Sunday 17 December 2017

Investigation dismisses whistleblower's claims into alleged misconduct within Banking Inquiry

Fianna Fail Senator Marc MacSharry
Fianna Fail Senator Marc MacSharry
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

THE independent investigation into allegations of misconduct within the Banking Inquiry has found there is “no substance whatsoever” for the whistleblower’s claims.

Barrister Senan Allen, who carried out the investigation, branded the whistleblower a “wholly unreliable historian” and said their claims were not backed up by documentary evidence supplied to his inquiry.

Mr Allen found none of the inquiry’s participants sought “favourable treatment” as was alleged. He said procedures dealing with conflicts of interest were “robust” and were “correctly applied”.

In the redacted executive summary of his report, which was published by the House of the Oireachtas, Mr Allen also said the staff member accused of leaking evidence had not done so.

He said the detailed report of allegations produced by the whistleblower contained a “good deal of suspicion, surmise and conclusion” but little by way of “hard information”.

The barrister said in many cases the facts in the whistleblower's report are “plainly at variance” with the documentary evidence he reviewed

Mr Allen said the confidential informant “could not be brought” to understand the laws underpinning the Banking Inquiry even though they were a “trained lawyer”

“The confidential informant would not, and could not be brought to, recognise their place in the Investigation Team and repeatedly asserted a position of seniority as an Investigator which they did not have. The confidential informant refused to recognise the seniority and authority of [Management],” Mr Allen wrote.

He said the whistleblower’s view became “so distorted” that they treated any view that was not their own with “suspicion and corruption”.

Acting clerk of the Dáil Peter Finnegan welcomed Mr Allen’s report and said it will allow the inquiry investigation team to focus on providing a professional service to the Oireachtas committee

The whistleblower released a statement “categorically refuting” Mr Allen’s findings and said they will be considering legal action.

The confidential informant accused Mr Allen of using “unprofessional and casual” language in his report which did not reflect the gravity of the allegations made.

“My decision to come forward as a whistleblower was not taken lightly. My reason for doing so is that I had, and continue to have, serious concerns about the manner in which the banking inquiry is being conducted,” they said.

“I take grave exception to many of the comments Mr Allen makes and I am taking appropriate legal advice,” they added.

Fianna Fáil Senator Marc MacSharry, who first raised the whistleblower’s allegations publicly, welcomed the report but said there was still question to be answered.

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