Thursday 22 August 2019

Tensions amid bid to save the Banking Inquiry

Banking Inquiry chairman Ciaran Lynch
Banking Inquiry chairman Ciaran Lynch

Niall O'Connor

Efforts aimed at salvaging the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry will enter their most critical stage today as members attempt to agree on a slimmed-down version of the final report.

Inquiry members and officials spent yesterday combing through the draft report as doubts remained over whether a final report can be agreed.

Tensions among members resurfaced yesterday after a number of them had failed to show up at the Department of Agriculture offices in Dublin to work on a revised version of the report - instead opting to send a member of staff.

Members and their staff have been told they have today to finish reading the report and that a version should be agreed by Thursday, before it is sent to affected parties for their views.

The date of January 28 has been set for the report to be published. This is potentially just days before a General Election.

But as part of a last-ditch bid to save the inquiry, Fine Gael TD Eoghan Murphy and Labour Party senator Susan O'Keeffe have been asked to a lead a sub-group tasked with amending the draft report, which has been described as "confusing" and "incoherent".

Mr Murphy, a TD for Dublin Bay South, said he expected the days ahead to be challenging.

Meanwhile, Tánaiste Joan Burton appeared to contradict her junior minister Kathleen Lynch over the prospect of a re-run of the referendum which proposed greater inquiry powers for the Oireachtas.

Ms Lynch told RTÉ's 'The Week in Politics' voters were angry when they rejected the referendum in October 2011 and that a re-run may be necessary.

But Ms Burton said she was unsure whether another referendum would be required.

Irish Independent

Also in Business