Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin TD has condemned the mess surrounding the IBRC Inquiry, describing it as entirely consistent with the Government’s handling of the issue since it first emerged. He has also called on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to confirm that no concerns were raised by Mr Justice Brian Cregan with his Department before the end of last week.
Deputy Martin commented, “Since the first claims emerged about special deals being done by IBRC, the Government has been deeply uncomfortable. At every stage of the process that brought us to this point, they have had to be dragged kicking and screaming. They held out against any sort of independent inquiry for as long as possible, with Finance Minister Michael Noonan insisting that KPMG was the best possible body to conduct a thorough investigation. That is the same KPMG which we now learn has refused to hand over the information Judge Cregan requires to do what he was asked to do.
“The news that the inquiry has now run into the sand without making any substantive progress is therefore entirely consistent with how the Government has sought to avoid getting to the bottom of these claims since they first emerged.
“Very serious questions arise about how the Government got into this mess. The inquiry had one job – to understand the process leading up to individual loan write-offs. The fact that it didn’t have the power to do this job points to a major failure somewhere between the Cabinet and the Attorney General. Culpability for this failure is going to need to be properly examined.
“There is also a general unease that something as fundamental as the judge’s lack of power to do what he was asked, has only emerged at this late stage. I would like the Taoiseach to confirm whether concerns were raised with the Department of the Taoiseach before last week.”