Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin wrote to ECB president Mario Draghi in January asking for debt relief on the Anglo promissory notes. In a letter released to thestory.ie from the ECB, Martin stressed the importance of Ireland obtaining a deal on the debt, stating:
The people of Ireland fully understand the legal constraints faced by you as President of the European Central Bank in relation to monetary financing of government. In a more flexible system most or all of this debt should simply be absorbed permanently. However, there is no clear legal or economic impediment to a restructuring of the notes on such a basis as to significantly reduce their impact. A longer term and lower cost would make a major contribution to Ireland’s recovery.
Mr President, there are many issues concerning Europe and recovery which divide parties in our country — this is not one of them. You can be assured that the arguments which you hear from Ireland are backed by a broad and deep consensus.
The ECB refused access to other documents relating to the IBRC bill on a number of grounds including:
…some of the documents that you requested contain internal and preparatory views that are also protected under Article 4(3) of Decision (a document containing opinions for internal use as part of deliberations and preliminary consultations within the ECB or with NCBS). The ECB considers that disclosing these documents would undermine the possibility for ECB staff to freely submit uncensored advice to the ECB’s decision-making bodies and that it would thus limit the ECB’s “space to think”. It is therefore in the public interest to protect internal consultations and deliberations. Disclosing the documents would also undermine the possibility of an effective, informal and confidential exchange of views with the Central Bank of Ireland, which is part of the Eurosystem. On the basis of the content of these documents, the ECB notes that there is no overriding public interest that could justify their disclosure, and it is not possible to grant partial access to them without undermining the interest protected.