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Public inquiry a step closer for Cowen

MOVES to haul key players involved in the collapse of the banks, including Brian Cowen, before a public inquiry gained impetus last night as the final touches were put to the PAC's banking report.

The report will form the basis for a probe into the crash. The Dail all-party Public Accounts Committee (PAC) met yesterday to finalise the 200-page document. which is expected to be published next week.

The report covers what is known and what remains unknown about the collapse of the banking sector, including questions over the infamous "night of the guarantee" when the Cowen government decided to stand behind the teetering banks no matter the cost. The Dail will be asked to pass legislation to set up a public inquiry, according to PAC chairman John McGuinness.

The PAC can compel witnesses to give evidence, with former Taoiseach Brian Cowan, the ex-head of the Department of Finance Kevin Cardiff and the men running the banks and the Central Bank on the night of the guarantee all seen as key witnesses.

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