Tuesday 21 October 2014

Taoiseach appeals to Stephen Donnelly to rejoin banking inquiry

Published 16/06/2014 | 14:53

Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has appealed to Independent TD Stephen Donnelly to rejoin the banking inquiry.

Mr Donnelly announced his resignation from the Oireachtas Committee after the Taoiseach imposed a Government majority on the membership.

On Sunday, after Mr Donnelly stepped down, the Government removed the party whip from the Coalition members serving on the inquiry into the €64bn bank bailout.

Speaking to Independent.ie during a State visit to Lebanon, Mr Kenny said he hoped Mr Donnelly would reconsider his position now the membership are free to vote independently.

"I think his article on Sunday was written on the assumption the Government was going to require  that the committee would work to a particular Government mandate," Mr Kenny said.

"That is patently not true," he added.

"So in that sense (and) given the fact the committee needs good people, perhaps Deputy Donnelly might reconsider his position."

The Taoiseach said if he did not return it was up to the Dail's Technical Group to elect a new member.

He said he hoped the committee could start its work on Thursday under the direction of Chairman Ciaran Lynch.

He insisted the committee would be run completely independent of the Government and be free to makes its own decisions.

"There is no direction from Government, there is a free vote for the members on it if it ever comes to a vote but it is important that a fundamental principle of reflection of the structures of the house be retained in the committees," he said.

"When this went through the Dail, there wasn't any acrimony from anybody because it was assumed that would be the case.

All that has been restored is that principle but for the members of the committee, they act entirely independently within the committee, without direction, without mandate and without requirement for a whip."

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