IBRC Dáil debate

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Sarah Bardon Tue, Jun 9
 
LIVE: IBRC Dáil debate

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  • 14:58
    Hi,I am Sarah Bardon and I will be following the debate on IRBC. Please stick with me for what will be a lively evening, we hope.
  • 15:15
    And breaking news ahead of the debate. Mr Justice  Iarflaith O'Neill will not chair IBRC inquiry.
  • 15:27
    In the Dail, Micheal Martin accuses Taoiseach of staying quiet on controversy. He says Enda Kenny has offered his thoughts of FIFA and bottle banks but not this.
  • 15:28
    Enda Kenny says Mr Martin stayed quiet on the marriage referendum and his party ridiculed the one person that fought for it. He is referring to the Senator Averil Power who resigned from the party.
  • 15:29
    Micheal Martin says Independent TD Catherine Murphy was labelled "a liar and a thief" when she raised this topic. He said it was extremely "sad" that the leader of the country stayed silent.
  • 15:29
    Enda Kenny said the protection of Dail privilege is essential but says with privilege comes responsibility.
  • 15:30
    Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams taking up the same issue during Leader's Questions.
  • 15:31
    And incase you missed it, here are the revised draft terms of reference for the IRBC inquiry issued by the Department of Finance.

    http://www.finance.gov.ie/news-centre/press-releases/commission-investigation-revised-draft-terms-reference
  • 15:33
    Michael Noonan has been "very flexible" about terms of reference, Enda Kenny says in response to Sinn Fein leader who says there is no need for inquiry if Government was open from start.
  • 15:34
    Taoiseach says the Commission will be properly resourced. The Commission now reports to him.
  • 15:38
    Taoiseach says Catherine Murphy was "very clear" in contribution, had her sources and stood by them. "We now have a Commission of investigation with a broad and flexible terms of reference.. it is in the interests of everyone and that includes the Government to have this Commission of Investigation."
  • 15:39
    Technical Group are up now. Tom Fleming says nothing has been learned from previous scandals and same players are involved every time.  
  • 15:39
    "Yet again the taxpayer is shouldering this burden", Tom Fleming says.  
  • 15:40
    Mr Fleming says a timely deadline must be introduced. Says we cannot have another lengthy and costly inquiry.  
  • 15:42

    Enda Kenny says: "No Justice is a pawn of any Government. It is not possible to politicse it."


    Taoiseach says there will be no dictat from him or any other member of Government.

     

  • 15:48
    Taoiseach says investigation will spread from 21st Jan 2009 to 7th Febuary 2013.
  • 15:49
    And thats the end of Leader's Questions, Michael Noonan to take to his feet at 5.30 regarding the IRBC terms of reference.  
  • 16:15
    We will bid you a 'See you later' until we hear from Michael Noonan
  • 17:31
    And we are back, little later than we thought due to a vote
  • 17:32
    Independent TD Catherine Murphy was due to speak at 6.10 but could be delayed due to the vote.
    Ms Murphy is said to be taking issue with the decision to not investigate transactions post the liquidation of the bank.
  • 17:42
    Taoiseach, Tanaiste and Michael Noonan all present for debate on IRBC. Due to begin any second now.
  • 17:43
    And we are off. Michael Noonan is correcting statements he made on May 6 2015 during Private Members time.
  • 17:44
    This in relation to his claims that his Department had no minutes of IBRC's SiteServ meeting.
  • 17:50
    Micheal Martin says the lack of questioning and debate about the corrections is "shoddy work".
  • 17:52
    Michael Noonan says the Commission of Investigation has been established in the public interest and will be focused on the areas of significant public concern.
  • 17:55
    The Minister for Finance encourages deputies to raise any concerns they may have about a transaction within IBRC and to bring them to the attention of the Commission.
  • 18:01
    Mr Noonan said the wealth management unit will be included in review. This was raised by Micheal Martin.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/martin-raises-claims-of-conflict-of-interest-1.2242235
  • 18:02
    Commission will have the powers to compel witnesses. Will be an offence to destroy evidence or make false statement, Michael Noonan says.
  • 18:03

    Mr Noonan says it will be a matter for the judge on whether an interim report will be issued.  



