Noonan 'stalling probe into the sale of Siteserv'
THE Government has been accused of avoiding a proper inquiry into the sale of the €45m Siteserv company until after the next election.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan has announced a review of the controversial sale and other "big transactions," worth over €10m, which were handled by IRBC which replaced the collapsed Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Building Society. The review will be carried out by special liquidators of IBRC, led by Kieran Wallace of KPMG, who officials said is well acquainted with the issues involved.
A report is expected to be completed by August 31 and then passed to the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee.
The move by Mr Noonan is a clear effort to defuse three days of intense controversy.
Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin accused Mr Noonan of avoiding taking action for two years - saying the latest move merely continued that delaying process.
"Minister Noonan needs to go back to the drawing board and come forward with plans for an independent investigation," the Fianna Fail leader added.
Mr Martin again asked how the €45m sale of the building firm was made to the Millington firm, owned by Denis O'Brien, at a loss to taxpayers of €105m. He also asked how €5m was paid to shareholders of Siteserv when the company was bust and also pointed to serious concerns by Finance Department officials about the handling of the matter by IBRC bank.
Speaking in Limerick, Mr Noonan again said he had been assured that the issue was correctly handled and delivered the best possible result for the taxpayer.