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Immediate investigation of auditors required – Morgan

15 June, 2010

Speaking today after a meeting of the Joint Committee on Finance and the Public Service with the Governor of the Central Bank Patrick Honohan, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Finance Arthur Morgan said that the investigation into the State’s auditing and accounting firms needs to happen as a matter of urgency, not deferred until NAMA has concluded as Honohan has suggested.

Deputy Morgan said:

“In his report, Patrick Honohan noted that auditors and accountants should have been more alert to weaknesses in the banks’ lending and financial position and he called for further investigation. However, today he suggested that an examination of the role of auditors should be deferred until after the NAMA purchases have been completed.

“The audit and accounting process failed to disclose the shortcomings of the Irish banking system. Indeed, auditing firms that were subsumed in the financing debacle at Anglo Irish and culpable of financial misrepresentations are an integral part of the NAMA process now.

“Patrick Honohan was right that these firms needed to be investigated further, but I do not accept that this investigation can be deferred. The country cannot afford to defer this investigation; the people of this State who are taking on the debts of the banks and developers cannot afford for these auditing firms and practises to be left unchecked until NAMA has concluded.

“These auditing and accounting firms should be investigated as a matter of priority. Some of these auditing firms were either grossly incompetent or completely dishonest.”

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