Thursday 14 December 2017

Siteserv deal may require 'full-blown inquiry'

Enda Kenny said that a range of options would be considered to investigate transactions by the former Anglo Irish Bank Photo: Tom Burke
Enda Kenny said that a range of options would be considered to investigate transactions by the former Anglo Irish Bank Photo: Tom Burke
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

A "full-blown public inquiry" into the transactions by the former Anglo Irish Bank may be required, acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said.

The Commission of Investigation set up to probe €38m worth of deals by IBRC has met a series of roadblocks that Mr Justice Brian Cregan believes will require legislation.

He is studying a series of deals to see if they were commercially sound, including the sale of contracting firm Siteserv to Denis O'Brien's Millington, with a write-down of €119m.


A second interim report issued last week indicated there were issues around confidentiality that are preventing the judge from making progress.

In the Dáil yesterday, Mr Kenny said there was "nothing sinister" about the fact the interim report was published last Friday evening, ahead of the bank holiday weekend.

"I know that this is always the story - that one is trying to not have it seen by people. Let me put it that way," he said.

And he went on to outline a number of challenges facing the commission.

"Some of them are legal and some of them are constitutional, but there are a number of options to be considered," Mr Kenny said, before adding a range of options are being looked at, including "the possibility of a full-blown public inquiry".

"When we consider that the Moriarty Tribunal ran for 13 years at a very costly sum to the taxpayer, these are options that need to be considered," he said.

Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy, who has actively campaigned for more transparency around the IBRC deals, told the Irish Independent last night that she does not believe a "full-scale tribunal of inquiry" is necessary.

"Justice Cregan is clearly saying there are specific amendments to existing legislation and some new legislation that he requires in order to proceed," she said.

"When I met the Taoiseach last November with his senior advisers in this field, they didn't see any issue with that legislation being provided and undertook to draft the necessary changes.

"I question why, rather than proceeding with these changes as a matter of urgency, the Taoiseach is now suggesting the nuclear option of a full-sale inquiry," she said.

"While that is most definitely not the route I think this should take, I will not be put off from seeking the answers by his intimation that pursuing the answers may lead to a full-scale tribunal of inquiry," she said.

Irish Independent

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