  • 18:05
    Staff and resources will be decided by Taoiseach in consultation with Minister for Public Expenditure.  
  • 18:09
    Michael Noonan says there will be budget of four million euro.
  • 18:10
    Minister says he was confident in work of KPMG but said Commission is necessary.
    He is also confident there is no wrongdoing at play here but says public concern must be addressed.
  • 18:12
    Fianna Fail's Michael McGrath said Fianna Fail welcome Commission but have concerns about lack of an interim report.
  • 18:13
    Mr McGrath says media reports show 40 borrowers availed of special treatment from IRBC.
    He said this needed to be compared to the treatment of the ordinary borrower who have "sky high interest rates".
  • 18:14
    The Fianna Fail finance spokesman said Minister Noonan had given a "seriously misleading" and heavily politicised statement to the Dail last month.
    He is referring to comment during the Private Members time which Mr Noonan corrected this evening.
  • 18:16
    McGrath: "How did the Department manage its relationship with the IRBC?"
    The finance spokesman said the minutes had gone missing. He wants to know where they went and where are they now.
  • 18:22
    Elsewhere, Renua is not happy


  • 18:25
    Michael Mc Grath says an interim report must be issued. He said the Taoiseach should give a commitment now that one will be released by end of October.
  • 18:26
    Mr McGrath says Fennelly - an inquiry into departure of Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan - has shown deadline has slipped.
  • 18:27
    McGrath said it would "quite extraordinary" if businessman Denis O'Brien was allowed to avail of a 1.25% interest rate on his loans to IRBC.
  • 18:29
    We are over to Sinn Fein's Pearse Doherty.
  • 18:30
    And he is addressing Minister Noonan in Irish. Apologies folks, my school learnt Irish has failed me on this occasion.
  • 18:31
    Ah he is talking as Bearla again. Pearse Doherty said the media have been afraid to publish what a TD in the Dail says and the Government has been running away from the controversy.
  • 18:32
    Mr Doherty also accused Taoiseach Enda Kenny of being blundering and making impractical suggestions like referring the issue to the Comptroller and Auditor General.
  • 18:37
    Mr Doherty says a series of documents have come into his possession making claims about Denis O'Brien.
  • 18:38
    Mr Doherty tells Dail he will pass documents on to the Judge.
  • 18:39
    Mr Doherty said the terms Mr O'Brien availed of from IBRC allowed him to "pay down loans from Bank of Ireland to purchase Siteserv".

  • 18:42
    Sinn Fein said Denis O'Brien had deal with IRBC to give bank 92.02% of all Digicel dividends o
  • 18:44
    This would not be covered by terms of reference because it happened after February 7 2013.
  • 18:45
    Mr Doherty said the loan by Mr O'Brien was a €315 million loan being extended "and is the same as issuing a new loan being issued on the basis of an apparent verbal agreement despite its rejection on three separate occasions by the Group Credit Committee of a version of the same proposal?"
  • 18:47
    Can't keep up with Pearse Doherty's claims? Here is what he said in Dail this evening.

    http://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/35222
  • 18:48
    Catherine Murphy: "A week is a long time in politics. 12 days ago I made a speech to this House and it rattled a few cages. I don't regret it."
  • 18:50
    Ms Murphy said events have highlighted a "chilling effect" on public discourse. The threat of litigation hung over editors and journalists. Reponse of the media was to take the safe option and not risk of annihilation.  
  • 18:50
    The TD said the effect was to deny the public the right to know what elected representatives were saying.
  • 18:52

    Ms Murphy said Mr O'Brien's legal team claimed she had willingly used stolen information and alleged what she said was materially inaccurate.  

    No knowledge of the information being stolen. Information is accurate and was given in good faith.  

  • 18:57
    Catherine Murphy said the inquiry must examine if Mr O'Brien was approached to increase his bid for SiteServ. That must be included, she tells Dail.  
  • 18:57
    Ms Murphy says there are manyissues post-liquidation of the bank that require scrunity.  
  • 19:05
    Ms Murphy: "I have never and do not doubt my sources."
  • 19:09
    The Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton is up next.  
  • 19:11
    Mr Bruton said it is rich of Fianna Fail to lecture on inadequate supervision of the banks.  
  • 19:13
    Write downs were necessary, Richard Bruton says. But says they have to be fair and that will be dealt with by Commission.  
  • 19:31
    Fine Gael TD Jim Daly said many opposition want this to be a witch hunt against Denis O'Brien. He says if they had their way this would be all about the businessman.
  • 19:32

    Mr Daly says he has never met Denis O'Brien - "doesn't know him from Adam".  


