Speculators made profits on Anglo crisis: Kenny

MYSTERY speculators were allowed to make massive junk bond profits from Anglo Irish in the run-up to the bank guarantee scheme, Enda Kenny last night claimed.

The Fine Gael leader said ministers had kept the full truth from the Dáil about the situation at Anglo and Fine Gael would never have backed the guarantee if it had been told the facts.

“I’d like to know, in the run-up to the guarantee, were there other institutions speaking to the Government in a direct or oblique fashion? Somebody made a massive profit out of the junk bonds that were bought that were related to Anglo prior to this blanket guarantee being given.

“I’m suggesting we have not been given the whole truth here. Clearly there were some doubts signalled on the issue.

“There is now ample evidence to show that there were doubts signalled about the solvency of Anglo Irish Bank and others at the time of the guarantee. The full truth was not made known to the Dáil on this matter.

“Were we made aware that there were doubts about solvency we would not have supported a full blanket guarantee. In my view they (the Government) have made a catastrophic decision,” he said as he attended the MacGill summer school in Donegal.

Mr Kenny also returned fire on rebel backbencher Lucinda Creighton, branding her “naive” for claiming the party’s policies were driven by focus groups.

He said Ms Creighton had done a “disservice” to the party by accusing it of “cute-hoorism”, branding it “Fianna Fáil-lite” and criticising a Fine Gael golf tournament fundraiser at which developers being bailed out by Nama attended.

Mr Kenny said he would not return funds to such businessmen as Ms Creighton had called for.

“Fine Gael have no truck with rogue builders or hookey or shady characters or brown envelopes, or dig-outs,” he said.

Mr Kenny also said independent TD Michael Lowry would not be returning to the party and also played down reports Michael McDowell would join FG.

In his speech to the summer school, Mr Kenny also made a reference to the Finance Minister’s battle with cancer, stating that it should not be a “distraction” from the way the economy has been badly managed.

“The fact that Brian Lenihan is fighting a personal battle with dignity and courage must not distract us from the painful reality. The painful reality is that what this Government is pouring down the drain of the banks is more than all the money Ireland has ever received from the EU,” he said.

Green Energy Minister Eamon Ryan said that Ireland should not lament the Celtic Tiger boom as much of it was a mirage.

“The Celtic Tiger was always doomed to unravel because at its heart it was unsustainable. We should not weep its demise.”


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