Taoiseach Enda Kenny has been accused of being a “spoofer” and of making an “eejit” of himself over his claim that he was advised the Army might have to guard ATMs during the eurozone crisis.
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams made the criticism yesterday amid calls for Mr Kenny to give more detail and clarify how and when he was advised that some type of martial law was required.
Mr Kenny yesterday said his comments — given to an international political meeting in Spain last week — were based on “contingency” conversations in 2012 about the potential break-up of the eurozone.
Mr Adams said Mr Kenny needed to outline to the banking inquiry what fears were there and security plans at the time.
“All of this tomfoolery, getting carried away with himself, making an eejit of himself, shows the need for practical-based, people-centred politics,” Mr Adams said, adding that Mr Kenny was a “spoofer” and a teller of tall tales.
Mr Kenny has faced numerous questions about the comments he made in Madrid, in which he claimed former Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan warned it may be necessary to deploy soldiers to protect banks.
At the European People’s Party conference in Madrid, when addressing Fine Gael’s European partner parties, he said Mr Honohan had told him, ‘It looks like this weekend... you’ll have to put the Army around the banks and around the ATM machines, and introduce capital controls like they had in Cyprus’.
In what seemed like a rowback on the matter this week, Mr Kenny said there was no “specific” mention of such measures in discussions with Mr Honohan. Instead, it was part of a general conversation, he later claimed.
Mr Adams said Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty has written to the banking inquiry seeking to have Mr Kenny and Mr Honohan clarify the position.
Asked to clarify the matter yesterday at an event in Dublin, Mr Kenny said: “The taskforce and the groups that discussed this, discussed in general the contingencies that might be required. But there were no detailed discussions about what might happen, that would need to happen in terms of a new currency or the existing currency.”
Asked if the use of the Army to man ATMs had been specifically discussed, he replied that all the issues surrounding the security of banks were discussed.
A spokesman for Mr Kenny last night declined to comment on Mr Adams’ claims.
Meanwhile, Mr Honohan refused to discuss the specifics of his conversations with the Taoiseach, only confirming that they discussed “contingencies”.
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