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Adams queries what Bruton knew and when about Sitserv sale

10 June, 2015 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has said the Government’s Draft terms of Reference for the Commission of Investigation into IBRC do not deal with the serious issues raised in the Dáil yesterday by Pearse Doherty TD.

Mr Adams called on the Government to amend the Investigation’s Terms of Reference to cover the period be from 12th January 2009 and 12th March 2015 inclusive, so that it can examine transactions, activities and decisions by the joint special liquidators of IBRC.

Speaking in the Dáil today, the Sinn Fein Leader also queried Minister Richard Bruton regarding what he knew and when about the controversial Siteserv deal.

Gerry Adams said:

“Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Ltd has a cut-off date of 7thFebruary 2013 - the date of the appointment of the special liquidator.

“Information which was passed by the Sinn Fein Spokesperson Pearse Doherty to the Taoiseach and part of which was read into the Dáil record yesterday, and which I have also seen, indicates transactions, activities and decisions beyond that date by the special liquidators.

“Indeed the Special Liquidators have disposed of €21.7bn of loans since that date. That dwarves the sales in the period open to the Commission to look at.

“We are talking about billions of the people’s money being transferred to private interests in a completely opaque way.  This is money that should have been spent on hospitals, schools, houses and combatting poverty.

“These include the sale of the Racing Post loans which has been criticised by a bidder as being less than transparent. It includes the sale of the mortgages of thousands of people to unregulated vultures which also falls into this timeframe.

“Contrary to Government claims, these and the period involved, are not included in the Terms of Reference and could be subjected to legal challenge or not investigated at all if the Terms of Reference are not amended.

“One of Sinn Féin’s amendments proposes that the relevant period be from 12th January 2009 and 12th March 2015 inclusive, in order to cover all of these transactions. That is to the date when the progress update report was published by IBRC.”

Mr Adams said the Government’s refusal to accept the Sinn Fein amendment was unacceptable.

He then referred to what he called “the mystery of the missing minutes and the failure of the Minister for Finance to explain when he was first alerted to the sale of Siteserv” and he queried Richard Bruton regarding what he knew and when about the controversial Siteserv deal:

“Did you Minister know of the sale of Siteserv before the Minister of Finance?

“Sinn Féin has uncovered via a Freedom of Information request that the issues of Millington’s purchase of Siteserv was reported to the Competition Authority on March 16th 2012 and reported to you in correspondence from the Competition Authority on March 20th 2012 and May 21st 2012.

“This issue was already a matter of public concern. On March 17th2012 Fiona Reddan, writing in the Irish Times, drew attention to Siteserv being sold to Denis O’Brien for €45 million in cash, with a loss to the taxpayer of €105 million and an award of almost €5 million to Siteserv executives and shareholders.

“Why on earth was the Government not alert to these issues especially when it was brought to the Government’s attention by its own officials?”

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