    Says debate has become all about the businessman and an attempt to pit it as the rich man versus the poor man.

  • 19:34

    Mr Daly said Denis O'Brien - the purchaser has become the "criminal". He says this has become the story about one individual.  


    He says ordinary citizens - no matter who they are - are entitled to privacy.  

  • 19:35
    Nobody - no constituent - has raised this with him, Mr Daly says.
  • 19:57
    Leo Varadkar says: "We hear now from the putative Fianna Fail, Sinn Fein alliance opposite, nothing but plans for more public expenditure and removal of charges and taxes in an unfunded way which would narrow our tax base and could plunge our country back into crisis.

    This debate needs to be open and honest. False outrage from those who caused the crisis by their inadequate oversight is frankly difficult to stomach and is of no benefit as the Commission commences its work."
  • 19:58
    Independent TD Stephen Donnelly praising Catherine Murphy as an excellent parliamentarian. Here here, we say.  
  • 20:07
    Stephen Donnelly said it is serious that a Deparment would not respond fully to a question a TD asks.  
  • 20:15

    Renua leader Lucinda Creighton is up now.


    She says she is "really disaapointed" in the way the Government has shown disregard for claims made by opposition TDs.  

  • 20:15
    The Renua leader is calling for an interim report by September 14 and the Dail recalled to debate issue.
  • 20:17
    Creighton says we all know this will not be done before general election. This is extremely regrettable.
  • 20:25
    Lucinda Creighton says the inquiry is a "toothless dog".
  • 20:26
    Labour Minister Alex White is up now. "The Commission doesn't seem to be approaching something toothless." It has significant powers and has a vast scope.
  • 20:32
    Alex White says there is no attempt to silence the media by the Government. Says freedom of the media is of the highest importance.
  • 20:35
    Jim Daly's comments re Denis O'Brien haven't gone down too well on Twitter.

    Earlier, he had said this had become a "witchhunt" against Denis O'Brien and said some were using this to "settle scores" against the businessman.
    He said the purchaser has become criminalised by some members of the opposition but said the seller also had questions to answer.
    Mr Daly said: "Why is there such an urgency by members of the opposition and members of the media. to see this Commission go directly after Denis O'Brien?
    The Cork TD, who said he had not met Mr O'Brien, said there had been a lot of discussion about a "perceived threat" to parliamentary privilege.
    Mr Daly said every citizen - no matter who they are - are entitled to their rights.
    He said: "Personalising this against an individual is not helpful to the State or to the citizens."
  • 20:36
    Fianna Fail TD Colm Keaveney said the sneering attitude of the Government has come to the surface during Siteserv argument.
  • 20:38
    "Where has the Taoiseach been? While the streets of the country have been discussing the SiteServ and IBRC, our so-called leader is nowhere to be found", Colm Keaveney says.
  • 20:40
    Mr Keaveney says for the second time Fine Gael and Labour have "enriched" the same person.
  • 20:43
    Keaveney said Denis O'Brien has become the man who cannot be named.
    He asks why the Director of Public Prosecutions have not brought proceedings after Moriarty Tribunal.
  • 21:01
    Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said Minister Noonan has chosen to turn his face away from serious issues that happened post the liquidation of the bank.
  • 21:03
    Mary Lou McDonald said the clock has been stopped at February 2013 deliberately.

