Sunday 25 September 2016

Marching in circles thanks to Drumm role

Published 31/07/2015 | 02:30

David Drumm
David Drumm

In politics, stupidity is not a handicap - these words were spoken by the 'Little Emperor' Napoleon.

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Anyone doubting him need only look at the events of the week. It began with a rumpus within the Banking Inquiry with some TDs threatening to resign should David Drumm be allowed to give evidence by video link.

This is hardly inspiring. One would have thought that before thinking of torpedoing the inquiry by resigning, the DPP would have been consulted on the wisdom of agreeing to letting Mr Drumm have his way. In any event, the DPP was having none of it. Things settled down for a bit, but quickly came to the boil again on the issue of whether the inquiry could go ahead and publish Mr Drumm's statement. We were left with no Hamlet, no Prince, but we did at least have a script; so why not publish and be damned?

One can think of several reasons why not, evidently the inquiry could not. Thus, several more sombre meetings were held. Another standoff with the DPP was looming.

Eventually, wise counsel prevailed and publication was suspended, but only after an intervention on Wednesday by the DPP cautioning the inquiry against it.

Even so, the committee sought clarification on the DPP's objections. Now "further discussions" are to be held, before the "final" decision is taken on Mr Drumm's statement.

This is a Government inquiry representing the people of this country, who have suffered greatly as a result of the economic collapse. It doesn't augur well if the inquiry does not know what it can and cannot do.

We also heard again yesterday how former Taoiseach Brian Cowen played golf and fine-dined with the top brass in Anglo - just before everything went pear-shaped in 2008. But, according to Fintan Drury, who set up the engagements - and was a former non-executive director of the disgraced bank - there was no talk of business. None at all.

Mr Drury was asked by Fine Gael TD Kieran O'Donnell whether it stretched credibility to say Anglo was not discussed at the outing. Mr Drury said people do accept it is "credible", but there are a great number who don't and who wouldn't no matter what he said. So we must accept it on faith. But as a wise man once noted: "With faith, there are no questions; without faith, there are no answers."

Irish Independent

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