Irish Republican News · July 30, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Bank robbery

Irish political parties have united to condemn seriously illegal activity at the National Irish Bank following a damning report by two High Court inspectors.

The 400 page report, which took six years to complete, confirmed that customers of the corrupt bank were systematically and deliberately overcharged.

And fictitious and incorrectly named accounts were opened and maintained by the bank throughout all of its branches until the end of 1996, primarily for the purposes of tax evasion.

Former Fianna Fail member of parliament Beverly Cooper-Flynn and the bank’s former chiefs were implicated in the scandal. A total of 20 former employees of the bank were criticised.

Almost the entire former senior management at the bank played some role in tax evasion scams and overcharging customers.

The 26-County Deputy Prime Minister, Tanaiste Mary Harney described the findings of the High Court Inspectors` Report as “deeply disturbing” and “an astonishing catalogue”.

“What went on in NIB was not some minor oversight. What I find most shocking is the culture which prevailed at the highest level in the organisation which allowed and even encouraged wrongdoing.

“Too many people, and indeed the bank itself, saw themselves as above the law and felt that they could simply get away with this.”

Sinn Féin TD Aengus O Snodaigh said the report represented a massive indictment of NIB and of the whole banking culture in the state and called for the introduction of a Whistleblower’s Charter.

“Heads must roll. There can be no slap on the wrist in this instance,” he said.

“NIB and many of its senior executives and management have been exposed as cheats and robbers. They must be punished accordingly.”

Criminal and civil court proceedings against the bank and its staff are expected to follow.

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© 2004 Irish Republican News