than they have previously disclosed."

It had been expected that a Government-backed banking inquiry would not take place until other investigations involving Anglo senior officials are complete.

Previously leaked tapes to Irish Independent included conversations among top bankers at the toxic lender as they prepared to secure an initial bailout.

The recordings indicated how senior figures planned to seek an initial seven billion euro bailout.

They suggested that the pot of money was enough to worry the regulator into acting but small enough to make sure it would not be allowed to collapse.

One recording outlined how bosses were ordered by former chief executive David Drumm, now based in the US, to go to the Central Bank with ''arms swinging'' to demand ''moolah''.

Another revealed that head of treasury John Bowe claimed that regulators were ''effectively egging us on - for Irish banks to help each other''.

By Fiach Kelly, Political Correspondent

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