Fianna Fáil’s Dara Calleary TD has accused the Finance Minister Michael Noonan of a political cover-up. He questioned why it took Mr Noonan or the Government four years to explain the circumstances of the decision not to burn senior bondholders.
Deputy Calleary was responding to Minister Michael Noonan’s appearance before the Banking Inquiry yesterday afternoon. He commented, “I find it quite amazing that Minister Noonan took four years to actually confirm that the European Central Bank Chief told him that he should not and could not burn senior bond holders. This is despite the fact that the government had agreed to burn €8 billion euros and he was going to announce it in the Dáil.
“We now know that Minister Noonan received a phone call from Mr. Trichet that overruled this Government decision when he warned that ‘a bomb would go off ‘not in the ECB but in Dublin’. None of these circumstances were made known to the Dáil or to the Irish people until yesterday. This is totally unacceptable and by any measure represents a major political cover up.
“It is obvious to me that Minister Noonan decided not to disclose these circumstances as it would have been extremely embarrassing for the newly elected Fine Gael Labour government. Despite one short mention in a Bloomberg interview in the summer of 2011 confirming that senior bondholders would not be burned Minister Noonan has been incredibly shifty in relation to the true circumstances.
“Since before the General Election in 2011 Minister Noonan led voters to believe that Fine Gael and Labour were going to burn senior bondholders despite being told it was not possible by my late colleague Brian Lenihan. Brian had made it perfectly clear that if it was possible and allowed by the ECB it would have been done, but for cynical political reasons, Fine Gael and Labour simply ignored that fact.
“Michael Noonan’s low key confirmation of those circumstances, years after the fact, point to a very disappointing level of political cynicism”.