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Noonan must make statement on Anglo Tapes – Adams

14 July, 2013 - by Gerry Adams TD


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has called on the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan to make a statement to the Dail on the Anglo tapes.

Mr Adams said that Sinn Féin had received confirmation that the Department of Finance was aware of the tapes all along in an answer to parliamentary question from Pearse Doherty TD.

He said;

“The department’s responses raise further important issues and the Minister for Finance should make a statement to the Dáil before the recess on who knew what and when within his department and when was he informed and whether the previous Minister for Finance was told of the tapes.”

Gerry Adams said:

“We know, from what Alan Dukes has said, that that the Department of Finance was aware of the existence of these tapes. Yet the Minister for Finance denied any knowledge of them.

“Then, Michael Noonan, in answer to a Parliamentary Question by Sinn Féin – despite knowing clearly what he was being asked – only said the department was ‘unaware of the content’ of the tapes.

“He had to be pressed further to clarify that the department did indeed know of the existence of these tapes all along.

“And yet, if we are to believe the minister, nobody in his department told him and no one in the department took the time to listen to what was on the tapes.

“If true, this is incredible and a serious failing by the department.

“We now have to ask who did the Department of Finance inform about the existence of the tapes?

“The minister denies that he was told which begs the question – why wasn’t he told?

“Who in the Department of Finance withheld this information? Was the Fianna Fail Finance Minister told in 2010? Did he inform his cabinet colleagues? Which Fianna Fail ministers knew of these tapes?

“Minister Noonan also continues to deny that the Central Bank was aware of the existence of the tapes. Alan Dukes said they should have known.

“If Alan Dukes is misleading the people that is serious. But if the Central Bank is misleading the people that has enormous implications.

“This is meant to be the new Central Bank that was to sweep out all the bad practice of previous years.

“Yet it is only investigating potential regulatory breaches at Anglo now as a result of the tapes being leaked. It should have been doing this years ago.

“Citizens have been drip-fed the content of the Anglo tapes. And this only after they were leaked to a newspaper.

“Since then citizens, including Sinn Fein’s Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD, have been drip-fed what the Department of Finance and Minister Noonan knew about them.

“This is unacceptable.

“I believe this government and this minister have questions to answer about what they and he knew and when they knew it. And the public deserves to get the answers.

“I believe that the department’s responses to Sinn Féin’s questions raise further important issues and that the Minister for Finance should make a statement to the Dáil before the recess on who knew what and when within his department and when was he informed and whether the previous Minister for Finance was told of the tapes.

“The government also has serious questions to answer about the role, remit and purpose of the so-called ‘public interest directors’ appointed after the bailout of the banks.

“In several cases these directors were senior members of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Labour Party. Two of them are former Fine Gael and Labour Party leaders.

“These people were extremely well paid out of the public purse. On top of their salaries as public interest directors, they also had ministerial and TD pensions.

“But what is now abundantly clear is that the current system of public interest directors is not fit for purpose.

“The government must address this issue and spell out quickly what it is going to do to ensure that the banks – which only exist because of the injection of huge amounts of taxpayers’ money – are accountable and operating in the public interest.

“It is time to stop the delays and get on with a banking inquiry. No more excuses, no more distractions, no more prevaricating.”

ENDS

Editors' note:

See the two referenced parliamentary questions attached

To ask the Minister for Finance if the former public interest director (details supplied) at Anglo Irish Bank informed the Government of the existence of recorded phone conversations at the bank..
- Pearse Doherty.
* For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 10th July, 2013.
Ref No: 33674/13

REPLY

Minister for Finance ( Mr Noonan) : The person named was a director but not a public interest director at Anglo Irish Bank.

There were two public interest directors appointed to the board of Anglo Irish Bank in December 2008. However after nationalisation there were no further specific public interest directors on the board of IBRC. Mr Alan Dukes had been appointed as a public interest director in Dec 2008 and was made Chairman of Anglo Irish Bank in June 2010. Mr Frank Daly was also appointed as a public interest director in Dec 2008 and left the board in Dec 2009.

The Department of Finance was aware of the existence of tape recordings of phone conversations in the bank and that there were a number of investigations progressing into Anglo Irish Bank and that the Board and senior management of Anglo/IBRC were fully co-operating with them. It is not the role of the Department to interfere with investigations that are being conducted by the authorities.

I am not aware of the content of the recorded phone conversations held by the bank being raised with my Department by any member of the board of IBRC.

225. To ask the Minister for Finance if the former Government appointee to Anglo Irish bank (details supplied) was aware of the existence of recorded phone conversations at Anglo Irish Bank which appeared to reveal a concerted attempt to defraud the Irish State by bank employees; and if so, if he alerted the previous or the present Government to the existence or content of thesetapes. [31770/13]

* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 2nd July, 2013.
Neither the Department of Finance nor the Government were aware of the content of the recorded phone conversations at Anglo Irish Bank referred to in the question. The contents of the tapes were not raised with my Department by the Board of IBRC, I am not aware if Mr Dukes knew of their existence.

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