Delayed action against bank culprits has driven people’s anger
Fianna Fáil not really serious about tackling problem, says Boyle. Public anger in this election is partly fuelled by the authorities’ failure to act against certain bankers who seriously damaged the economy, Dan Boyle said tonight.The Green Party Cork South Central candidate said his party had remained in government in hopes of seeing certain bankers being made answer serious questions about their actions. “We shared the people’s frustration about lack of action and urgency. We hoped that several key individuals in the Irish banks would be called to account – but this has yet to happen,” said the Green Party Chairman. “But the party with whom we shared government was less than animated in seeing this accountability happen. We had hoped, perhaps naively, that the public good would take precedence over this reluctance on Fianna Fáil’s part,” he said.
Senator Boyle recalled receiving a phone call from Finance Minister Brian Lenihan in March 2009. At the time controversy was raging about Irish Nationwide Building Society chief, Michael Fingleton’s failure to repay a €1m golden handshake pay-off. “I added my voice to those criticisms – but Mr Lenihan’s call to me was to relay complaints he received from the building society board about my remarks,” Senator Boyle explained. “I found this call to be surreal and still don’t know if it was based on diffidence or delusion. No instruction was issued to me – but the implication was clear, my criticisms should not be made,” he said.
Senator Boyle said that by March 2009 Irish Nationwide was in no position to criticise the Irish government. He said Mr Lenihan’s respect for their comments showed an unhealthy closeness between political decision making and financial institutions. “Until that separation of banking and politics is made and accountability is taken seriously, the Irish people’s anger will continue to be justified,” he concluded.