Despite the speculation in last weekend’s press about the need to change parts of the IBRC Act 2013 – the legislation rammed through the Oireachtas two weeks ago to liquidate Irish Bank Resolution Corporation – Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said yesterday that he has no plans at present to amend the Act.
This comes after concerns were raised by the judiciary and the Special Liquidator that the stay on proceedings by those suing IBRC, a stay imposed by the Act, could be problematic and possibly unconstitutional.
Yesterday in the Dail, the Fianna Fail finance spokesperson Michael McGrath asked Minister Noonan if there were any plans to amend the IBRC Act 2013, and the response was “there are currently no plans” The Minister made reference to proceedings before the courts on 7th March 2013 which will deal with the terms of the Act, and the stay it imposes on proceedings. This is a reference to the Quinn family and their case against Anglo/IBRC claiming the loans advanced to them to buy Anglo shares were unlawful, and consequently that the Quinns are not liable to repay such loans which come to approximately €2.4bn.
The Quinns want to press ahead with their case against IBRC but are presently, apparently, prevented from doing so. They have threatened to challenge the constitutionality of the IBRC Act 2013 if the judge doesn’t allow them to proceed.
The full parliamentary question and response are here.
Deputy Michael McGrath: To ask the Minister for Finance his plans to amend the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Act 2013 to remove the stay on legal actions against the bank; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan: There are currently no plans to amend the IBRC Act 2013, which was signed into law on the 7th February 2013. As the Deputy is aware, this Act puts a stay on all actions against IBRC. I have been advised that the courts are in the process of examining if they have discretion to lift this stay and that some parties will make submissions on the 7th March. It is not possible for me to add anything further on these matters as they are currently before the courts.