McDonald queries Dukes' knowledge of Anglo tapes

SF deputy leader asks why bank chairman chose to ‘sing dumb’

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald:  asked if the Nyberg banking commission, which investigated the bank collapse, was supplied with the tapes of senior executives. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald: asked if the Nyberg banking commission, which investigated the bank collapse, was supplied with the tapes of senior executives. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald has questioned why Anglo Irish Bank chairman Alan Dukes, a former Fine Gael leader, did not tell the Central Bank about the existence of taped conversations between senior executives.

Ms McDonald said a public inquiry was not required for the Government to put some “very straightforward questions” to Mr Dukes.

The Dublin Central TD asked why did Mr Dukes, appointed to represent the interests of the public, “sing dumb” about the tapes of the “moolah men”.

She also asked if the Nyberg banking commission, which investigated the bank collapse, was supplied with the tapes of senior executives. She said: “That’s a simple Yes or No, either they did or they didn’t. We don’t need a banking inquiry to establish that.”

Ms McDonald asked why there was no report to the Central Bank, the appropriate regulatory authority.

She said to Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore: “I want to know and I want you to find out what the public interest director was doing? Why did Alan Dukes sing dumb?

“I don’t think that matter can wait. I think that matter needs to be established now and without infringing on the prerogatives of any other body, I think it entirely appropriate that the Government of the day would put that question to Mr Alan Dukes and get a straight response.”

Pointing the revelation that the conversations of 18 senior executives were taped, the Sinn Féin TD said “it seems inconceivable that senior managers didn’t know about these tapes since the gardaí sought these tapes through court orders”.

She said Fianna Fáil could also easily ask one of its former senators, Aidan Eames, also a director of the bank, what he knew.

But Mr Gilmore insisted directors and senior managers of the former Anglo Irish Bank should be questioned in a parliamentary inquiry.

“The question about who knew what and what did they do about it, whether they are directors of the bank or whether they were senior managers - I think those are fair questions,” he said.

“I believe that those questions need to be asked and put to the people concerned in a public forum.”

The issues were not just for the “hothouse” of the Dáil and the public deserved to hear the answers in a public forum.

He said millions of electronic documents and tens of thousands of hard copy documents had been seized. There were a number of civil and criminal cases underway and a special liquidator was investigating how the tapes came to be leaked.

“We have to be careful to avoid prejudicing any proceedings,” he said. A parliamentary inquiry “is the place where the questions have to be asked”.