Saturday 24 March 2018

New report 'vindicates' inquiry team after complaints

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

Philip Ryan

The independent probe into allegations of wrongdoing at the Banking Inquiry has "vindicated" the Oireachtas committee's investigation team.

The Oireachtas appointed a barrister to investigate a series of allegations raised by a whistle- blower who had been hired by the Oireachtas inquiry.

The allegations included claims of conflicts of interest and preferential treatment given to some witnesses who appeared before the inquiry chaired by Labour TD Ciaran Lynch.

There were also allegations surrounding the redaction of crucial information in documents compiled by the investigation team and supplied to the inquiry.

Barrister Senan Allen, who was appointed to investigate the claims, has given his report to the acting clerk of the Dáil, Peter Finnegan.

The Irish Independent understands the key finding of the report is that the Banking Inquiry investigation team has been "vindicated" and Mr Allen has not recommended any further action.

"The key finding is the investigation team is in the clear and there will be no further action necessary," a source said.

Fianna Fáil Senator Marc MacSharry criticised the investigation established by the Oireachtas on foot of the whistleblower's complaints.

The whistleblower, who made their claims using protected disclosure legislation, also criticised the investigation when it was set up.

They claimed the terms of reference did not deal with the substantive issues raised in the disclosure submitted to Oireachtas authorities.

The whistleblower claims there were improper off-the-record telephone calls between witnesses and investigators.


They also claimed there was inappropriate pressure put on the investigation team to exclude some documentation from the inquiry's evidence.

There was further criticism levelled at the amount of information supplied to the inquiry by certain institutions under investigation.

The Oireachtas threatened to suspend the whistleblower, but later decided against this course. The whistleblower has not worked for the inquiry since the allegations were raised in March.

Some Banking Inquiry members who were not told about the allegations until July criticised their colleagues who knew about the claims when they were first raised.

Irish Independent

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