Fianna Fáil has demanded an urgent statement from the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan following accusations that he was behind attempts to sell an IBRC asset at a knock-down price.
The allegations, made by former IBRC Chief Mike Aynsley at the banking inquiry, have been described as ‘alarming’ by Fianna Fáil’s Leader in the Seanad Senator Darragh O’Brien.
Senator O’Brien commented, “These accusations are extremely serious and it is unacceptable that the Government would seek to hide behind the summer recess to dodge answering the urgent questions that Mr Aynsley’s testimony has raised.
“We need a very clear statement from the Minister for Finance right now addressing allegations that his officials intervened in a commercial transaction at IBRC. Minister Noonan must answer the following questions:
▪ Was it made clear by a Department of Finance Official that the Minister would support the sale of an IBRC asset at €100m less than the top bid?
▪ What level of knowledge did the Minister have about these alleged representations?
▪ What level of political interference was there to encourage the fire sale this asset?
▪ Were representations made to encourage quick sales through bilateral arrangements behind closed doors?
▪ Has there been political interference in the sale of any other similar assets?
“There is nothing preventing Minister Noonan from clarifying these issues right now. Mr Aynsley’s testimony has raised grave concerns about political interference in the sale of such assets on behalf of the taxpayer.”