Serious conflict of interest claims by whistleblower
A Banking Inquiry whistleblower has made explosive allegations of conflicts of interest among some staff hired to investigate the collapse of the country's economy.
The Irish Independent has learned a legal professional hired to work for the inquiry has been raising concerns about colleagues since April.
However, the potential conflicts of interest, which centre on contacts between inquiry staff and Central Bank officials, only emerged yesterday.
It is understood the conflicts concern the drafting of the terms of reference for the crucial hearings.
The allegations, which have been set out in a document compiled by the whistleblower, raise serious concerns about the relationships and contacts between inquiry staff and witnesses called to give evidence.
Despite the whistleblower raising the allegations more than three months ago, the claims only became public yesterday.
The complaint was made to the Banking Inquiry under the Protected Disclosure Act, which protects whistleblowers.
The complaint was then passed to the Acting Clerk of the Dáil and an independent investigator will be appointed by the Oireachtas in the coming weeks to review the allegations.
In a statement last night, the inquiry stated: "The Joint Committee of Inquiry into the Banking Crisis today discussed with the Houses of the Oireachtas Service a Protected Disclosure and has been legally advised that the Houses of the Oireachtas Service is the appropriate authority to address this issue.
It added: "The Acting Clerk of the Dáil has already instigated a process of investigation."