Sunday 28 December 2014

TD who worked at Anglo seeks to join bank probe team

Niall O'Connor Political Correspondent

Published 27/01/2014 | 02:30

A LABOUR TD who previously worked for Anglo Irish Bank wants to be part of the banking-collapse inquiry team.

Arthur Spring said he would put his name forward for selection in the coming weeks.

The nephew of former Tanaiste Dick Spring, who is a TD for Kerry, worked as a junior staff member at Anglo before being elected to the Dail.

He has since played a prominent role on the Oireachtas Finance Committee.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Mr Spring said he believed several TDs had been reluctant to make comments on the banking collapse in recent months so as not to "jeopardise" their chances of selection.

"Many people involved in committees have given consideration to being involved in the banking inquiry. However, several have been scared to make comments that could jeopardise their capacity for being selected," he said.

"I myself will look to participate in this inquiry. I must say that it is imperative that we get the banking inquiry under way with immediate effect and that those conducting the inquiry do so with public interest at heart," he added.

However, senior government sources played down the chances of former bankers conducting the inquiry.

WITNESSES

All deputies interested will have to pass a so-called 'bias test', which will determine if they have made prejudicial comments about future witnesses.

One senior source last night insisted that the test would be extended to the "employment background" of TDs. This will make it "extremely difficult" for politicians such as Mr Spring to be selected due to his former role with Anglo, the source said.

Meanwhile, the Irish Independent has learned that the Government has been pushing for a "slimmed down" inquiry team of six TDs.

Ministers are strongly opposed to an "overly bloated" team and believe six TDs will be sufficient to conduct the probe.

A set of changes to the rules of Oireachtas, required for the establishment of the inquiry, is due to be brought in front of the Dail tomorrow.

Irish Independent

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