Ireland’s reputation damaged by Anglo tapes - Tanaiste
Central Bank is studying transcripts of conversations between senior executives
Former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Seán Fitzpatrick. Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he accepted an Oireachtas inquiry would not have the power to make adverse findings against third parties, but could still establish exactly what had happened.
Mr Gilmore yesterday suggested that if the disclosures had been made at a critical stage of the Government’s negotiations with the ECB on the promissory note, the outcome may have been very seriously compromised.
“I think coverage of this kind does do damage to our international reputation, I am very glad that we didn’t have this coverage, for example, in the week or two leading into the conclusion of our negotiations with European authorities on the promissory note.”
The Central Bank yesterday confirmed it is carefully studying the transcripts of the recorded telephone conversations. In a statement it said: “This is something that is viewed very seriously. The Central Bank will be liaising with the gardaí in this regard and is also examining whether or not any breaches of regulatory requirements may have occurred arising from the information contained in the transcripts”.
The bank was not forthcoming on whether it was aware of the content of the recordings before they were disclosed.
Mr Gilmore said he was outraged by what he had heard: “What we have heard and read of those tapes demonstrates an incredible degree of arrogance and presumption within that bank, and really an attitude towards the public and the taxpayer that I find utterly shocking and absolutely unacceptable,” he said.
Speaking at a European Union presidency event in Dublin, Mr Gilmore said that nonetheless the effect of the recordings should not be exaggerated.
“The way I think the tapes show people in this country and internationally what we have had to deal with, and I think we have got a lot of credit as a country for dealing with the crisis and taking action to deal with it,” he said.
He defended the establishment of a parliamentary inquiry over other forms of inquiry, saying they had worked well before.
“What nobody wants is a prolonged tribunal of inquiry . . . nobody wants 14 years of looking into this,” he said.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny used similar sentiments in the Dáil where he accepted an Oireachtas inquiry would not have the power to make adverse findings against third parties, but could still establish exactly what had happened.
“Any Oireachtas inquiry must run parallel and must not interfere with or frustrate the criminal investigation, which is the most important,” Mr Flanagan said.