Sunday 21 January 2018

Patrick Honohan 'not person who made Army comments', reveals Eamon Gilmore

Patrick Honohan was appointed governor of the Central Bank in 2009
Patrick Honohan was appointed governor of the Central Bank in 2009

Former Labour leader and tanaiste Eamon Gilmore said Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan was not the person who spoke of the Army being used to protect ATM machines.

Mr Gilmore said he too had heard talk of security arrangements around the possible break up of the euro.

He said he recalled a discussion with Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan about the possibility of replacing the euro and how that would be done.

He said there was discussions about having to liaise with gardai and the Army about how a transition would be managed.

"I recall when he used that language in Madrid I'd heard that phraseology before," he said.

"I remember one particular crisis meeting that we had... where the Governor of the Central Bank was present. We talked about what would we need to do to re-launch the punt. How quickly could it be printed," he said.

"One of the things that we considered was the possibility of public disorder, of panic, and there was a decision made to ask senior officials to liaise with the gardai and the Army about the security measures.

"I recall somebody saying at the meeting something to the effect of the order of, 'Oh my God will we have to have soldiers guarding the ATM machines?'."

He added: "I'm satisfied, by the way, that it wasn't the Governor of the Central Bank that said it."

The retiring Dun Laoghaire TD also said he considered not taking Labour into Government and becoming the lead party of opposition.

He said his new book will be a help to the Labour Party.

The new EU Peace Envoy to Columbia said the attempted heave against him by members of his party left him hurt.


Mr Gilmore (inset) said that after the Labour Party's best ever election result he said there wasn't a place for everyone at the Cabinet table, and he could understand why many were disappointed with his choices.

He said he also told Ms Burton what was in the book before extracts appeared at the weekend and that he made a copy of it available to her.

"I saw Joan Burton on Friday night. We chatted for about half an hour. She would have known what was in the book. I made the book available to her people on Friday," he said.

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