THE Green Party leadership was accused yesterday of being "gazumped" by Fianna Fail over its failure to deliver a public inquiry into the banking crisis.
After calling for "significant elements" of the investigation to be carried out in public, the party was forced to defend its decision to support an inquiry which will be held mainly behind closed doors.
Green Party chairman Dan Boyle, who was to the forefront in calling for an inquiry that would be "open, time-defined and have Oireachtas involvement", said it did match his party's demands.
"I outlined a process that would have a significant public process. This has a significant public process," he said.
Mr Boyle rejected opposition claims that the Greens had been "humiliated" by the format of the banking inquiry. He said these parties would have a role to play in debating the preliminary reports for the main inquiry.
Fine Gael environment spokesman Phil Hogan said: "All of the pathetic excuses will not disguise the fact that they have been gazumped by Brian Cowen, who is fearful of an open public inquiry."
Green Party leader John Gormley, however, defended the banking inquiry yesterday, saying it "ticked all the boxes" and was "the optimal way to carry out an inquiry".