Thursday 8 December 2016

'Leak to journalist' set to be probed

Published 23/07/2015 | 02:30

Senior counsel Senan Dunne
Senior counsel Senan Dunne
Marc MacSharry: concerns

A barrister appointed to investigate serious allegations of wrongdoing surrounding the Banking Inquiry will probe claims that confidential information was leaked to a journalist.

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Senior counsel Senan Allen was appointed by the Oireachtas to investigate allegations made in a report to the Clerk of the Dáil, Peter Finnegan, by a member of the inquiry's investigation team.

He will investigate allegations that false information was given to committee members and preferential treatment given to certain witnesses.

The investigation will also look at alleged conflicts of interest that it is claimed were not appropriately handled by the inquiry's investigation team.

Mr Allen will also be required to examine the allegations in the context of the legislation underpinning the Bank Inquiry.

Whistleblower

The leaking of information to a journalist named by the whistleblower will also form part of the investigation. It is expected that Mr Allen will complete his report by the end of August.

The whistleblower made a series of potentially serious allegations relating to the work of the inquiry's investigation team in April.

A comprehensive report detailing the claims was given to Mr Finnegan and the chairman of the Banking Inquiry, Ciaran Lynch, in June. However, it was not shared with the rest of the committee members.

Fianna Fáil Senator Marc MacSharry, who first raised the whistleblower's concerns publicly, was unhappy with the terms of reference.

The Oireachtas insists that it has not acted inappropriately in suspending the pay of the whistleblower, but Mr MacSharry called for this to be reversed.

Irish Independent

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