Honohan says he will meet gardai to explain decision on Anglo Tapes
Statement released by Central Bank last night
Governor Patrick Honohan, attending the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, at Leinster House, Dublin. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill
Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan last night said he would meet representatives of the Garda in order to explain why he decided no new criminal complaint arose out of the Anglo Tapes.
The tapes relate to private conversations between senior executives at the now-liquidated Anglo Irish Bank in the run-up to and aftermath of the blanket bank guarantee in October 2008.
Mr Honohan has come in for criticism after informing an Oireachtas finance committee there was “no smoking gun” in relation to the content of the tapes and that the leaked recordings did not contain enough evidence for prosecutions.
“We have an obligation to inform the relevant authorities of a suspected criminal offence and apparently, because there is nothing more really than the telephone conversations, it’s not a sufficient evidential basis on which to ground a suspicion of a criminal offence,” he told the committee.
Last night however, the Central Bank released a statement in which it said Mr Honohan has made contact with the committee’s chairman, Ciarán Lynch, to inform him of an “updated position”.
‘No new issues’
“During my appearance before the committee on September 25th, I said the [Central] Bank would examine further the issue of releasing to An Garda Síochána information relating to the [Central] Bank’s examination of the Anglo Tapes transcripts,” he said, adding: “I wish to inform you that I intend to share with An Garda Síochána, on a without-prejudice basis, the Central Bank’s analysis of the issues arising in the tapes which led the Central Bank to conclude that no new issues have been identified that relate to suspected criminal offences having occurred.”
The move comes after Mr Honohan came in for criticism in the Dáil during some sharp exchanges between Government politicians and opposition figures yesterday. Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald claimed the governor chose to “sit on his hands”, and said that the system chose to “look away” from those who should be held to account.