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Where are the tapes from the other bailed-out banks? Kenny: ‘I dunno’

The Taoiseach said: “I did ask for all files when I got this job… And there are none…”

The Taoiseach Enda Kenny taking Leaders' Questions in the Dáil this morning.
The Taoiseach Enda Kenny taking Leaders' Questions in the Dáil this morning.
Image: Dáil TV

Updated 22.02

THE BANKS AND the investigations into them were the top of the agenda during the latest round of Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil this morning.

The Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams questioned the government’s methods of investigating the banks, in the wake of the Anglo tape scandal.

Adams said the “most important inquiry here was a criminal inquiry” and questioned what the coalition has planned to do “about the shameful behaviour of the untouchables in the banking system”.

He also put to the Taoiseach that the gardaí had been investigating this case “for almost five years and still no one had been held accountable”.

“The state have also bailed out Irish Nationwide, Irish Life and Permanent, EBS, AIB and Bank of Ireland,” said Adams, and he asked where the tapes were for them.

“I dunno,” said Kenny. “I did ask for all files when I got this job… And there are none… That’s why we need this parliamentary inquiry”.

Kenny told Adams that the inquiry, which is due to begin in the autumn “cannot convict people. The courts will have to do that”.

“Justice to be seen to be done”

The Fianna Fáil leader, Michael Martin, in equal measure, criticised the government’s decision to hold an Oireachtas committee inquiry and the coalition’s relationship with the banks.

“The government is on the side of the banks… The government also trusts the banks,” he said. “Howlin’s investigation doesn’t have the power to hold bankers to account.”

“What the people of the country want is justice to be seen to be done,” the Taoiseach Enda Kenny responded. He continued that an “inquiry is one element – a criminal court case is something else entirely”.

People already rejected a referendum that would have given more power to politicians to conduct inquiries into the banks and Kenny said: “I accept the outcome of the referendum”.

However, the Fine Gael leader has not ruled out the idea of asking the country to vote again.

“In the autumn we will have a referendum on the abolition of the Seanad… and we will give consideration to include other referenda”.

“You [Fianna Fáil] had an opportunity to investigate the banks back in 2010 and you created a secret investigation with no names and no one was held accountable,” said Kenny, who says the upcoming inquiry will be more transparent.

Originally posted 13.00 today

Poll: How would you vote in a referendum on Oireachtas inquiries?>

More: The Anglo Tapes scandal has made the front page of this German tabloid>

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Amy Croffey

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