Kenny denies misleading Dáil on Anglo

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has denied misleading the Dáil over the extent and depth of his dealings with Anglo executives during the banking collapse.

Mr Kenny was thrown onto the defensive after the emergence of emails sent by Anglo’s chief finance officer Matt Moran which claim then opposition leader Mr Kenny telephoned him twice in November 2008 to brief him on Fine Gael and government attitudes to the crisis-hit bank.

Mr Kenny had already stated he was in contact with Anglo while opposition leader in September 2008, a date earlier than the one mentioned in the emails obtained by the Sunday Independent,

A spokesperson for the Taoiseach refused to comment on the issue of dates, but denied claims by Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin that Mr Kenny had misled the Dáil.

Mr Martin insisted the revelations left a “stench of hypocrisy” hanging over the Taoiseach.

“I think he essentially misled the Dáil and, more serious than that, I think he seems to have been trading inside information with the bank at a very critical time in terms of the banking system and he seems to be in possession of information that he was passing on even before the shareholders of that bank were, so I think there are a lot of serious questions that he needs to answer. He was very quick to point the blame at others and I think he should apply the same standards to himself and he should make a very strong personal statement clarifying the extent and nature of his contact with Anglo Irish Bank.”

Fianna Fáil were enraged when Mr Kenny used previous revelations from the Anglo Taps to claim that an “axis of collusion” existed between the previous FF administration and bailed-out bankers.

Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald defended the Taoiseach’s actions.

“It is on the record that the Taoiseach met with Anglo to discuss concerns about lending and small business.

“The idea that the leader of the opposition, which is what the Taoiseach was then, was in a position to brief Anglo when the Government themselves hardly knew what they were doing with Anglo is ridiculous,” Ms Fitzgerald told RTE.

Mr Kenny’s spokesperson said that all contact was above board.

“Any contacts between Fine Gael and the banks during the banking crisis were aimed at highlighting the impact that the continuing uncertainty about the banking system and its impact on credit availability was having on businesses and jobs,” he said.

Ms Fitzgerald also claimed former Fianna Fáil Mayo TD Beverly Flynn, had questions to answer as she had acted as a direct “conduit” to then finance minister Brian Lenihan, according to the emails.

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