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Tuesday 2 September 2014

Higgins: There is nothing prejudicial about my presence on Banking Inquiry

Louise Kelly

Published 18/06/2014 | 08:41

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Joe Higgins
Joe Higgins

Socialist TD Joe Higgins has said that he couldn’t walk away from the chance to says interrogate those who were “front and centre of the banking crisis” but maintains his presence on the Banking Inquiry won't prejudice its findings.

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His comments follow the announcement yesterday that Higgins will take Independent Stephen Donnelly’s place on the inquiry after the Wicklow TD’s resignation last weekend.

“I respect the decision that Stephen Donnelly made,” Higgins told Newstalk Breakfast this morning.  “The point is for me a Fine Fail Senator replacing a Labour Senator – that wasn’t of any consequence. They are all part of the political establishment.”

Higgins said he was a representative of ordinary people, “low and middle income workers, the pensioners and the unemployed, the victims of the crisis” and he had a duty to step up.

“How could I say to them that I had an opportunity to interrogate in the strictest manner possible those who were front and centre of the crisis that has blighted so many of our people and I walked away.”

And despite his condemnation of the “profiteering and speculation” that went on as the “property bubble was being blown up”, Higgins maintains that his inquiry role will not be prejudiced.

“In front of the Committee will be brought individuals who were in positions of authority at that time and afterwards. It is then that a rigorous questioning will take place and they have the opportunity to answer so there is nothing prejudicial about that.”

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