Tag Archives: Michael Noonan


From top: Catherine Murphy and Denis O’Brien

Further to this.

You may be aware of concerns regarding Siteserv, the business purchased by Denis O’Brien from IRBC with a write off of €100 million that was subsequently awarded the water meter contract.

Questions regarding many aspects of the deal raised by North Kildare TD Catherine Murphy elicted the following response from Siteserv today:



Ms Murphy replied:

“This absolutely is agenda-driven, my agenda is always to serve the public interest and this deal involved a significant amount of public money being written off. This is very firmly in the public interest. There are questions surrounding the deal which I don’t believe have been adequately dealt with, questions which I, as a parliamentarian, have an obligation to raise.”

Meanwhile, during the Siteserv acquisition, it emerged that lawyers acting for Mr O’Brien’s side and IBRC came from the same firm, Arthur Cox.

Ms Murphy submitted a written question Minister for Finance Michael Noonan concerning this and other anomalies. To wit:

Has his  attention has been drawn to potential conflicts of interest, which existed at the time of the sale, by the former Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, of an entity; specifically if his attention has been drawn to the fact that agents, contracted by the Corporation, to execute the sale, also held significant interests in the entity being sold, that the legal advisors, on the sale, were acting for both the vendor, and purchaser, in the transaction, and that the reported agreed sale terms included a large payment to the board of the entity being sold, and whose votes were obviously required to approve the sale; if so, his views that this presents an alarming set of circumstances, to an entity tasked with protecting the taxpayers’ interests; and if he will make a statement on the matter?

This evening, Mr Noonan responded:

As the Deputy is aware, a Relationship Framework dated 8th July 2009 was in place at the time the Board of IBRC approved the sale of the company referred to in the question. Under this Relationship Framework, the Board of IBRC were required to engage with the Minister for Finance on certain key issues which included “any material acquisitions, disposals, investments, realisations or other transactions, other than in the ordinary course of Anglo Irish Bank’s banking business.” It should be noted that this Relationship Framework did not include any specific monetary thresholds which would trigger mandatory consultation with the Minister for Finance. It should also be noted, that at that time, the ordinary course of the Bank’s business was to conduct an orderly run-down and ultimate liquidation of the Bank. As such, IBRC’s efforts, as a secured lender, to maximise the recovery on its loans to the company referred to in the question was considered to be in the ordinary course of business. For that reason, and under the Relationship Framework in place at that time, IBRC were not required to consult with the Minister for Finance on this matter in advance of making the decision to approve the sale of the company referred to in the question.

Upon the receipt of critical representations following the transaction, Department of Finance officials inquired about the transaction with IBRC management as part of their regular engagement. Following initial discussions, they agreed with IBRC’s Chairman and CEO that they would review the transaction involving the company referred to in the question in greater detail to better understand the decisions taken and the impact these decisions had on the process and the final recovery for the bank.

Through this review, Department of Finance officials were made aware of certain aspects of the transaction which raised concerns with the quality of some of the decisions taken in respect of this transaction, including, among others, that legal advisors to the company referred to in the question had also acted for the purchaser, that a payment had been paid to the shareholders of the company referred to in the question, that some of those shareholders were members of the Board of the company referred to in the question and that a significant proportion of those shareholders appeared to be clients of the financial advisor on the transaction to the company referred to in the question.

In light of these concerns, I subsequently met with IBRC’s Chairman [Alan Dukes] and CEO [Mike Aynsley] to discuss concerns regarding this transaction. The Chairman and CEO confirmed to me the legal advice was provided by two different teams within the law firm concerned and that appropriate Chinese walls were in place between the two teams. They also assured me that the payment to shareholders was necessary to ensure a vote in favour of the deal . They further assured me that the transaction had been thoroughly assessed by the IBRC Board and that the transaction was managed in the best manner possible to achieve the best result for the State.

Good times.

