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IBRC loans: Sinn Fein's Pearse Doherty makes fresh allegations in Dail

Published 09/06/2015

Ireland's richest man, Denis O'Brien, obtained an injunction barring the Irish media from reporting details of his financial dealings mentioned in the Irish parliament.
Ireland's richest man, Denis O'Brien, obtained an injunction barring the Irish media from reporting details of his financial dealings mentioned in the Irish parliament.

Sinn Fein's finance spokesman Pearse Doherty has revealed fresh details of what he said were documents related to Denis O'Brien's IBRC loans in the Dail this evening.

During a debate on the setting up of a Commission of Investigation into certain IBRC transactions including the sale of Siteserv to Mr O’Brien’s Millington company, Mr Doherty said he had documents which led to questions about the way that IBRC was run in the public interest.

During his speech, Mr Doherty said that Mr O'Brien met a case team from the bank and said he had a "verbal agreement" with IBRC former CEO Mike Aynsley and senior executive Richard Woodhouse.

Mr Doherty told the Dail that Mr O'Brien wrote to IBRC in March 2013 requesting that he be able to repay his loans over a three year period.

However, the bank's credit committee said the loan could only be extended by 12 months.

Mr Doherty said Mr O'Brien requested a further extension with no capital repayments in April 2013 but received a "de facto second rejection."

He said Mr O'Brien faced the possibility of having his loan sold to a third party with no facility.

Mr Doherty said Mr O'Brien’s other proposals were rejected and the loan expired with no new agreement in place.

Fine Gael TD Jim Daly said this had become a "witchhunt" against Denis O'Brien and said some were using this to "settle scores" against the businessman.

He said the purchaser has become criminalised by some members of the opposition but said the seller also had questions to answer.

Mr Daly said: "Why is there such an urgency by members of the opposition and members of the media to see this Commission go directly after Denis O'Brien?"

The Cork TD, who said he had not met Mr O'Brien,  said there had been a lot of discussion about a "perceived threat" to parliamentary privilege.

Mr Daly said every citizen - no matter who they are - are entitled to their rights.

He said: "Personalising this against an individual is not helpful to the State or to the citizens."

Earlier, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan addressed the Dáil this afternoon to correct the record on previous answers he gave on IBRC.

He said the package of board documents from 15 March 2012, where the sale of Siteserv were included, was received by the Department of Finance.

Minister Noonan said the Government would review all transactions resulting in capital loss to IRBC of €10m, or transactions giving rise to public concern.

He said there were 30-40 transactions over €10m.

Further reading

Kenny defends Anglo wind-down probe  

Denis O'Brien entitled to injunctions preventing RTE broadcasting details of businessman's financial affairs, says Republic's High Court

Denis O'Brien: Irish parliament won't be recalled to debate billionaire businessman's media gag on reporting of his financial dealings raised in the Dail

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