Sunday 21 December 2014

Kenny and Gilmore to finalise bank inquiry plans

Fionnan Sheahan Group Political Editor

Published 21/04/2014 | 02:30

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore and Taoiseach, Enda Kenny at Dublin Castle for The National Policy Framework for Children and Young People 2014 - 2020. Photo: Collins
Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore and Taoiseach, Enda Kenny at Dublin Castle for The National Policy Framework for Children and Young People 2014 - 2020. Photo: Collins

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny and Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore will meet after the Easter break to finalise plans for the setting up of a banking inquiry.

The renewed focus on the banking inquiry comes in the wake of revelations of the night of the infamous bank guarantee meeting in Government Buildings in September 2008.

Although there are additional court cases to come, the end of the Anglo Irish Bank trial last week has also eased concerns about the Oireachtas inquiry prejudicing investigations.

Labour Party TD Ciaran Lynch is again the hot favourite to head up the inquiry, with other names circulating in recent months now fading.

"The two leaders have to have a chat in the second week back after Easter about the process – what committee is going to look after it. The legal advice being received is you still have to be really careful. But what's out of the way now does make it a bit more comfortable," a government source said.

The banking inquiry is expected to see former government ministers questioned about the bank guarantee.

But it has now emerged that not a single note from any civil servant or politician present on the night of the infamous bank guarantee meeting exists in the Department of An Taoiseach.

Fianna Fail finance spokesman Michael McGrath agreed yesterday that members of the administration, including former Taoiseach Brian Cowen, would have to be asked about the lack of notes.

"Absolutely, that is an obvious question which has to be asked," he said on RTE's 'This Week'.

In stark contrast to the lack of any files about how the most important commercial decision in the history of the State was arrived at in Government – which ultimately cost the taxpayer €64bn – senior bankers have revealed how they made detailed notes about the night's events.

Meanwhile, a potential €1.3bn Nigerian oilfield project backed by former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick may help clear the bankrupt banker's €110m debts if it is sold to a rival oil firm.

Cayman Islands-based oil group Midway Resources International has indicated that it is trying to buy into the Nigerian Ekeh oil field, which is owned by a consortium that includes Mr FitzPatrick.

Irish Independent

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