Catherine Murphy makes Denis O’Brien claims in Dáil
O’Brien says information was false and claims were an abuse of Dáil privilege
Lawyers acting on behalf of Denis O’Brien claimed details spoken about in the Dáil were covered by an existing temporary injunction that Mr O’Brien succeeded in getting after High Court proceedings. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill
Ms Murphy gave what she said were details of banking arrangements he sought to retain when the special liquidator was appointed to wind up IBRC.
The move was met by an immediate denial from O’Brien, who claimed the information was false and that it was an abuse of Dáil privilege.
Lawyers acting on his behalf also claimed the details were covered by an existing temporary injunction that Mr O’Brien succeeded in getting after High Court proceedings last week.
Ms Murphy has previously claimed Mr O’Brien had written to IBRC’s special liquidator Kieran Wallace seeking the same terms IBRC had allowed him, which was to “pay off his own loans in his own time at low interest rates”.
The sale of Siteserv to Mr O’Brien has become embroiled in controversy and is the subject of a formal review by the IBRC’s liquidator. The terms under which the company, which carries out a wide variety of services, including water meter installation, was sold are part of that review.
Separately, Mike Aynsley, the former chief executive of IBRC, released a lengthy statement, taking issue with other comments by Ms Murphy, who was moving a Private Members’ Bill through the Dáil.
The Bill’s aim is to permit the Comptroller & Auditor General to investigate the Siteserv sale and other IBRC transactions.
He said that under controls introduced in the bank, it was not possible for either the chief executive or any other member of management to make a commitment to any client “such as that alleged by Ms Murphy” without the “prior approval of the credit committee”.
Mr Aynsley said he could not discuss specific situations. However, he said that in all cases the bank’s aim was to recover as much of the loan as possible.
“Performing clients were expected to repay 100 per cent,” he said. He said that for larger clients “it was often necessary to schedule repayments over a longer period”.
Last night Ms Murphy stood by her comments in the Dáil. “I am a public representative. Information came to me, from a number of reliable sources, that is, without doubt, in the public interest,” she said.
“I have a duty to put that information into the public domain and I fully intend to fulfil my democratic mandate.
“I will not be intimidated or distracted by libellous statements accusing me of wrongdoing,” she said.
Ms Murphy’s comments in the Dáil were published on the Oireachtas website.