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Gilmore 'shocked' by Anglo Tapes, while Howlin is 'personally sickened'

The government has indicated that an inquiry into the bank crisis could get underway later this year.

Eamon Gilmore
Eamon Gilmore
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

TÁNAISTE EAMON GILMORE has said he is shocked by the content of the The Anglo Tapes which have shed new light on conversations between senior bankers at the former Anglo Irish Bank.

Speaking in Brussels this morning, Gilmore said that the recordings – which reveal how two executives appeared to discuss understating the financial problems at Anglo to the Central Bank – make the current government’s job more difficult in discussions with EU countries.

“I think they’re really shocking,” Gilmore said today. “I mean the degree of arrogance, the degree of hubris, the degree of couldn’t care less about the taxpayer, about the Irish people that seemed to be part and parcel of the culture of that bank.”

He said that he “never believed” that the bank should have been given a State guarantee and said the revelations in the tapes confirm “that position was right”. Labour, in opposition, voted against the bank guarantee of September 2008.

“What we are seeing emerging from these tapes confirms that it was a wrong decision,” he said, adding that it underlined the necessity for a bank inquiry to be carried out by the Oireachtas.

Gilmore said he hoped legislation to provide a legal basis for politicians to under take inquiries into matters of public interest would be enacted before the summer recess and “that we can get on with it”.

Speaking in Dublin this morning, the Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin, who is responsible for the inquiries legislation, said it was the “determined view of government” that the required legislation be in place before the summer recess.

Howlin also said he was “personally sickened” by the tapes which he said “underscored an attitude that is unbelievable”. He said he hoped to “embark on a proper inquiry early in the [next] Dáil term”.

Poll: Do you have confidence in the planned banking inquiry?

Read: This Irish MEP’s Twitter account has told Anglo to “f**k off”

Read: This was the hold music at Anglo Irish Bank in 2008

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Hugh O'Connell

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