ENDA KENNY and Micheál Martin traded angry exchanges in the Dáil today in a dispute about whether the Department of the Taoiseach kept records of the meetings and discussions leading up to the bank guarantee in 2008.
During Taoiseach’s Questions today, Martin asked Kenny to elaborate on remarks made in the Dáil last month when he suggested that the Department of the Taoiseach’s files on the guarantee had been “either shredded or has been disposed of or dispatched of”.
Today Kenny said his remarks were intended to illustrate the “remarkably small volume of documentation” which remains on file at the Department about the events on the night of the guarantee, and said he had not meant to suggest that the files had actually been shredded.
Micheál Martin – a member of the cabinet who made the decision to guarantee the assets and liabilities of six Irish banks in September 2008 – was not impressed with the response, describing it as “unacceptable”.
“Stop trying to walk away from your own words,” Martin advised, saying the Taoiseach was “throwing out conspiracies like a man standing at a bar at a pub”.
I don’t know why you deliberately articulated the view that documents were shredded. You decided to invent a wild allegation… I think you were making a cynical political attack. It’s unworthy of you and I’d ask you if you accept that that is the case.
Kenny was equally dismissive of his opponent, admitting: “I’m amused at you, honest to God,” before going to on to say he found it “quite incredible” that there was “not one solitary slip of evidence” about any discussions that officials held with banks before the guarantee was introduced.
“There is no file in the Department of the Taoiseach,” a defiant Taoiseach insisted. “There is no file on the discussions or the meetings that took place, and the rationale applied to that.
Up to and until the incorporeal meeting at that hour of the morning, all of the evidence prior to that, there is no file in the Department of the Taoiseach.
If there is, it’s certainly not in a place where we could find it. There is nowhere else.