Labour Party Finance Spokesperson Joan Burton has said Fianna Fáil has questions to answer following a report on RTÉ’s Prime Time Investigates last night that a number of party members had access to loans from Irish Nationwide Building Society on easy terms.

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Ms Burton said the disclosure was disturbing and once again brought into focus what she described as the 'cosy relationship' between Fianna Fáil, and bankers and developers during the boom years.

She said the question now arose whether other figures within Fianna Fáil, including those at senior level, were customers of this institution, and whether they operated a system of favoured relationships for particular clients.

In a statement, Ms Burton said: 'We need clarity on this, particularly in the light of the fact that €8bn of Irish Nationwide loans are to be covered under NAMA and that a reported figure of up to €2b has been agreed by Finance Minister Brian Lenihan as part of a rescue package.

'At the same time we as taxpayers are committed to taking on another €20bn in Anglo Irish Bank bad and doubtful debts under NAMA, while we have bailed out that bank to the tune of €4bn in 2009, and will probably have to put inject an additional €4-6bn in 2010.'

She said those two institutions were 'at the core of the international loss of Irish reputation and were at the core of the banking crisis'.