Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Government must take action on public interest directors

9 July, 2013 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD today challenged the Taoiseach on the role of public interest directors who were appointed to the banks by the last Fianna Fáil government.

Last week it emerged that former Fine Gael leader Alan Dukes, who was a public interest director and former Chair of Anglo Irish Bank, was aware of the existence of and the content of the Anglo tapes. But the government has denied knowing anything.

The Sinn Féin leader asked the Taoiseach who Alan Dukes reported to in government and did he tell them of the tapes?

Speaking after Leaders Questions in the Dáil today Gerry Adams said:

“The government has serious questions to answer in respect of the role, remit and purpose of the public interest directors who were appointed after the bailout of the banks.

“In some cases these directors were senior members of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Labour Party. Some are former Ministers.

“They were paid exceptionally well. Alan Dukes got €102,000 in 2009, Ray Mc Sharry got €69,000 in 2009 and Dick Spring €59,000 in 2011 for 60 days work.

“On top of their salaries as public interest directors, they also had their ministerial pensions and their TD’s pensions.

“What is their function as public interest directors? We now know that former Fine Gael leader Alan Dukes has admitted that he was aware of the existence of and the content of the Anglo tapes.

“Yet the Taoiseach told me in the Dáil that he didn’t know about the tapes. The Minister for Finance said he didn’t know.

“The public, whose interests these directors were allegedly representing, have a right to know what Alan Dukes did with the information he had about the Anglo tapes.

“Who did he tell in government? Did he report this to the Department of Finance or the Central Bank? What did Mr Dukes do about the existence and content of tapes which have angered and scandalised all ordinary decent citizens?”

Describing the situation as a farce Gerry Adams said: “These public interest directors were presented as watchdogs for the public but they’re really lapdogs for the banks.

“It is clear the current system of public interest directors is not working.

“The government has to address this issue and spell out quickly what it is going to do to ensure that the banks, which are sustained by the citizens’ money, are accountable and operating in the public interest?”


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