Mystery over crucial missing Lenihan notes
CHAIRMAN of the Public Accounts Committee (Pac) John McGuinness has said he finds it utterly inconceivable that there is no record of crucial notes or minutes of meetings where former Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan and ex-Taoiseach Brian Cowen delivered frank assessments of the Department of Finance whose failings helped bankrupt the country.
After an almost two-year Freedom of Information battle, department officials have claimed there are “no records” of meetings that went on for hours between Mr Cowen and Mr Lenihan and a panel led by Rob Wright — a former deputy minister for finance in Canada — into why the department failed to prevent Ireland’s financial Armageddon.
Kevin Cardiff, the department’s then secretary general who was in charge of banking during the boom, has claimed that he had “no formal meetings” with the Wright commission and he kept no notes of informal ones. The department admits its records show Mr Cardiff was due to meet Mr Wright on both August 9, 2010, and August 10, 2010, but has no records of what may have been said.
“It is totally beyond credibility that no records of these meetings exist,” Mr McGuinness said. “These were high-level meetings relating to the biggest decisions in the State’s history. We are expected to believe that Kevin Cardiff was the head of banking, and no notes. Brian Lenihan was the Minister for Finance and we’re told there are no notes.
“Brian Cowen was the Taoiseach and we are told there are no notes. Someone somewhere has a record of those meetings.
“When Kevin Cardiff was before the Pac, he was able to recall documents and emails instantly before our eyes to do with the €3.6bn error and redact sections. It is not credible that notes or records don’t exist, or at least did exist at some stage,” he said.
Posted on September 23, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged Brian Cowen, Brian Lenihan Jnr, Cardiff, Department of Finance, Ireland, John McGuinness, Minister for Finance (Ireland), Rob Wright. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.