Martin claims Government twisting Siteserv inquiry to suit itself

Fianna Fáil leader expresses grave concerns about circumstances of sale

Fianna Fail’s 76th Ard Fheis is taking place in Dublin. Over 3,000 delegates are attending the event being held in the RDS. The theme for this year’s annual gathering of the party faithful is “An Ireland For All”. Video: Bryan O'Brien

 

The Government is lining up the inquiry into the Siteserv deal to ensure it has an outcome it wants, the Fianna Fáil leader has claimed.

Micheál Martin said there were grave concerns about the sale of the company that needed to be examined by a Commission of Investigation.

“I would have the same concerns that the civil servants the Department of Finance had. I think they merit a balanced, objective investigation,” he said.

Speaking at his party’s ardfheis, Mr Martin said he has “never come across anything” like a company involved in a deal now investigating that transaction.

The party leader said a Commission of Investigation was now the only way to get to the bottom of what happened.

Earlier, former IBRC chairman Alan Dukes claimed former Secretary General at the Department of Finance John Moran suggested fewer meetings of the board were needed and the pair could “ready up” decisions between them.

Mr Martin said these were “very serious allegations” that further proved the need for an independent inquiry.

“What that really cements is the absolute need for a Commission of Investigation,” he said.

“That is the stuff you won’t get from the liquidators. I think it is almost teed up to get the outcome the Government want but the only way to satisfy public interest and balance would be a Commission of Investigation.”

Minister of State at the Department of Finance Simon Harris later rejected Mr Martin’s claims.

“If Micheál Martin is trying to impugn the reputation of the special liquidator, that is an allegation beyond contempt.

“It clearly shows his own political desperation. We have put a process in place whereby the liquidator - the person who has access to every paper within IRBC - can carry out a detailed examination and report back to the Minister and that report can then be made available to any and every Oireachtas committee that requires it.”