Sinn Féin sent copies of 'Anglo Tapes'

Sinn Féin sent copies of 'Anglo Tapes'
Sinn Féin Pearse Doherty - sent tapes

A second set of secretly-recorded conversations of former Anglo Irish Bank chiefs has been sent to the Garda fraud squad.

The set of tapes was anonymously sent to Sinn Féin and the party has passed them on to detectives.

Officials in the Central Bank have also been given copies.

Sinn Féin’s finance spokesman Pearse Doherty said copies had also been retained with his own solicitor.

“On the advice of senior counsel, we have taken the decision not to release the tapes at this time,” Mr Doherty said.

“We have made them available to the gardai and the governor of the Central Bank.

“We have also retained a copy with my solicitor with a view to publishing them at a future date, as the publication of these secret conversations are in the public interest.”

A first set of tapes was leaked to the media earlier this year and exposed conversations between some of the most senior figures at the toxic lender during its dying days.

Some of those recordings, known as the Anglo Tapes, were also examined by gardaí and the Central Bank.

Two trials are pending in relation to the collapse of the bank.

Mr Doherty said the party will release the tapes at a later date because it believes their contents to be in the public interest.

He urged the Government to move speedily in setting up a banking inquiry.

“There is a public demand for truth,” he said.

“People want to know what was going within the banks and the contact between senior bankers and the Fianna Fáil government in the run up to the guarantee.

“It has always been my view that the Fianna Fáil government had more information in relation to the bank prior to the guarantee than they have previously disclosed.”

It had been expected that a Government-backed banking inquiry would not take place until other investigations involving Anglo senior officials are complete.

Previously leaked tapes included conversations among top bankers at the toxic lender as they prepared to secure an initial bailout.

The recordings indicated how senior figures planned to seek an initial €7bn bailout.

They suggested that the pot of money was enough to worry the regulator into acting but small enough to make sure it would not be allowed to collapse.

One recording outlined how bosses were ordered by former chief executive David Drumm, now based in the US, to go to the Central Bank with ”arms swinging” to demand ”moolah”.

Another revealed that head of treasury John Bowe claimed that regulators were ”effectively egging us on – for Irish banks to help each other”.

Sinn Féin's Mr Doherty confirmed the new tapes cover the period between February and September 2008.

It was that September when the then Fianna Fáil-Green Party coalition government brought in the €440bn bank guarantee.

The executives featured in the previously released tapes have denied any wrongdoing.

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