Previously: Denis O’Brien, Fine Gael And The Water Meter Deal

Contains Impurities: The irish Water Timeline

 Pics: Photocall Ireland, Catherine Murphy


Finance Minister Michael Noonan

Just being trolled at this stage.

“I don’t know, it is very hard to estimate, I mean some people are protesting because they don’t want to pay at all. But we govern for the centre, we govern for the reasonable people, and reasonable people were upset by the way in which this [protests in Tallaght on Saturday] was handled.”

Finance Minister Michael Noonan today.

Thanks for clarifying that.

Noonan: We govern for the reasonable people (BreakingNews.ie)

Earlier: Meanwhile, In Limerick


The electronics department at Arnott’s, Dublin (top) and Michael Noonan (above), Minister for Finance in the Dáil this afternoon.

- Child Benefit to rise €5 per child
- New 8% USC rate for those earning over €70,000
- Entry point for USC raised to above €12,000
- Water Charges Relief “worth up to” €100
- Income tax relief on water charges “up to max” of €500
- 41% Income Tax rate reduced to 40%
- Price of 20 cigarettes to rise by 40c from midnight
- 9% VAT rate to stay
- ‘Double Irish’* tax arrangement to be abolished

More as he delivers it.

RTÉ Budget 2015 Live (RTÉ)

*Will not affect existing companies availing of the Double Irish until 2020.


“I understand why you’re a little bit subdued today, I understand why you’re a little bit subdued today, because you’ve opened a political movement on the backs of misery and failure in the economy. But the country isn’t failing, the country is growing again and it’s growing very strongly. Now I’ve noticed, I‘ve noticed in this morning’s paper you’ve stated you have another red line issue. First you’re going to abolish property tax, now you’re going to abolish water charges and these are red line issues. Nobody is rushing to join you in government. Putting down a red line issue, it’s like an oul’ fellow walking up and down the boundaries of the Ballroom of Romance saying that he won’t dance with any of those women over there. Nobody wants, nobody wants to dance with him. Nobody wants to dance with him, that’s the position. So red lines, red lines, red lines, you’re joking me.”

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan drawing a wistful analogy for Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn in the Dáil this afternoon.

Isn’t it well for them?

Ballroom of Romance?

Thanks Tequila Mockingbird


[Fine Gael Finance Minister, Michael Noonan, Labour Minister of State, Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, Jan O’Sullivan and Fine Gael Arts Minister, Jimmy Deenihan at the launch of the programme for Limerick City of Culture 2014]

You may recall how Limerick city was chosen as the City of Culture without any open competition.


The Mail on Sunday reported yesterday [not online] how Finance Minister Michael Noonan – a Limerick TD – lobbied for €6million for the festival… before he signed off on the money for the festival.

John Lee and Ben Haugh reported:

“Michael Noonan made representations to a Cabinet colleague over funding for Limerick City of Culture months before he signed off on €6m for the project. On July 2, 2013, the Finance Minister passed on a letter from Limerick City and County Manager Conn Murray to Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan asking for €6m funding from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

On October 15, Mr Noonan allocated the exact money requested in Mr Murray’s letter to the City of Culture in Budget 2014 – more than half the project’s total budget of €11.4m…As part of a normal budgetary process, Mr Deenihan would have to seek money from Mr Noonan to grant Limerick City of Culture any money as he controls the Government’s purse strings. Mr Noonan also wrote back to Mr Murray to inform him of his intervention, saying he should be assured of my attention to the matter.”


Previously: Only The Crony

Part Of The Culture

Pic: Sean Curtin via I Love Limerick


Finance Minister Michael Noonan went on RTÉ’s Prime Time last night following former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan’s resignation yesterday morning and the lunchtime announcement by Taoiseach Enda Kenny that he has set up a commission of investigation to look at the widespread recording of phone calls at Garda stations across Ireland over approximately 30 years, up until November 2013.

It’s understood that 2,500 tapes of conversations exist.