  • 21:10
    Clare Daly says this is something incredibly shallow and underwhelming about this debate.
  • 21:11
    Commission of Investigation is no reason to pat yourself on the back, Ms Daly tells Michael Noonan.
    Says he didn't want it and it is a huge indictment of him that one has now been established.
  • 21:13
    Clare Daly calls Denis O'Briend a "friend" of Fine Gael. She says Mr O'Brien had bullied and intimidated the media into silence but this time he overstepped the mark.
  • 21:14
    Information from this Government has to be extracted like blood from a stone, Clare Daly says.
  • 21:17
  • 21:21
    If Labour was in opposition, the shrieks of Joan Burton and the sneers of Pat Rabbitte would be heard all the way to Denis O'Brien at home in Malta, Clare Daly says.
    He says the silence of the lambs has been deafening.
  • 21:24
    Fianna Fail's justice spokesman Niall Collins said the Government will not stand up to Denis O'Brien.
  • 21:24
    Mr Collins said the chilling effect across the media has been worrying. The public is right to be concerned.
  • 21:44
    Mick Wallace is up now. Says he raised the purchase of SiteServ on November 9 with Brendan Howlin and was told he was completely, wholly and utterly wrong.
  • 21:47
    Mick Wallace says Denis O'Brien has "massive control" over the media. "This has to be a worry for the Government."
  • 21:49
    Mick Wallace reckons the State should sponsor some independent media organisations to create a media that can hold power to account.
  • 21:49
    Mick Wallace: "I have many a tale to tell but I won't do it tonight." Ah go on...
  • 22:29
    It has been fairly quiet here in the Dail. Public Accounts Committee chairman John McGuinness is up.
  • 22:31
    Mr McGuinness said the bullying and harassment of customers by NAMA is rife.
  • 22:34
    Mr McGuinness asks how do we always end up needing an inquiry?
  • 22:37
    Sinn Fein's Padraig MacLochlainn says Denis O'Brien portrays himself as an Ambassador to Haiti.
  • 22:39
    Mr MacLochlainn said there is a culture of fear evoked by Mr O'Brien.
  • 22:47
    Mr MacLochlainn said the fear and intimidation by Mr O'Brien must be lifted.
    "I hope his reign will come to an end."
  • 22:47
    Socialist TD Paul Murphy said the Commission has been "dragged out of the Minister."
  • 22:48
    Mr Murphy said considering the billions poured into Anglo every transaction is of huge importance.
  • 22:49
    Another hour to go here.. But spare a few minutes to read the ever brilliant Miriam Lord on tonight's events.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/miriam-lord-chilling-effect-of-fear-of-litigation-can-be-petrifying-1.2243384
  • 23:11

    Independent TD Roisin Shortall says Mr Noonan should apologise for his role in the controversy.


    She said: "Has the Taoiseach even asked for an apology from Michael Noonan? Could he not have insisted on a Commission of Investigation from the start? Where's the Ministerial scorecard that the Taoiseach attached so much importance to?"

  • 23:13
    Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary said an interim report is needed. No comphrensive reason for there not to be one.  
  • 23:15

    Dara Calleary: "There is one law for the rich and elite in this country."


    He says if a politician or indeed anyone else suggested a verbal agreement was sufficient in seeking an extension of the loans would be laughed out of the bank.  

  • 23:18

    Calleary said there is so many questions to be answered. Whoever dropped the ball needs to pay for this "with their job", he says.  


    He is talking about the Department's role in this controversy.  

  • 23:22

    Sinn Fein TD Jonathan O'Brien says his first contribution in the Dail was about Denis O'Brien in response to Moriarty Tribunal.


    Four years later, he says, the Dail is still speaking about the same man.

  • 23:36
    Independent TD Thomas Pringle said this saga has been a sad reflection on Irish society. It shows, he says, that in this country it is all dependent on who you are and who you know.  
  • 23:38
    Mr Pringle, who is a TD in Donegal, said stopping the investigation at the point of liquidation of IBRC is the wrong decision.  
  • 23:40

    Minister Noonan is joined by Frances Fitzgerald and Alan Kelly on Government benches as Eamon O'Cuiv takes his feet.

     

  • 23:42

    The Fianna Fail TD wants to know if Mr Noonan checked the replies to parliamentary questions issued to Independent TD Catherine Murphy.


    He says when he was a Minister, he checked every single reply from his Department. Mr O'Cuiv wants to know if Michael Noonan did too.  


    We won't know the answer until tomorrow when Michael Noonan has chance to reply.  

  • 23:52

     

    Here is what the Twitter machine is saying.


    Alan Kinsella reckons it is election time.  



  • 23:53

    Former Fianna Fail councillor David McGuinness says it has exposed weaknesses in the Dail.

     

     


  • 23:54

    David Hall has his say on claims made by Sinn Fein TD Pearse Doherty in the Dail.

     

     


  • 23:57
    Back in the Dail, Independent TD Mattie McGrath wants to know where the Taoiseach and Tanaiste are tonight.

    Well, I hope they are reading the Irish Times blog wherever they are.
  • 23:59
    Mattie McGrath says in 10 years time the Dail will be debating an inquiry into the National Asset Management Agency.

    He says he won't be here (don't say that Mattie) but the House would be dissecting the work of the agency.
  • 00:01
    And thats it from the Dail. It is all done and dusted.. well until tomorrow that is.
  • 00:05
  • 00:05
    I am about to sign off folks. Thanks for checking in and sticking with me. Until next time...