Monday 23 September 2019

IBRC probe: Creighton calls on AG to publish her advice

Renua leader Lucinda Creighton
Renua leader Lucinda Creighton

Kevin Doyle and Niall O'Connor

Opposition parties have ­demanded the Government publish the advice supplied by the Attorney General in advance of the Commission of Investigation into IBRC being set up.

In their responses to Enda Kenny's request for input on how to salvage the stalled inquiry, the Social Democrats and Renua Ireland both questioned why AG Máire Whelan's advice is being kept confidential.

Mr Kenny said in the Dáil he would not publish the legal guidance which has now been widely called into question.

The judge overseeing the probe into IBRC transactions involving write-offs of more than €10m has said new legislation will be needed in order to overcome confidentiality and legal privilege attached to thousands of documents.

Mr Justice Brian Cregan said he needs changes to the Commission's terms of reference and extra resources, including a second judge.

Renua leader Lucinda Creighton said she does not have confidence in the Attorney General "as it stands".

"I don't think it's possible to have confidence given the fact that we now have the ­utterly ­unprecedented situation whereby the High Court judge charged with this inquiry is ­offering advice on how to amend the Government's own terms of reference," she said.

Ms Creighton added that the information supplied by the Government's legal advisor was either "erroneous" or "ignored entirely".

She said that if the Government won't publish her advice, then Ms Whelan should do so herself in order "to restore confidence in the Office of the Attorney General".

Similarly, Catherine Murphy said while she has responded to the Taoiseach's request for ideas on how to get the ­Commission back on track, she did so "in a vacuum because we don't have access to the legal advice he got".

Irish Independent

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