Thursday 18 January 2018

Banking inquiry: Committee agrees not to publish David Drumm's statement

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Clodagh Sheehy

The Banking Inquiry has suspended the publication of a statement by former Anglo Irish Bank CEO David Drumm pending further discussions with the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The committee went into private session this morning to discuss further information from the DPP who had advised that the statement not be published.

It was agreed that  ​Mr Drumm's ​ statement would continue to be suspended until further discussion had taken place.

The issue first  arose yesterday morning when the DPP phoned the Inquiry about the scheduled publication of Mr Drumm’s formal statement later in the day.

It had been planned to publish the statement at the end of yesterday’s public session of the Inquiry.

Several members were frustrated by the late intervention of the DPP and referred to extensive media coverage of Mr Drumm’s statement over last weekend.

It was  decided to ask the DPP for written advice on the issue so this could be put to the Inquiry’s own team of legal advisors.

Mr Drumm’s statement had been received several weeks ago along with an offer to appear by video link at the Inquiry from his home in the States to answer questions.

The video link offer was formally rejected after both the Inquiry legal team and the DPP advised against it.

The proposal to use the video link caused a storm within the committee and two members - Michael McGrath (FF) and Eoghan Murphy (FG) -threatened to have no part in the event.

Mr Drumm’s written statement was accepted and people mentioned in the statement were informed about its content.

These included former Taoiseach Brian Cowen, former Financial Regulator Patrick Neary and former non-executive Anglo Irish Bank director Fintan Drury.

It is understood that a reference in Mr Drumm’s statement about an Anglo Board dinner on April 24 2008 is at variance with Mr Cowen’s evidence to the Inquiry.  Mr Cowen attended the dinner.

Mr Cowen told the committee no business was discussed and it was a purely social occasion.

It is believed Mr Drumm claimed in his statement that bank funding issues were discussed between the two, and in particular the decision by the National Treasury Management Agency not to place funds on deposit with Anglo at that time.

The DPP raised concerns about the publication of Mr Drumm’s witness statement on the grounds that it might prejudice criminal proceedings.

Mr Drumm moved to the States in mid 2009 and since then has refused to return to Ireland to answer questions.

Irish Independent

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