Sunday 25 February 2018

Willie Kealy: One provoked anger, the other disinterest - a tale of two tapes

The Anglo recordings are everywhere, yet the Lowry revelations were all but buried.

Willie Kealy

Willie Kealy

The past week has seen the righteous indignation of the public over the Anglo Tapes. The reason for this anger is that while we knew about these men and what they had done, they were largely cardboard cut-outs. Now, with their own words, they have painted a much more vivid picture of themselves, which gives us a sharply focused target for our anger. But stoking our anger doesn't necessarily add to our store of knowledge.

Contrast that with the Lowry Tapes which were published by this newspaper. There you had genuine new evidence, new revelations. There you had a FG minister who had been adjudged in a tribunal to be"profoundly corrupt" and to have handled the disbursement of an extremely valuable phone licence in a "disgraceful and insidious" manner. On the tapes he could be heard speaking for the first time in a way that put an end to the lie he had peddled for so long – that he had no case to answer. Nor was it a tape showing a regulator to be as hapless as we all suspected, or civil servants to be incompetent. No, this was a member of a Fine Gael-led Government, a minister, some of whose ministerial colleagues are still in office, revealing the questionable nature of his financial dealings.

When David Drumm said he was going to lose the plot with the Regulator, he must not have realised that he and his fellow Anglo bankers, Bowe and FitzGerald, were already far gone from any semblance of normal behaviour.

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