Lenihan family want to address inquiry

Former Government minister Mary O’Rourke has voiced concerns about the banking inquiry making any allegations against her nephew, the late Brian Lenihan.

Lenihan family want to address inquiry

Ms O’Rourke said the inquiry attempting to examine the banking crash without Mr Lenihan, the former finance minister, was like “Hamlet” without the Prince.

Her comments come after she and Mr Lenihan’s brother, former junior minister Conor Lenihan, both submitted a letter with their concerns to the banking inquiry last week.

It is understood the family of Mr Lenihan would like to appear in front of the inquiry or examine any witnesses in relation to comments or claims made about him.

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Speaking yesterday at Fianna Fáil’s annual 1916 commemorations at Arbour Hill, Dublin, Ms O’Rourke said the family’s letter was delivered on 3pm on Friday to the committee.

The former public enterprise minister said the family of Mr Lenihan wanted his voice represented at the inquiry.

“Everybody will have their say, that’s what it’s about,” said Ms O’Rourke. “Finding out the truth that led up to it and all that happened. We just felt that perhaps the Lenihan voice should be heard in some fashion.

“We instructed our solicitor to write and he did and it’s just Conor and myself. We may have matters which could be of importance and could be listened to.”

RELATED: Brian Cowen: ‘No question of overruling Lenihan’

Former taoiseach Brian Cowen said at the weekend that he was looking forward to attending the inquiry, after being requested to do so over the summer.

He said he would explain how the conversation in the Cabinet developed around the bank guarantee of 2008.

He admitted mistakes were made, but he denied he had overruled Mr Lenihan in relation to the nationalisation of Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide.

This was claimed previously to the inquiry by Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan — even though he did not identify who did the overruling.

Asked about Mr Cowen’s remarks, Ms O’Rourke yesterday said: “Of course he’s fully entitled to his opinion. I just read them as they are and thought ‘good for him’, he’s able to say what he feels and knows.”

Ms O’Rourke maintains that she may have useful information that is not in the public domain.

The inquiry will begin a crucial new phase this week as it starts to question people who were key decision makers at the time of the bank guarantee and during the years leading up to it.

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