Lenihan: We did not fail to act on advice

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan has rejected claims by Fine Gael that the Government failed to act on official advice about the banking crisis.

Minister Lenihan has released a statement hitting back at comments Fine Gael TD Michael Noonan made earlier today.

Deputy Noonan said the Taoiseach had been "asleep on the job" during his time as Finance Minister.

He also said Brian Cowen had failed to make the necessary tough decisions.

Deputy Noonan's comments follow news that in the run up to the banking crisis, consultants Merril Lynch recommended the Government set up a €20bn emergency lending fund to the banks.

They also raised concerns about a blanket guarantee to the banks.

In his statement Minister Lenihan said that contrary to what Deputy Noonan said, documents released indicate that the Government was aware of the turbulence in the international financial markets

The Minister said they also show the Government was actively engaging in contingency planning for the banking crisis.

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