IBRC – Adams asks Kenny to come clean on Blackstone meeting
Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has called on the Taoiseach come clean about meetings he held with the head of an American vulture capital group Blackstone, which was seeking to buy IBRC’s loan book at the same time that it advised the bank on the sale of assets.
Mr Adams also said the proposed Commission of Investigation into IBRC would not be necessary if the Taoiseach Mr Kenny or Minister for Finance Michael Noonan had properly answered questions in the Dáil.
Speaking directly to the Taoiseach in the Dáil today Gerry Adams said:
“It would not have been necessary to establish a Commission of Investigation into the IBRC if the Government had properly answered questions here in the Dáil.
“In 2012 Teachta Pearse Doherty and I submitted a range of Parliamentary Questions about IBRC. The responses were deliberately vague and obstructive. Some of these questions related to IBRC hiring Blackstone to advise IBRC on the sale of assets.
“As you well know, Blackstone is an American vulture capital group which was seeking to buy IBRC’s loan book. So, anybody could see the clear conflict of interest at the heart of this arrangement. But the Minister’s responses indicated that he had no difficulty with any of this. He also refused to answer question about fees paid to advisers.
“Then, in November 2011 you met the head of Blackstone Steven Shwarzman and his associate Gerry Murphy. And during this period the Government-appointed Chair of NAMA’s advisory Board sought to appoint Gerry Murphy to the Board. Again the conflicts of interest are startling.”
The Sinn Fein Leader said the appointment of Mr Murphy was abandoned after Sinn Fein Parliamentary Questions drew attention to the matter. He asked the Taoiseach to tell the Dáil what he discussed with the Head of Blackstone, Mr Shwarzman or with Mr Murphy:
“Did you raise concerns about the very obvious conflicts of interest in Blackstone taking on an advisory role with IBRC when it was already bidding for IBRC loans?
“In your response to a Leaders’ Question from me in 2012 about the relationship between the Department of Finance and IBRC you refused to answer my questions but you did say: ‘The highest ethical standards are being employed’. Do you still stand over this assertion?”
The Sinn Fein Leader said that in 2012 Finance Minister Noonan had failed to say when IBRC intended to commission Blackstone as an adviser on its loan sales. He asked the Taoiseach if he would now tell the Dáil.