Cowen and Lenihan to face probe over crisis
THE Government is planning to haul former Taoiseach Brian Cowen and former Finance Minister Brian Lenihan before a public inquiry into the economic and banking crisis.
However, an Oireachtas inquiry cannot start until next year at the earliest as the Coalition needs to pass a referendum first to give TDs the power to conduct contentious investigations.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny's promise of an Oireachtas committee investigation was backed by Social Protection Minister Joan Burton last night.
But Fianna Fail questioned the need for an inquiry, saying three investigations had already been held on the issue.
Ms Burton's call for an inquiry follows Mr Lenihan's claim that the European Central Bank forced the country into last year's bailout.
Ms Burton wants all those who sat around the cabinet table, including Mr Cowen, Mr Lenihan and Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin, before an inquiry into the events leading up the IMF-EU bailout, which would sit in public.
She said the taxpayers needed to know what happened on the night of the bank guarantee and in the run-up to the bailout.
Ms Burton said if the former Finance Minister was bullied into accepting the bailout, then this would be important to Ireland's future in Europe.
She also said the previous inquiries into the crisis were all held in private and a public investigation was required.