Taoiseach rejects FF's claims of conspiracy
TAOISEACH ENDA Kenny has rejected Fianna Fáil claims he was “throwing up conspiracies” with remarks he made about the previous government’s handling in 2008 of the blanket bank guarantee.
Mr Kenny said in the Dáil last month that the file on the handling of the decision-making process on the guarantee was either “shredded or it has been disposed of or dispatched”.
The Taoiseach subsequently clarified the issue and did not intend “to suggest I have evidence that documentation relating to the bank guarantee was destroyed or otherwise removed”.
Raising the issue yesterday Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin told the Taoiseach that “the only possible construction from what you said is that you believe records might have been shredded”.
He added that “throwing up conspiracies like a man standing at the bar in a pub is quite unacceptable and beneath your office” and he said Mr Kenny should “cut out the innuendo and attempt to smear people”. He should have the decency to withdraw the statement unequivocally and apologise to his predecessor.
He also accused the Taoiseach of making a “cynical political attack”.
“I think you are also oversimplifying a very serious decision, a decision relating to the bank guarantee that you and your party voted for.”
Mr Kenny said he had paid tribute to his predecessor. He said that as Taoiseach there would be notes for posterity of any meetings he had as Taoiseach. He found it “utterly incredible” that Mr Martin would make such a political charge against him in the Dáil.
“Your name is on the incorporeal list of ministers,” he said. Mr Martin could help by telling them where he was or if he asked any questions the night he was contacted for the incorporeal meeting on the night of the bank guarantee.
Mr Kenny insisted his remarks were intended to “highlight the remarkably small volume of documentation held in the Department of the Taoiseach from the night of the bank guarantee”.
People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael voted for the bank guarantee, a “disastrous decision”.
The Dún Laoghaire TD said it “stinks to high heaven” that there were no records of any meetings or deliberations, but he asked Mr Kenny: “If you’re so concerned about it, what investigations have you conducted to ascertain if records were taken?”
Mr Kenny said he did inquire. He asked the secretary general of the department if there was a file of what was said in Government meetings with banks and the rationale behind the decision. “I read the few pieces of paper that are available. There was nothing there of any consequence at all.”
If as Taoiseach he met the “Bunclody Community Council, there’s somebody taking notes and it’s there for everybody to see in future years”.