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Siteserv scandal warrants Commission of Investigation – McDonald

23 April, 2015 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald has questioned Tánaiste Joan Burton on the Siteserv scandal and has asked for a Commission of Investigation to get to the bottom of the debacle.

 Speaking in the Dáil today, Deputy McDonald said:

 “We know that Siteserv was sold off for €45 million, at a cost to the taxpayer of €105 million. We know that the same legal advisers acted for both the purchaser and the seller. We know that the shareholders got a sweetener of €5 million to ensure that this deal went ahead.

“We know that the Denis O’Brien company was not the highest bidder and yet they emerged as the successful bidder. We also know that the Minister for Finance was briefed on serious concerns by the Department about this transaction, and briefed on other concerns on other transactions and the modus operandi of the IRBC.

 “Siteserv is not the only deal which saw a debt write-down by IBRC.More than €64 million was written off in Blue Ocean Associates before being purchased by a consortium also involving Denis O’Brien. There was also an almost 50% write down of €300 million in debts in the purchase of Topaz. Mr O’ Brien is also involved in this.

“All of these matters raise concerns of the most basic nature for the state, for the operation and governance of the IBRC. It is causing considerable public disquiet. People want to know what was going on in relation to Siteserv specifically, but more broadly in terms of the operation of the IBRC. People want to know why civil servants were ignored.

“People want to hear you, Tánaiste, commit to a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the Siteserv transaction and to delve much more deeply into the operation of IBRC and the very tight relationships it seems, between the number of characters it seems, who emerge repeatedly in this narrative.

 “Speaking here in 2012 you said: ‘It outrages ordinary citizens to see successive scandals being uncovered at enormous taxpayer expense and the same characters and plot lines popping up repeatedly.’ This is what we are seeing here. The same stories, the same character, and it seems, the same utter disregard for the taxpayer.

“I want a commitment to a Commission of Inquiry. These matters have to be investigated thoroughly.” 

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