Tanaiste Joan Burton and Socialist Party TD Ruth Coppinger in the Dail today
I don’t see any guys.
Siteserv DOMINATED dáil proceedings today.
Justice minister Frances Fitzgerald has announced an independent inquiry to be set up independently by, cough, Michael Noonan.
Meanwhile Ruth Coppinger pressed Joan Burton on her depth of knowledge about the Siteserv transaction. To wit:
Ruth Coppinger: “The secretive sale of this company Tanaiste has been raised in this house, by the way, for years – on numerous occasions. Deputy Catherine Murphy has done us all a huge service and I commend her aswell for her work, she raised it before. Other deputies raised it to the Taoiseach and to the Minister for Finance. I raised it myself actually, in a Leaders’ Question, and had my mic switched off. Hope it won’t happen today.But, of course, Denis O’Brien is so well connected to Fine Gael, owns large swathes of the media, that it’s taken this long to get us this far. Now Tánaiste specifically, on the issue of Siteserv, and if your baying hounds could stop shouting over the deputies that are here. Can you please answer the following questions: Richard..”
Ceann Comhairle: “Sorry, order please”
Coppinger: “Richard Woodhouse, an alleged acquaintance of Denis O’Brien..”
Ceann Comhairle: “Sorry, deputy..”
Coppinger: “…who’s also..”
CC: “Sorry, deputy please, I, I, I just, I know…”
Coppinger: “Who’s also..”
CC: “Sorry, no, there are people’s names in the public, in the public arena but I don’t want people making accusations against people who aren’t [inaudible]…”
Coppinger: “These are facts, Cathaoirleach these are just facts. He was also the head of specialised asset recovery at IBRC and oversaw Denis O’Brien’s borrowings at IBRC. Brian Harvey, the CEO of Siteserv.”
[ At a press conference on Friday April 24 former IBRC chairman Alan Dukes said Mr Woodhouse was excluded from the Siteserv sale because he was “handling Mr O’Brien’s finances”]
Coppinger: “Received a personal lump sum of €800,000, as a result of the sale to Millington, €800,000. Siteserv’s chairman…”
CC: “Please respect the rule I’m asking you, that’s what I’m putting to you today. OK, continue.”
Coppinger: “Yeah these are facts Cathaoirleach. Siteserv’s chairman Hugh Cooney was also obviously involved in the NTMA, Enterprise Ireland and reportedly also was on an American trip that the Taoiseach attended with Denis O’Brien and we know lawyers Arthur Cox represented both O’Brien and IBRC.”
CC: “Question please?”
Coppinger:”`But why Tanaiste was there no independent representation for the Irish taxpayer. Why was there no legal representation for the Irish taxpayer? The sale was processed we know by people with many connections to people in Siteserv, Davy and KPMG and, of course, the big question, why were other bidders making much larger offers not even considered?
For example, Tanaiste, can you comment that the only tender, and this is very important, that included a payment to directors was the Millington tender. Now if that’s the case why would it not be in the interest of shareholders to take that bid. And if it is true then this was obviously the company that was being positioned to get the water meter contract that’s going to be a license to print money, if you can force through the water charges. What other sweetheart deals took place or are happening and have happened recently at Anglo? From Fine Gael’s bankers? We’ve already heard about Topaz and Beacon Hospital, etc…”
Joan Burton: “I don’t know who they are.”
Screengrabs via agenda.ie