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Anglo Tapes: 'If Central Bank did have access to contents, what the hell was it doing?' – McDonald

An Oireachtas banking inquiry is needed to identify individual wrongdoing and system failures – as well as to establish the behaviour of the Central Bank before and after the economic collapse, TDs have said today.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire

AN OIREACHTAS BANKING should be held in order to identify individual wrongdoing and system failures within banking institutions – as well as to establish the behaviour of the Central Bank before and after the economic collapse – TDs have said today.

This morning, the Irish Independent released more details of taped conversations between senior bankers at Anglo Irish Bank, during which former CEO David Drumm can be heard describing the Central Bank and the Financial Regulator as “a fucking shower of clowns”.

However, in a statement to RTÉ News late last night, Drumm said he refused to be made a “scapegoat” for the banking crisis any longer, and criticised the “drip, drip, drip” release of details from the Anglo Tapes.

Drumm insisted that the Central Banks and Financial Regulator had access to the tapes, even though both deny this, and repeated his call for all recordings made at Irish banks to be made public.

Speaking RTÉ’s Week in Politics programme, Sinn Féin’s Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald noted that both David Drumm and Alan Dukes (former public interest director at Anglo Irish Bank) had strongly contested that the Central Bank had access to the tapes. She said serious questions must be asked about the Central Bank’s behaviour both before and after the banking collapse, adding that that if the Central Bank had indeed had access to the recordings it was “very alarming” that it had not examined their contents.

“If  the Central Bank [had access to the recordings but] didn’t know the content of the tapes, what the hell were they doing?” she asked. “They should have examined the tapes to see evidence of regulatory failure.”

Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen said the public were “rightly frustrated” over the time it has taken to organise a inquiry into the banking collapse. However, he said his party believed mistakes were being made in relation to the format of the propose inquiry, as it will not be able to charge anyone outside the Oireachtas.

Minister of State from Primary Care Alex White admitted that any Oireachtas inquiry would have “limitations” but said that it was nevertheless necessary to hold one. He said that while the Anglo Tapes gave an insight into the personalities and characters operating at a senior level at Irish banks at the time of the collapse, they did not shed light on how the collapse itself happened.

White added he was confident that such an inquiry could be completed within two years.

B*ll*xology and f**cking clowns: Drumm’s latest outbursts caught on tape>
Column: ‘The Anglo tapes are shocking, but I can’t say I’m surprised’>
Rewind: A look at what the Anglo Tapes have meant for Ireland>

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