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

The Taoiseach did not directly address a question about seeking oral or written recollections from seven senior staff in his department who worked there during the period of the bank guarantee five years ago.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has revealed that seven senior staff in his Department were working there at the time of the bank guarantee but has not said whether or not he has sought their recollections about the events of September and October 2008.

In answer to a recent set of parliamentary questions from the Sinn Féin finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty, Kenny has revealed that 28 senior staff were working in the Department at the time of the guarantee.

This includes civil servants at the grade of Principal Officer and above and special advisers to the then Taoiseach Brian Cowen. Seven of these remain at the Department including one who is in the same position.

The Department of the Taoiseach did not return a request for comment yesterday about who the still-serving staff are and in what positions they work nor whether or not Kenny has asked them for their recollections of the events surrounding the guarantee.

Doherty asked the Taoiseach if, given his repeated claims that there are no files which explain the rationale of the guarantee in his Department, he had “asked officials in his Department for oral or written recollections of what happened at that time”.

In his response, Kenny did not directly respond to this question repeating his previous comments about asking officials for papers and the “paucity” of such documentation in his Department.

“I have previously informed the House that I asked senior officials in my Department about the papers held in the Department relating to the night of the bank guarantee,” he said.

“I have also previously expressed in the House my concerns at the paucity of relevant documentation in the Department.”

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He added that his Department would “co-operate fully” with any inquiry into the banking crisis.

Earlier this week published a list of documents in the Department of the Taoiseach relating to the time of the bank guarantee leading Fianna Fáil to dismiss the government’s claims about a lack of documentation, describing them as part of a “disingenuous smear campaign”.

But the government insisted these documents are “procedural and administrative” and said that no document explaining the rationale behind the decision to issue a blanket guarantee of the banks exists.

Read: FF – Claims of no bank guarantee documents are ‘a lie’, and this FOI proves it

Micheál Martin: ‘There is no mystery about what happened on the night of the bank guarantee’

Pearse Doherty: Gardaí need to investigate the leak of the Anglo Tapes

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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