Government to investigate sale of Anglo assets

Move comes after controversy over sale of Siteserv to company owned by Denis O’Brien

The Government is to set up an investigation into the sale of the assets of the former Anglo Irish Bank, following days of controversy over the sale of Siteserv to a company owned by businessman Denis O'Brien.

The special liquidator of the bank Kieran Wallace will be asked by the Government to investigate all sales worth more than €10 million and to report back by July 10th.

The report will then be made available to any Oireachtas committee that wishes to investigate the sale of Siteserv or any other of the assets of the liquidated bank.

The decision to ask the special liquidator to investigate the issue was made after detailed consultations with Attorney General Maire Whelan.


Earlier in the day Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the Comptroller and Auditor General is “correct” in his comments that his office cannot investigate the sale of Siteserv.

Speaking on his way into an EU summit in Brussels Mr Kenny insisted the Government has “nothing to hide” in relation to the sale of the business by IBRC.

Asked if he stood over his comments in the Dáil on Wednesday, in which he suggested the C&AG could conduct an investigation into Siteserv, Mr Kenny replied: “The C&AG is correct so what we’re doing now is looking at how this can be made to happen.”

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said he was considering a wide-ranging preliminary review of the €45 million sale of Siteserv and other large IBRC transactions.

Speaking in Limerick Mr Noonan accepted the C&AG cannot, at present, investigate the sale.

This is because the IBRC is not on the list of agencies and institutions which the C&AG could review, although Mr Noonan said it could be added. The C&AG made this point at a Public Accounts Committee hearing on Thursday.

For the third consecutive day leaders’ questions in the Dáil were dominated by the controversy surrounding Siteserv, which was sold for €45 million by IBRC to businessman Denis O’Brien’s Millington at a cost to the State of €105 million.

Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins is a columnist with and former political editor of The Irish Times