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Burton claims Collins is "politically partisan" over Anglo tapes comments

Collins said that the Taoiseach’s priority is to “exploit these tapes for his narrow political advantage”.

Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton
Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

MINISTER JOAN BURTON has described comments by Fianna Fáil’s Niall Collins on the Taoiseach’s response to the Anglo tapes as “politically partisan”.

Yesterday, Collins, who is Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Justice, claimed that Taoiseach Enda Kenny is “failing to provide national leadership as he seeks to exploit the Anglo Tapes for his own political advantage and distract from the alarming news that the country has slipped back into recession”.

He said:

it appears that Mr Kenny’s priority is finding a way to exploit these tapes for his narrow political advantage. He is happy to allow the people who are actually on the tapes to escape without sanction if it will allow him create a series of political show trials.

Collins said that if Kenny has “evidence to back up his political charges”, he should present this evidence immediately.

When asked about these comments by Claire Byrne on Saturday with Claire Byrne on RTÉ Radio 1, the Minister for Social Protection said she thinks that Collins “is being unbelievably politically partisan in his comments”.

“What people in the country want I think is to hear the full story from everyone that is involved,” she said of the bank guarantee.

She added that “whether Fianna Fáil like it or not”, they were the government and they were the key decision makers at the time.

She said that Fianna Fáil “to go into denial that somehow or other they had nothing to do with this, they were in government but they weren’t connected to it, I would say that is a high, high level of denial”.

Burton added that “it goes back to more than just the night of the guarantee” and that “if the country is to have a catharsis, there is an important point in the story being told”.

With regards to the events being examined by a Dáil committee, Burton said she feels that it should be resourced with, for example, an experienced lawyer, with experience of civil proceedings and banks, and also by somebody like a forensic accountant with an understanding of banking.

She added that she thinks it is “important that the inquiry commands respect and that it does command respect, particularly among the people of Ireland”.

Read: Angela Merkel: I regard the Anglo Tapes with contempt>

Read: Pearse Doherty: Gardaí need to investigate the leak of the Anglo Tapes>

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