‘Surely We Deserve Full Transparency?’


From top: Former Anglo Irish Bank boss Seán FitzPatrick and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphries


And don’t call her Shirley.

In May of last year, the then Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Dáil that the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) would provide a full report into the collapse of the trial of former Anglo Irish Bank chief Seán FitzPatrick.

Mr FitzPatrick was acquitted of furnishing false information to Anglo’s auditors last year.

It followed solicitor with the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) Kevin O’Connell admitting that he had destroyed documents relevant to the criminal proceedings against Mr FitzPatrick, among other matters.

On Sunday, Stephen O’Brien, in The Sunday Times, reported that the ODCE’s 235-page report on the failed trial, replete with 3,000 pages of appendices, will not be published.

[It was delivered to the then Minister for Enterprise Frances Fitzgerald in June 2017]

Mr O’Brien reported:

The ODCE report includes correspondence with third parties, internal emails, and draft witness statements.

A source familiar with the document said: “It provides a detailed and fact-based narrative of the various factors that contributed to the trial judge directing the jury to acquit the accused. Under no circumstances could it be considered a whitewash.”

Further to this…

The Business and Enterprise Minister Heather Humphreys was interviewed by Áine Lawlor on RTÉ’s News at One this afternoon about the refusal to publish the full report and the decision to, instead, publish a 30-page summary-like document about the shortcomings.

The following exchange came after Ms Humphreys – who said she intends to turn the ODCE into an independent statutory agency and said the ODCE has since received more money and staff – insisted the ODCE is doing a “lot of good work”.

Áine Lawlor: “We have heard all these promises about transparency and accountability and resources and all the rest before. The track record, as you’ve referred to yourself, is patchy to say the least.

“Now, the Cabinet, the Government has, according to media reports, a 235-page report from the ODCE, with 3,000 pages of appendices, going through all the previous failings. Now given that Anglo Irish and IBRC, between them cost the Irish State and taxpayer nearly €35billion and that debt is still there in the national debt – why should the public not have the fullest account?

“Why are we only getting this 30 pages that you’ve published today?”

Surely we deserve full transparency here?”

Heather Humphreys: “Yeah, well I just want to say that I’d like to be able to publish this report but I can’t. Because of legal advice, I would be contravening the Companies Act, if I did so – that’s why I have, today, published an account of the shortcomings identified by Judge Aylmer…I just want to make sure that what happened in the past, and it is historic now, will not happen again.”

Lawlor: “Well, saying it’s historic is all, the point about all of these things is whether we’re learning from the historic mistakes or whether we’re doomed to repeat them. How do we know that you are actually, minister, in the measures you’re taking, doing what’s needed – when we don’t have the fullest view of what went wrong in the past?”

Humphreys: “Well, what I’m saying is, is that, you know, it’s not legally possible for the minister to publish the report under Section 955 of the Companies Act and that’s why I’m publishing an account of the shortcomings…”

Listen back in full here

Related: ODCE report on Sean FitzPatrick trial collapse to stay confidential (Stephen O’Brien, The Sunday Times)

Cabinet approves proposed changes to ODCE (RTÉ)

Previously: ‘The Minister Has Asked The ODCE For A Full Report’



13 thoughts on “‘Surely We Deserve Full Transparency?’

    1. Spaghetti Hoop

      Her and the others really look like actors in that pic. Poor guy behind her has just been shot in the head.

      Probably by a Guard, wha?!

  1. ollie

    Section 955 of the Cofmpanies Act:
    Director shall report as required

    955. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the Director shall—
    (a) provide the Minister with such information as the Minister may from time to time require about the performance of the Director’s functions, and
    (b) when requested, account to an appropriately established Committee of either House of the Oireachtas for the performance of his or her functions.
    (2) The Director shall not be required to—
    (a) provide the Minister or the Committee with information, or
    (b) answer a question by the Committee,
    if the provision of the information or the answering of the question would, in the Director’s opinion, be likely to prejudice the performance of any of his or her functions.

    I don’t see her point on this, perhaps her vast experience in the Financial world has taught her something that the rest of us don’t know.or perhaps not.
    In any event, really squawky voice

    1. Kolmo

      When most of the public hear “legal reasons” it tends to shut down critical faculties due the justifiably preconceived possibility of being financially obliterated by agents of the legal industry.

      Dulex manufacture a brilliant white emulsion in 10 litre buckets less whitewashy than this bull excreta.

  2. Joxer

    in essence “shut the fupp up, we will do what we want, we are protecting the circle, now heres some aul guff ye can read to pretend you have a government that gives a poop. run along little sheep”

  3. Otis Blue

    ‘And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out’

    Even by the truly awful standard of our Government Ministers, Humphreys is absolutely dreadful. The type that craves deference from the foot soldiers down in the Cumann. The rest of us can go swing…

    A talentless void. No vision, ability or charisma whatsoever. Just thrilled to be elevated so far beyond her competence and given a status that comes only from a grim, blind devotion to Leo and the FG spin machine. And nothing else at all.

    1. Catherine O Gorman

      So accurately described. The Circle looked after each other while austerity was imposed on the plebs.

  4. Catherine O Gorman

    So accurately described. The Circle looked after each other while austerity was imposed on the plebs.

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