Prime Minister Brian Cowen speaking in Parliament

Irish Prime Minister, Brian Cowen has denied any knowledge that Anglo Irish Bank was heading towards insolvency when he included it in the blanket guarantee scheme a few months back. 

On Wednesday, opposition leader of the Labour Party, Eamon Gilmore, told the Dail (Irish parliament) he felt Cowen’s denial of the impending insolvency was strange because the issue had been raised on a number of occasions before the move.

Asked Gilmore on Wednesday,
"Did the Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) never raise the question of Anglo Irish Bank’s solvency? That seems strange.

“It is very strange that in circumstances where senior Government officials were talking about solvency issues in Anglo Irish Bank, where that bank had gone to Bank of Ireland and said it faced insolvency and where Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Bank people came rushing down to Government Buildings in crisis mode, that they would not have shared that information with the Taoiseach," Gilmore said.

Cowen stated the reason the bank was included in the blanket institutions guarantee was because it was at the time of systemic importance.

Said Cowen in defense, "Labour Party policy on the banking issue was wrong. It would have brought about a meltdown of the financial system, a nuclear winter in this country and hundreds and thousands of jobs would have been lost."


Gimore stated that the country were “still in a state of shock” after it was reveled it cost €34.3bn to bail out Anglo.