Opposition lashes out at plan for SiteServ review

Opposition parties have lashed out at the Government’s plans for an inquiry into the sale of SiteServ.

Opposition lashes out at plan for SiteServ review

Opposition parties have lashed out at the Government’s plans for an inquiry into the sale of SiteServ.

Michael Noonan's external review will be carried out by the former Anglo’s liquidators and will take four months to complete. The finance minister insisted the review of the sale of SiteServ was not because he has any doubts over impropriety.

The review will look into every decision - not just the SiteServ one in which involved a €100m debt write-off - that resulted in the bank losing €10m or more. All Anglo deals involving losses of over €10m to the State are to be probed.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny insisted the Government had “nothing to hide” as it was announced that KPMG — the liquidators of Anglo, rebranded IBRC — would probe the sale of SiteServ to a company controlled by billionaire Denis O’Brien which went ahead despite larger offers being made.

Independent TD Catherine Murphy said it was “incredible” KPMG figures had been tasked to carry out the investigation after the firm “led the sale of SiteServ”.

However, as reported in today's

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“Given the way SiteServ was, if there had been any delay on this particular issue, SiteServ would have collapsed and 1,500 people would have lost their jobs,” said Mr Hobbs.

Speaking on RTE's Prime Time last night, he said: "The (O'Brien company bid) was a three-page letter with very straightforward terms and conditions. The other bids were lower (with) long, complex letters with multiple terms and conditions.

"The judgement was the O'Brien bid was the best (one), was simple and could be completed quickly. That proved to be correct."

'Major tension'

Meanwhile, new documents reveal major tension between the Department of Finance and IBRC.

The Irish Times says the Freedom of Information documents show concern over a number of deals - not just the SiteServ one - as well as over pay and appointments at the bank; and the way IBRC handled a number of its major borrowers.

They also reveal that the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan was so concerned that he stated he was not confident of reporting to the Dáil on IBRC's affairs.

Independent TD Catherine Murphy - who first raised concerns about the SiteServ deal - says the liquidators are not independent enough.

"It needs to be independent and credible," she said. "I'm looking for something people will have confidence in, and I don't feel this is it."

As the controversy dominated the Dáil for a third day yesterday, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin demanded to know why the firm had been sold to a company controlled by tycoon Denis O’Brien even though there were higher bids for it.

Sinn Féin's MaryLou McDonald insisted only a far-reaching independent review would satisfy public concern about what went on with Anglo after it was renamed IBRC.

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