Burton calls on FF leader to explain what happened in run-up to bank guarantee

Minister for Social Protection ‘shocked and appalled’ at revelations from Anglo tapes

Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton said she was ‘shocked and appalled at the revelations. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton said she was ‘shocked and appalled at the revelations. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin should come forward to say what happened and what they knew in relation to the bank guarantee in September 2008, Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton has said.

She was speaking following further revelations from tapes of telephone calls between former Anglo Irish Bank executives.

Tapes published today reveal the bank’s then chief executive David Drumm joking hours before the bank guarantee with another executive about the flight of deposits from the bank at the rate of €1 billion per day.

Mr Drumm is heard laughing and saying: “Another day, another billion”.

Speaking to RTÉ radio, Ms Burton said she was “shocked and appalled” at the tone of the conversations published in recent days by the Irish Independent.

She said it was a “re-living” of the debate on what the then government did in relation to Anglo “because Anglo and Irish Nationwide cost €30 billion to bailout and that’s really what the country is still paying for”.

Ms Burton said she had been struck that we had never heard from some of those currently on Fianna Fail’s front bench who had been members of that government.

There was nothing to stop them coming out and explaining “exactly what happened”, she said.

“I think it’s really reignited people’s absolute sense of frustration and anger that we still don’t know exactly what led Fianna Fáil to the fateful decision that they made.”

In relation to the incorporeal Cabinet meeting which had taken place on the eve of the bank guarantee, Ms Burton said the current leader had “received that telephone call”.

She asked that he find a mechanism to come forward and say what happened and what he knew.

A number of those in the Fianna Fáil leadership could help the country hugely by “just coming out and saying what actually happened – what was their role?”

On a banking inquiry, the Minister said there was a lot of work being done in relation to legislation to provide for a properly structured banking inquiry which would get to what people wanted to know. “They want to know what actually happened.”

But she said Fianna Fáil did not need an inquiry to come out and say what had happened.

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