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Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland
Anglo Tapes

Calls for Enda Kenny to clarify Anglo contact

Minister Frances Fitzgerald has called Fianna Fáil claims that the Taoiseach was in a position to brief banking executives as “ridiculous”.

Updated 20.00

FIANNA FÁIL HAS called on the Taoiseach to explain the nature of contact with Anglo Irish Bank executives during 2008, just months before the bank was nationalised.

Details of a number of emails between Enda Kenny and Matt Moran, the then-chief financial officer were published in today’s Sunday Independent.

Leaders of the Opposition party, Michéal Martin claimed that the reports show that Kenny was in “proactive contact with senior management of the bank to brief them on government strategy towards Anglo”.

The suggestion has been dismissed as “ridiculous” by Fine Gael TD and Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald this afternoon.

Speaking on RTÉ’s The Week in Politics, she said, “The idea of the leader of the opposition – which is what he was then – was in a position to brief or give confidential information to Anglo (when the government barely knew what it was doing in relation to Anglo) is ridiculous.”

She added that the focus of today’s series of articles should be that former Fianna Fáil TD Beverly Flynn was a “conduit” to Anglo, passing information from the then-Minister of Finance Brian Lenihan to Moran, who is from the same area of Mayo as the two politicians.

A government spokesperson also denied the claims.

“Any contacts between Fine Gael and the banks during the banking crisis were aimed at highlighting the impact that the continuing uncertainty about the banking system and its impact on credit availability was having on businesses and jobs,” the government said in a statement.

In a statement this morning, Martin said the revelations were a “very serious development” given that the Taoiseach had talked about a “axis of collusion” in the Dáil when the Anglo Tapes were released in recent weeks.

“This morning, the Taoiseach is left red-faced as it emerges that he was actually engaged in personal informal contact with Anglo senior management,” he continued. “This morning’s revelations also suggest that the Taoiseach deliberately misled the Dáil in response to the Anglo Tape story, when he talked about his personal contact with Anglo. The only example he cited was a meeting in September 2008.

“Another question which arises is where Mr Kenny received the information he was passing on to Anglo.  If it was based on confidential briefings from the Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, it raises further questions about Mr Kenny’s behaviour.

“Unlike Mr Kenny, Fianna Fáil is committed to due process.  The Taoiseach needs to make a comprehensive statement explaining the revelations in the media report and he needs to do so immediately.”

First published 12.41

Read: 21 bankers in Ireland earned more than €1 million in 2011

More: Did the Taoiseach talk to staff in his department about the bank guarantee?

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