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

The Sinn Féin finance spokesperson has said while release of the tapes is in the public interest there are questions to answer about how they got to the Irish Independent.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE SINN FÉIN finance spokesperson, Pearse Doherty, has said that although the Anglo Tapes story is in the public interest the leak of the recordings to the Irish Independent needs to be investigated by gardaí.

Doherty was responding to the leak of controversial recordings of senior Anglo executives discussing getting financial support from the Central Bank in the weeks before the controversial bank guarantee of September 2008.

The tapes have led to widespread condemnation of the now defunct Anglo with calls for an inquiry by the Oireachtas intensifying in recent days.

Doherty said today that the principle of leaks being investigated needs to be honoured in this case.

“Look, if that was a leak about any citizen then it would be investigated and I think, yes, under the principle I think it needs to be investigated. I think that that’s normal practice,” Doherty told TheJournal.ie.

“The gardaí need to ensure that information that is in their possession is not being leaked to citizens… including journalists.

“But in my view, as I want to say again, that story was in the public interest and I commend the Irish Independent for providing the information.”

The journalist who broke the story, the Irish Independent’s Paul Williams has not revealed his source but told Newstalk’s Lunchtime programme on Tuesday that the two tapes were posted to him at his office anonymously.

Doherty said: “I think despite the fact that this was in the public interest, you have to be consistent and it should be investigated.”

He also criticised what he said was the “drip, drip feed” of information from the tapes, saying that the public would prefer if the Irish Independent had released all of the recordings in one go.

“Obviously a journalist has to sell papers,” he said. “I think the public would like to see, not a drip, drip feed and kept on a leash by the newspaper in releasing these tapes, but [that they] release what’s there as quickly as possible.

“But it is a service to the public by releasing these tapes.”

He also said that the government had questions to answer about whether similar recordings exist from other institutions that have gone under including Irish Nationwide, saying these are “serious questions” that his party would seek answers to.

Read: Anglo tapes are ‘nauseating’ – Shatter

Read: ‘We need the f**king loans’: 7 more jaw-dropping quotes from the Anglo Tapes

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Hugh O'Connell

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