Saturday 25 February 2017

Bank Inquiry staff exonerated by whistleblower claims probe

Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

Senan Allen SC: penned report
Senan Allen SC: penned report

The Oireachtas has welcomed the findings of an independent investigation which dismissed outright allegations of misconduct within the Banking Inquiry.

A whistleblower had claimed that the committee of inquiry into the banking crisis was provided with false information and that favourable treatment had been given to a participant.

It was further claimed that potential and alleged conflicts of interest were mismanaged. Allegations of a waste of public money and corruption were also made by the whistleblower.

But in a 140-page report published by the Oireachtas last night, Senan Allen SC found no basis for the claims. The investigator described the whistleblower as a "wholly unreliable historian" and warned that the allegations could have caused the inquiry to collapse.

"The Joint Committee was not provided with false information, and there was no factual basis for the allegation that it was," the investigator found.

"No participant attempted to obtain favourable treatment, nor did the leads investigators or any of them or any other investigator do or not do anything towards any such end. The documentary records of the Banking Inquiry flatly contradict the allegations that they did," he added.

In a statement last night, the Oireachtas welcomed the findings and said inquiry staff have "discharged their functions in a professional and impartial manner and with integrity" at all stages.

"Mr Allen's main conclusion is that 'there is no substance whatsoever in any of the allegations'.

"The Houses of the Oireachtas Service is pleased to note these findings as they uphold the integrity of the processes supporting the Banking Inquiry and completely exonerate the staff involved of any wrongdoing," the Oireachtas added.

Irish Independent

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