Irish Republican News · October 31, 2015
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Kenny accused of ‘make-believe’ politics


Taoiseach Enda Kenny has been accused of suffering from ‘Walter Mitty’ syndrome after one of his infamous ‘tall tales’ was finally exposed as an invention.

The Fine Gael leader was forced to backtrack on comments he has repeatedly made about being advised by the Governor of the Central Bank that the 26-County Army should be made available to guard cash machines in 2012.

Kenny repeated the comments in Spain last week, and later insisted that the ‘option’ of providing military officers to ATM machines was genuinely considered just over three years ago.

The Taoiseach had told the conference of the European People’s Party in Madrid: “The Governor of the Central Bank in Ireland said to me, ‘It looks like this weekend... you’ll have to put the Army around the banks and around the ATM machines and introduce capital controls, like they had in Cyprus.’”

Kenny added: “So we’ve pulled back from that brink.”

However, Central Bank and military officials have all denied the tale, which has gathered international media attention.

The Taoiseach has previously been accused of fabricating some events, apparently for political purposes. Examples include a discussion in a pub on the cost of water charges with a man “with two pints in his hand”; the individual was never identified, despite Kenny claiming to “know him”. He also claimed to have met a Cavan woman after she had driven to Dublin for a hospital appointment, and a worker on a Cork building site who foresaw a recovery in the construction industry.

More recently, in an apparent analogy on the economic crisis, Kenny claimed he had a “heart wrenching” discussion on a bench in Merrion Square with a homeless man, who he described as “coming out of a trough to go to a better place”.

Those ‘anecdotes’ aside, the ‘Army at the ATMs’ story is a more serious matter.

Sinn Fein TD and Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty said that the admission by Kenny that there had in fact been no such briefing from the Governor of the Central Bank was “highly embarrassing” given that these comments were made in front of a gathering of European legislators.

He has called on Enda Kenny to make a statement to the Dail to set the record straight. He said the “yarn” was at odds with the evidence presented to the Banking Inquiry.

“This is a government that has fallen for its own spin,” he said.

“This matter is still open however. The Banking Inquiry must have complete clarity on whether Ireland came within 48 hours of introducing capital controls as Enda Kenny claimed. An Taoiseach must make a statement before the Dail when it reconvenes next week to set the record straight and lay the matter to rest.”

He said he had written to the Banking Inquiry to ask that it contacts both Enda Kenny and the Central Bank to clarify this issue.

“An Taoiseach has not only embarrassed himself in being caught out on his increasingly tall tales, but he was representing Ireland and has embarrassed the state as a result of these wild claims.”

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