Taoiseach under fire over huge ‘reputational damage’

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny faced some of his strongest attacks yet, with claims the Moriarty Tribunal report was the most serious criticism ever of a party by an inquiry and would cause huge reputational damage to the country.

There were also demands that the report be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and that six members of the Government be quizzed about their knowledge about the Esat licence deal.

The sitting members who were part of the 1995 Fine Gael, Labour and Democratic Left government include Enda Kenny, Michael Noonan, Richard Bruton, Brendan Howlin, Ruairi Quinn and Pat Rabbitte.

Fianna Fáil leader Michael Martin called for the six to be quizzed in the Dáil about their knowledge about the phone licence deal. “Six members of the new Government sat at the cabinet table which agreed to a rushed and seriously flawed process which may open the state to major liabilities.”

Speaking earlier in the Dáil, other opposition TDs and parties also called for an immediate debate on the report and that its contents be forwarded to the DPP.

Mr Martin added: “In addition, a facility should be agreed by the whips whereby the six members who sat at the cabinet table at the time the decision was taken will answer questions in regard to the lead-up to that decision and their perspectives and roles in that regard.”

He added that the findings about Fine Gael was the “most serious criticism of any party” by any tribunal in the state.

The Cabinet agreed yesterday that it would seek advice from the Attorney General about the contents of the report. The Taoiseach also looks likely to agree to a day late next week as to when to debate the report’s contents.

More in this section