In the Dáil this afternoon Taoiseach Enda Kenny has refused to make any comment concerning his involvement or that of any other cabinet minister in the Fine Gael fundraising directly criticised in the report of the Moriarty Tribunal. This is incredible from a Taoiseach who solemnly pledged to the House that his government would operate to new standards of openness and honesty.
The Taoiseach refused to answer when asked direct questions about his personal involvement in fundraising identified by judge Moriarty as central to Esat’s strategy to win the most valuable license ever awarded by an Irish government. He participated in fundraising events up to and including two days before the license was awarded, where Esat sought to increase its chances of winning the license through donations identified by the judge as out of all proportion to anything seen from any other bidder.
The Tribunal has also held that it did not accept evidence from Minister Phil Hogan that he cannot remember a meeting with the bidder.
When Fianna Fáil sought to table a short-notice question to the Taoiseach on this matter we were informed that it would not be taken by him but by Minister Rabbitte instead.
Six members of the new government sat at the cabinet table which agreed to a rushed and seriously flawed process which may open the state to major liabilities. For the Taoiseach to effectively refuse to comment, even in relation to events he participated in, is deeply cynical.
Watch Micheál Martin during Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil on the 22nd of March 2011.
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