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Dublin: 17°C Thursday 23 September 2021
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Pearse Doherty on latest Denis O'Brien allegations: Prove I'm wrong

Here’s everything you need to know about what’s happening in Irish politics right now…

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Everyone’s talking about…

Pearse Doherty has called for the terms of reference of the IBRC commission of investigation to be amended to ensure allegations he made in the Dáil last night will be examined.

Anti Water Charges Campaigns Pearse Doherty Source: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Speaking on Morning Ireland, Doherty said if Finance Minister Michael Noonan is “genuine” about making sure his claims are investigated he should extend the scope of the inquiry.

On the same programme, Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said it was his understanding that the current terms of reference already cover “any obligation agreed before liquidation but executed afterwards”.

He stated that if people “want every rabbit chased down every hole” it would be a very long investigation, adding: ”There has been no evidence of wrongdoing here.”

During a Dáil debate about the investigation last night, Doherty said businessman Denis O’Brien made three attempts to extend loan agreements with the liquidators of IBRC before a fourth attempt was accepted after the loans expired on 30 June 2013.

Sinn Féin’s finance spokesperson also told the Dáil that in 2012 O’Brien had an agreement with IBRC whereby the bank “would receive 92.02% of all Digicel dividends in excess of $50 million” as part of a loan repayment agreement.

In a comment to RTÉ, the special liquidators said Doherty’s claims are “wholly inaccurate and misleading”

Doherty said he would correct the Dáil record if anything he said was found to be false, but added: “I didn’t make any sweeping statement in the Dáil, I said what I believe to be true.”

In the same debate last night, independent TD Catherine Murphy said she stood over statement she made in the lower house two weeks ago about O’Brien’s dealings with IBRC, saying she believes they are “nothing other than accurate”.

Discussion on the investigation will resume in the Dáil this morning.

The agenda

  • The Taoiseach will travel to Brussels for a summit of European Union and Latin American heads of government. The meeting is likely to be dominated by a potential Greek debt default.
  • The banking inquiry has three session planned for today: Mary O’Dea, former Acting Chief Executive of the Central Bank/IFSRA, will appear at 9.30am; Cyril Roux, Deputy Governor (Financial Regulation) of the Central Bank will answer questions at 11.15am, and Tom O’Connell, former Assistant Director General (Chief Economist) of the Central Bank will appear at 2.30pm.
  • Educational Minister Jan O’Sullivan will answer questions at 9.30am.
  • The public oversight and justice committees will hold a joint session on Ireland’s compliance with Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights at 9.30am.
  • Debate on the commission of investigation in IBRC will resume at 10.45am.
  • The Transport Committee will look into fracking at 11am, before turning its attention to Pro Social Drivers Programme (a rehabilitation programme for improving the behaviour of drivers) at 2.30pm.
  • The second Leaders’ Questions of the week will take place at noon.
  • Senators will debate a Fianna Fáil motion on the renewal of Moore Street at 5pm.
  • The GP services bill will be discussed at 6.10pm, before private members business – a Sinn Féin motion on mortgage interest rates – kicks off at 6.30pm.
  • The Seanad will debate the IBRC inquiry terms of reference at 9pm.

What the others are saying

  • Several papers report that the ESRI has warn the government against expanding the 2016 Budget by €1.5 billion.
  • A number of publications also note that Tánaiste Joan Burton has backed the call of the Central Bank’s outgoing governeor Patrick Honohan for junior bondholders at Anglo Irish Bank to be burned.
  • The cabinet has agreed to take in a further 300 Syrian refugees, according to the Irish Times.
  • The same paper reports that Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has told the Seanad Garda station closures have resulted in 61,000 more man hours available for frontline services.

In case you missed it

On the Twitter machine

Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan compared Fine Gael MEPs to Fascists over their support of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and US.

Originally published: 9am

Read: Was there any ‘nod nod wink wink behaviour’ at IBRC?

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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