Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath has called on the government to intervene and end the nightmare for those caught up in the collapse in April 2014 of Maltese-based motor insurance firm Setanta.

Deputy McGrath was commenting after receiving confirmation in a Dáil reply that the government has now obtained legal advice from the Attorney General and from a Maltese legal firm. Officials from the Department of Finance also met with the Liquidator of Setanta earlier this month.

Deputy McGrath said, “The Setanta debacle is not just relevant to those directly caught up in the nightmare. The reality is that all Irish motorists are exposed because the government has still not reformed the law around the collapse of an insurance firm.

“For some time, Fianna Fáil has been warning the government that former Setanta policyholders could be held liable for any shortfall in outstanding claims. This process has started and policyholders have actually been taken to the High Court by plaintiffs. Over 1,500 claims remain outstanding.

“The real effect of all this is that former policyholders who took out their insurance in good faith could be left personally liable for the balance of outstanding claims.  This is obviously causing enormous stress for people who took out a valid insurance policy in this State and did nothing wrong.

“Having obtained all the legal advice, the government now needs to act and ensure that the cost of claims is met in full and not at the personal expense of policyholders. I will be pressing the Minister for Finance on this issue in the Dáil next Tuesday during Finance Oral Questions.”