Doherty: Key bank guarantee documents 'cannot be found'

Key documents relating to the bank guarantee cannot be found ahead of the upcoming banking inquiry, according to Sinn Féin finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty.

The missing documents are a letter from 2009 from Bank of Ireland Governor to Noel M Corcoran, tax advisor linked to Bertie Ahern, and copied to Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan and a letter from Mr Corcoran to the Governor copied to the Minister.

The information was receieved by Deputy Doherty on foot of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, the Donegal TD said.

“These letters existed in 2009," Deputy Doherty said in a statement. "They were released but the content was fully redacted to a journalist under the Freedom of Information legislation.

“However I have now been informed that these letters have gone missing from the Department of Finance," the statement continued.

“These are some of the only documents between the Governor of the Bank of Ireland and the Minister for Finance during a period when the government decided to pump €3.5m of taxpayers' money into that bank," he added.

“The third party to these documents is a tax adviser linked to Bertie Ahern who gave evidence at the planning tribunal because the former Taoiseach sought tax liability advice from him in relation to the Manchester whip around.

“The Taoiseach is on the record of the Dáil criticising Mícheál Martin over missing files relating to the banking guarantee in the Department of Taoiseach. He said they have either been shredded disposed or dispatched of.

“This new revelation compounds that criticism. Once again key documents in relation to the bank guarantee cannot be found after Fianna Fáil have left office.

“The only reason we know that these documents are missing is because two separate FOIs were made on the same document over a four year period. The question has to be asked about what other sensitive documents have gone missing. The reality is that we may never know.

“If the upcoming banking inquiry is to be successful it is important that all relevant documents are found or returned.”

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