Saturday 17 August 2019

Taoiseach 'will not publish legal advice on set-up of IBRC transactions inquiry'

Enda Kenny
Enda Kenny

Niall O'Connor

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he will not publish the legal advice given to the Cabinet by the Attorney General on the setting up of the Commission of Inquiry into IBRC transactions.

Members of the Opposition are demanding that the legal opinion provided by Máire Whelan be made public so as to shed light on how the inquiry hit a stumbling block.

In his interim report last week, Mr Justice Cregan said the terms of reference of his investigation mean it cannot proceed effectively unless emergency legislation is introduced.

The judge has said the probe, which is examining 38 deals struck by the bank, could take years to complete at a considerable cost to the taxpayer.

Mr Kenny has invited the main parties to provide their assessments on how best to overcome the legal obstacles outlined in Mr Cregan's interim report.

The issue was debated during Wednesday's 'Leaders' Questions'.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams called on extra Dáil sitting days over the Christmas period if such a move is required to get the inquiry back up on running.

Mr Kenny said that the judge, who he described as "entirely independent", would require eight years to complete the report unless the Government acts.

He said he will respond to the Opposition next week after assessing their opinions about how best to deal with the legal obstacles outlined in the interim report.

But he refused to publish the AG's advice in response to Opposition requests.

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