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This Dublin MEP thinks Denis O'Brien is entitled to privacy 'like anyone else'

Brian Hayes said he does not believe there was any wrongdoing in deals made between O’Brien and IBRC.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall

BILLIONAIRE TYCOON DENIS O’Brien is entitled to privacy in his financial affairs, Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes has said.

Speaking on EuroParlRadio, the former Dublin South-West TD welcomed the establishment of a commission of investigation into IBRC, whose terms of reference were approved in the Dáil last night.

But he said he believes there was no wrongdoing in deals made between O’Brien and IBRC.

He might be very wealthy. People may not like that. He might have a lot of control in the country, but he is a citizen like anyone else and I think we have got to apply the same rules to him as we do to everyone else.

Discussion of O’Brien’s banking affairs has been “ramped up in the run-up to the election,” he added.

The commission of investigation approved last night will look at IBRC transactions where there was a loss of at least €10 million.

The inquiry will examine whether Minister Michael Noonan or the Department of Finance were kept informed of certain transactions and investigate alleged preferential interest rates given to IBRC clients.

Media ownership

Meanwhile, MEP Nessa Childers also brought up Denis O’Brien today. She said she believes that the issue of media ownership in Ireland needs to be revisited.

“Legislation needs to be put in place to deal with this,” she said.

“Ireland is a very small country too so it’s not just to do with one man, which is Denis O’Brien that we’ve all been talking about, it’s to do with any one person controlling too much of the media.”

Read: Watch Enda Kenny being asked if Fine Gael is too close to Denis O’Brien >

Read: Catherine Murphy did NOT abuse privilege with those Denis O’Brien comments >

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Catherine Healy

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