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Fingleton expenses "will infuriate" people, says Hannigan

Dominic Hannigan, the Labour Party TD, has said this highlights the need for increased powers for Oireachtas committees, which will be decided by referendum next month.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland.

EXPENSES RACKED UP by former Irish Nationwide chief executive Michael Fingleton, as well as a €1 million bonus and €11,500 retirement watch, have been heavily criticised by Labour Party TD Dominic Hannigan.

Deputy Hannigan said that reports in today’s Irish Times regarding a letter from Anglo Irish Bank to Fingleton regarding €88,000 in ‘suspect expenses’, “will infuriate members of the public”.

He commented:

The suggestion that Mr Fingleton charged €12,000 for dental work, €6,000 for a watch, €48,000 on the K Club and over €5,000 for foreign travel to the company, will further enrage people who have had to pick up the pieces of the banking crisis that was caused in no small part by the likes of Mr Fingleton.
This money is in addition to the €1m 2008 bonus that he is refusing to repay and the €11,500 that was splashed out on his ‘retirement’ for a watch.

Deputy Hannigan said that “people are rightly frustrated that there is no apparent mechanism through which Mr Fingleton can be held accountable for his actions”.

I appreciate that the Director of Corporate Enforcement is making some progress in investigating the issues around the banking collapse, and I would urge him to look at these expenses to see what if any action can be taken.

He also said that the “refusal of key figures like Mr Fingleton, Sean Fitzpatrick and David Drumm to face the music over their actions highlights the lack of capacity in the system to get to the bottom of serious matters of public concern such as the banking crisis”.

A referendum will  be held on October 27 on giving Oireachtas committees extra powers.

Under the Thirtieth Amendment to the Constitution Bill, 2011, Article 15.10 of the Constitution would be amended.

This would allow the Oireachtas to have “an effective system of inquiry, which can secure effective and cost-efficient parliamentary scrutiny of issues of significant public importance”.

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This would include the power to compel witnesses to attend their inquries.

Last week, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan asked that the board of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) continue to pursue Fingleton for the €1 million bonus paid to him in 2009.

Although he has said he will return the bonus, Fingleton has so far failed to do so.

Read: Referendums confirmed on Oireachtas inquiries and judges’ pay>

Read: Referendum will leave door open for banking inquiry>

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