The much anticipated banking inquiry is expected to begin in May, independent.ie has learned.
Government Chief Whip Paul Kehoe informed a meeting of senior politicians this evening that the probe will be led by a newly established "Inquiry Committee".
It's now expected that the inquiry will begin in May - before the local and government elections.
Party chief whips were informed tonight that there will be strict rules governing the make-up of the committee. Any member who does not pass a 'bias test' will not be appointed to conduct the inquiry.
"This is to ensure that there is no legal challenge. That nobody can make a complaint that a TD is biased against them," according to the Labour Party Chief Whip Emmett Stagg.
Issues such as the size of the committee and the committee chairperson have yet to decided.
However, it's emerged that the inquiry team will be answerable to the Oireachtas Committee on Procedures and Privileges (CPP), which is due to meet tomorrow.
The developments mean that the inquiry will not be conducted by either the Finance Committee or the Public Accounts Committee. However, a scenario may arise where the new committee consists of members of the both the established committees.
Niall O'Connor and John Drennan