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Pearse Doherty isn't allowed to ask Enda any of these questions

The Sinn Féin TD has had a number of questions about the IBRC inquiry disallowed.

PEARSE DOHERTY HAS been told he cannot ask the Taoiseach a number of questions about the IBRC loans/Siterserv inquiry as Enda Kenny has “no official responsibility” to the Dáil on the matter.

The Sinn Féin finance spokesperson sought specific details on the workings on the Commission of Investigation into the sale of certain loans by IBRC, the former Anglo Irish Bank, including the controversial Siteserv transaction in 2012.

Doherty submitted parliamentary questions asking for, among other things, details on the number of staff employed by the commission and the number of banking, legal and accounting experts working with it.

He also sought details on the level of cooperation by former directors and executives of IBRC with the inquiry.

The questions were submitted after it emerged last week that the judge chairing the inquiry, Brian Cregan, told the government he could not proceed with his probe because of issues surrounding confidentiality and legal privilege.

IBRC PQs 1 Source: Can't see? Click here

But Doherty was informed by the Leas Ceann Comhairle Michael Kitt in correspondence today that almost all of his questions were not allowed.

The reason given was the Taoiseach has “no official responsibility” to the Dáil to answer the questions which are instead a matter for the commission itself, according to Kitt.

Further queries to Finance Minister Micheal Noonan were also refused. Doherty wanted to know when Noonan first became aware of the legal difficulties being encountered by the commission.

He also asked for details on the number of Freedom of Information requests to the Department of Finance that have been refused due to the Commission’s work.

IBRC PQs 2 Source: Can't see? Click here

But Kitt again refused the questions on the grounds that the minister has “no official responsibility” to the Dáil on these matters.

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A “shocked” Doherty said today: “We now have a situation where the media and other sources are being fed information, but when TDs elected by the people ask for information, they find the door shut in their face.

I sense there is some hiding going on here.

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Doherty said that journalists appeared to be getting more access to answers than elected representatives, saying “an NUJ card provides more access to answers than a mandate from the Irish people”.

The Donegal South-West deputy said the IBRC investigation, which has become mired in difficulties and controversy in recent weeks, is now “descending even further into farce”.

Government incompetence and now feigned government ignorance is not good enough. As a TD and Finance Spokesperson I should be entitled to raise these questions and get a full and open reply on the Dáil record.

He said he would continue to ask questions in the Dáil and “wherever else answers might come from”.

Doherty told TheJournal.ie that he would await Judge Cregan’s interim report, which is due shortly, before deciding whether to submit his questions to the Commission of Investigation.

Read: What on earth is this Siteserv story all about – and why is it back in the news?

Read: The ‘farcical’ Anglo loans inquiry could be on the verge of collapse

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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