Finance official says crisis alerts ignored

A FORMER Department of Finance official who says he warned of the impending crisis as far back as 2004, has claimed some of his seniors agreed but were afraid to stand up to politicians.

The department said it will not be responding to claims by the now-retired Robert Pye, who served there for 31 years, that he circulated seven economic papers to his seniors June 2004 and November 2005.

The documents “alerting them to a range of geopolitical factors that could have a sudden and highly detrimental impact on the Irish economy” were “completely ignored” he said.

Three senior managers accepted the risks were “plausible” but believed “there was not the slightest possibility... they would receive a hearing at a political level”.

In a submission to the Wright committee reporting on the department, he observed that: “The mistakes that were made had nothing to do with skills. They were due rather to the appalling inability of the department to press upon the government the sheer recklessness of its policies.”

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