Joe Higgins the man to step into Donnelly's shoes
DEPUTY Joe Higgins of the Socialist Party is to replace Deputy Stephen Donnelly following his quitting the banking inquiry.
'The government's actions in cobbling together a majority on the Committee has been unbelievably crude and hamfisted,' said Deputy Higgins following the decision at the weekly meeting of the Dáil Technical Group of which Deputy Donnelly is a member.
'However, while this has shown to the world the cynical manoeuvrings that go on among the establishment political parties in the Oireachtas as they jockey for advantage, it fundamentally changes nothing. All parties understood that the government was always going to use its Dáil majority to have a majority on the Committee.'
He added that the committee is composed of a huge majority of the political establishment enquiring into the actions of the same establishment. 'I would I would favour an investigation representing the ordinary people of the country, including representatives of the victims of the property bubble and crash, but that was not going to happen with this government,' he said.
Deputy Higgins said that there was an obligation on him to offer to go on the committee of inquiry in order to call to account those who were in positions of responsibility in politics, banking and construction before, during and after the banking crisis.
Deputy Higgins was formally ratified at the group's meeting yesterday with no other candidates nominated for the role. It is understood that he put himself forward for the position with no objection.
'Obviously participating in this inquiry is an enormous personal undertaking requiring a huge work load but, in justice, that is owed it to all those who individually suffered from the relevant events of the last 15 years or so.'