Quinlivan calls on Tánaiste to publish report into ODCE Sean Fitzpatrick investigation failings
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Business, Enterprise and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan TD today called on the Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald to publish the report into the flawed investigation of former Anglo Irish Bank Chairman Seán Fitzpatrick by the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement.
Speaking after questioning the Tánaiste in the Dáil this morning, Deputy Quinlivan said:
“Back in May, the former Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell-O’Connor TD, requested a report into the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement’s flawed investigation into former Anglo Irish Bank Chairman Seán Fitzpatrick.
“This report was delivered to the Minister’s office at the beginning of July and was immediately referred to the Attorney General’s office for advice. This report has still not been made public.
“This morning, I asked the Tánaiste that from her reading of the report, were staffing and/or funding cited as reasons behind the shambolic investigation, which resulted in the jury being directed to acquit Mr Fitzpatrick on all 27 charges in what was the longest running trial in the state’s history.
“As is the norm with Fine Gael Ministers, the Tánaiste did not answer my question as to whether staffing and/or funding were reasons outlined in the report, which leads me to believe these were indeed factors. The Tánaiste gave no date when the report would be published.
“As no specific increase in funding for the ODCE was outlined in Fine Gael’s Budget 2018, I specifically asked if the ODCE would receive more funding in 2018, to prevent a repeat of the Seán Fitzpatrick investigation and trial fiasco. The Tánaiste responded by reading out the budget allocation for 2017 and not answering my question.
“Sinn Féin’s Alternative Budget provided for a 25% increase of €1.2 million in funding for this office in 2018 to prevent a repeat of such a failure and ensure white collar crime is investigated as thoroughly as all other crimes.
“It is unbelievable to think that in 2017; just 34 people are employed by the ODCE to investigate white collar crime in Ireland.
“The Tánaiste’s refusal to answer my questions today on this important topic, highlight Fine Gael’s continued soft handed approach to white collar crime and the lack of priority they place on it.”