Monday 23 October 2017

Bank Inquiry set to publish Drumm's written statement

David Drumm
David Drumm
John Downing

John Downing

The Oireachtas Banking Inquiry will today publish former Anglo Irish bank boss David Drumm's written statement.

And for the first time, sources close to the process have conceded that the November 30 deadline for the final report may have to be extended.

This is due to the review of whistleblower allegations by senior counsel Senan Allen, which may take some time to complete.

The inquiry committee met for five hours yesterday to consider their next move after proposals to hear Mr Drumm by video-link were abandoned on instruction from the Director of Public Prosecutions. They confirmed that the video-hearing, pencilled in for today, will not go ahead.

But they did decide to accept Mr Drumm's written statement which is expected to be published later today. It is anticipated that Mr Drumm's evidence would have challenged some items given in evidence by former Taoiseach Brian Cowen.

That may raise questions about whether Mr Cowen, who was given a copy of Mr Drumm's statement, should be recalled or at least required to give an additional statement. But it is understood that this issue will not be dealt with until after the hearings have concluded in September.

"There will be a general stock-take about differences in evidence. If additional testimony is required it can be done in writing or orally as circumstances dictate," a Leinster House official said.

The committee made no decision on extending the list of witnesses to include some Finance Department officials who raised warnings about the state of the economy before the 2008 banking crash. Officials said that issue will be kept under review.

The Banking Inquiry will today also hear from former Tánaiste Mary Harney and former Environment Minister John Gormley. This will mainly focus on the events up to and including the bank guarantee of September 29/30 2008 when the ministers were part of the coalition government with Fianna Fáil. They will also be asked about events leading to the EU-ECB-IMF bailout in November 2010.

Sources at Leinster House stressed that signalling the prospect of an extended final report deadline beyond November 30 was precautionary. One official said it would not be possible to give any deadline for the senior counsel's review of the whistleblower allegations.

Meanwhile, relatives of Mr Drumm have been given a month to prove why they should be allowed to claim cash from his bankruptcy estate. A court in the US will allow Mr Drumm's mother and sister to make submissions until the end of August following moves by a bankruptcy trustee to exclude their claims.

Mr Drumm's sister Susan and mother Mary were both listed as creditors after Mr Drumm filed for bankruptcy in the US with debts of almost €11m. Susan Drumm lodged a claim for $13,828 (€12,517) for work done to a house in Skerries, Co Dublin, owned by Mr Drumm and his wife Lorraine.

A claim for $14,249 (€12,899) was also made by Mary Drumm arising from a deed of covenant entered into by her son.

Irish Independent

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