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'Another day, another billion' Drumm laughs as Kenny vows inquiry

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Latest tapes reveal more of David Drumm's comments

Latest tapes reveal more of David Drumm's comments

Latest tapes reveal more of David Drumm's comments

A REFERENDUM may be held to give politicians more power to investigate the country's economic collapse.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has promised an official probe in early autumn into activities at Anglo Irish Bank – but ministers are also looking at the idea of another referendum on Oireachtas inquiries.

As the Anglo tapes debacle continued today, it was revealed that there are several more hours of audio that includes contributions from civil servants and politicians.

In one, former Anglo boss David Drumm is reported to laugh: "Another day, another billion."

LAWYERS

In the Dail today Mr Kenny said that he hasn't "given any definite answer on the question of a banking referendum".

"The Government was of the view that we should put a referendum to the people, and that was rejected by the people. You can't argue with the people," he said.

He noted that there is legislation going through the Oireachtas at the moment in relation to a parliamentary inquiry into what happened at the banks.

"I think it is appropriate that this parliament have a proper parliamentary investigatory committee here to find out what went wrong, and who is responsible.

"I don't want to see a 10-year investigation that makes millionaires of lawyers," he added.

"We need to be able to find out all that happened in the run-in to the guarantee being given, I don't have the answer to that, but I believe the parliamentary inquiry can find out the background, the connections, the decisions that were made and why, without imputing guilt.

"I think that is in the public interest. That is better than a drawn-out process creating millionaire lawyers and no one being held to account."

But Mr Kenny ruled out a tribunal of inquiry into the controversial bank guarantee and told the Dail that an Oireachtas probe will be sufficient into getting to the bottom of the Anglo debacle.

The Taoiseach's comments came after further taped conversations showed former Anglo boss David Drumm laughing about "abusing" the 2008 bank guarantee that crippled the Irish taxpayer, and his ex-colleague, Head of Capital Markets John Bowe singing the line, 'Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles', from the old German national anthem.

In the internal phone call between the two men, recorded on October 2, Mr Drumm is heard mocking a senior regulatory official who had contacted each of them.

"I should be recording these calls for the f***ing craic – or at least making notes," he says.

He then mimics the official's voice, saying: "'It's f ***in' awful what's going on out there. I mean the f***in' Germans are on to us now, David, you know'."

The taped conversation also reveals Bowe and the then director of marketing, Peter Fitzgerald, laughing about the prospect of the bank being nationalised.

Bowe had been involved in negotiations with the Central Bank. Fitzgerald had not been involved in the negotiations and has confirmed that he was unaware of any strategy or intention to mislead the authorities. Bowe denies that he misled the Central Bank.

The Anglo tapes have sparked an unprecedented level of public anger amid fears that our recovery will be damaged.

COLLUSION

Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin said the callousness shown by the former executives was "mind-blowing".

The Anglo debacle sparked furious exchanges in the Dail as Fine Gael accused Fianna Fail of being part of an "axis of collusion" with former Anglo executives.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said that an inquiry needs to establish which politicians met bankers in the run-up to the bank guarantee.

According to the Taoiseach, this can still be established through a Oireachtas-led probe.

However Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin said this would only be achieved through a tribunal of inquiry.

Terry Prone: See Page 16


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