Minster Noonan – who was  justice minister from December 14, 1982 to February 14, 1986 – appeared with the caveat that he would have a one-to-one interview and that he wouldn’t have to discuss matters with any oppposition members..

Host Miriam O’Callaghan was keen to get a timeline of events from Minister Noonan, to essentially find out who knew what and when in relation to these recordings.

She was especially determined to find out what Justice Minister Alan Shatter knew and when he knew it. This is largely because of what has been reported so far, specifically:

- Enda Kenny told the Dáil that he first he heard about the issue of garda station recordings was when the Attorney General Máire Whelan told him late on Sunday afternoon around 6pm.

- On Monday night, a senior civil servant was sent to have a chat with Martin Callinan – who was under pressure from Labour and Fine Gael’s Leo Varadkar to withdraw his ‘disgusting’ remark about Garda whistleblowers Sgt Maurice McCabe and John Wilson – to talk about the Government’s unease about ‘recent events’.  Callinan was also informed of the Government’s plan to hold an investigation into the garda station recordings.
- On Tuesday, Alan Shatter learned about the garda station recordings for the first time.


RTÉ News reported last night that a letter was sent by Callinan to the Department of Justice on March 10 – five days before Minister Shatter left for Mexico as part of his St Patrick’s Day jaunt – outlining the matter about the garda station recordings, while the Attorney General was made aware of the matter as far back as November 2013 and had been involved in a working group in order to deal with the issues, in consultation with Martin Callinan.


GSOC reported on these issues in June 2013, when it investigated a Garda assault case involving Anthony Holness. The GSOC report said the Garda Commissioner ‘may wish to re-evaluate his practice regarding the recording of such calls and the consents required if it is to be permissible to use such recordings in evidence’.

RTÉ’s Katie Hannon of Prime Time said t she was told Minister Shatter didn’t see that GSOC report and that there was no legal obligation for the GSOC report to be brought to Minister Shatter’s attention.

With that in mind, here’s a transcript of Minister Noonan’s one-to-one interview with Miriam O’Callaghan.

Miriam O’Callaghan: “Minister, first of all, this is a very strange affair, before we go into the substantive problem of obviously recorded phonecalls in Garda stations, it’s important to work out who knew what and when. So if we deal with that issue today, of the recording of the phonecalls in garda stations. People are wondering why it was announced today because that information was in the public domain ever since the court case back in November. As you know, the Holness case and then the GSOC report in June. So, how was it today that it was so important? It was announced and that people only became aware of it in your Government?”

Michael Noonan: “Well, obviously, we don’t know all the facts and that’s why a Commission of Inquiry is being set up and that’s why the gardaí, under the new commissioner and the Department of Justice have been instructed to provide full reports and I can’t give you full answers but I can tell you what I think may have happened.”

O’Callaghan: “I don’t want to cut across you so soon but I’m not asking what actually happened in the gardaí, I’m asking you now about the Cabinet and who knew what and when.”

Noonan: “That’s what I want to address. First of all, the Garda Ombudsman made a report in June of last year and he recommended that because the practice of recording had come to light in Waterford Garda Station, in a particular case that the Commissioner might re-evaluate the practice. This was a very tentative, you know, pitch by the Ombudsman’s office.”

O’Callaghan: “Well it was a direct quote actually, they said ‘Commissioner [Callinan] may wish to re-evaluate his practice regarding the recording of such calls’.

Noonan: “Yeah, he may wish to re-evaluate…

O’Callaghan: “Based on a court criticising that behaviour.”

Noonan: “What I’m saying is that, nothing hangs on it, but it was a tentative enough way of putting a recommendation. Now I don’t know whether the Commissioner re-evaluated or not but, coincidentally, the practice was ended in November [2013], so I presume there was a re-evaluation at some level in the guards.”

O’Callaghan: “But how come Minister Shatter or the Department of Justice was not aware of the GSOC report?” Continue reading