This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 7 °C Saturday 7 December, 2019
Advertisement

Moriarty Tribunal findings to be referred to DPP

Enda Kenny says he’s asked Pat Rabbitte to refer yesterday’s 2,400-page report to the DPP and Garda Commissioner.

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has told the Dáil he has asked the Minister for Communications, Pat Rabbitte, to refer the findings of the Moriarty Tribunal to the Director of Public Prosecutions and Garda Commissioner.

Speaking in the Dáil during Leaders’ Questions this morning, Kenny denied opposition suggestions that the report of the tribunal’s findings – published yesterday – had painted a damning picture of Fine Gael and its fundraising practices.

As a report that had been prepared specifically for the Clerk of the Dáil, the report and its recommendations would be taken on board by the Oireachtas.

Kenny also said he had asked the government chief whip, Paul Kehoe, to meet with his opposition counterparts and allow “a real opportunity” for the Oireachtas to hold a full debate on the report.

Kenny also insisted that his party had been commended by Justice Moriarty for having steadfastly refused to accept a $50,000 donation from Telenor, made on behalf of Denis O’Brien and Esat Digifone.

Any criticism of Fine Gael for not immediately referring this payment to the Tribunal had come because Fine Gael had followed the advice of a “prominent” senior counsel who had advised that it was not within the Tribunal’s remit.

‘Circuitous’

Kenny conceded, however, that he regretted the “circuitous nature” of how that payment had been returned to O’Brien, but insisted that Fine Gael were later commended by Moriarty for having taken the decision, under Michael Noonan’s leadership, to then refer the payment and all related documentation to the Tribunal itself.

The Taoiseach was responding to criticism from Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, who said Fine Gael had refused to make a spokesperson available on the matter, and noted that Pat Rabbitte had yesterday made a statement on the matter without once referring to the main government party, whose fundraising practices were discussed at length in the Tribunal’s findings.

Fine Gael, Martin said, had “made careers out of jumping to their feet… on real and imagined indiscretions,” but had refused to comment on this Tribunal’s findings – when the “deeply disturbing report” discussed the most lucrative commercial licence ever awarded in Irish history.

Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams, meanwhile, noted that the findings of the Tribunal were being discussed in offices, front rooms and kitchens around the country – and that the Houses of the Oireachtas seemed to be the only place where a debate was not taking place.

“The gap between the government and their government… is widened by the refusal to have the type of debate that’s required,” Adams said.

Adams faced jibes from across the house, however, when he criticised the “money laundering” that he said was exposed in the report.

The technical group’s Shane Ross said he had “some sympathy” for Kenny for having to face criticism from some of the opposition parties in the Dáil this morning, given those parties’ own histories of questionable behaviour.

In reply to a question from Ross, Kenny said he was seeking legal advice on whether he could undo some of the appointments to state and semi-state bodies made by the previous government in the interregnum between the election and the current government being formed.

The appointments being made by the previous government had been made “on the basis of friendship and not merit,” Kenny said, promising to bring an end to such “cronyism”.

Michael Lowry, who was communications minister at the time the Esat licence was awarded, was not in the Dáil for this morning’s questions.

Moriarty Tribunal report fallout continues >

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

Read next:

COMMENTS (2)