Saturday 18 November 2017

Coalition has botched promised banking probe

Labour TD Ciaran Lynch will head up the banking inquiry
Labour TD Ciaran Lynch will head up the banking inquiry

IT'S six years since our banking system fell asunder, ultimately contributing to the loss of national economic sovereignty and bringing considerable hardship to tens of thousands of families across the nation. Along with promises of "new politics" in the February 2011 General Election, this Fine Gael-Labour Coalition promised us a parliamentary inquiry into the whole banking debacle which cost taxpayers €64bn. But the reality has not entirely matched the rhetoric here, as in the case of other promises.

Granted, the loss of the October 2011 referendum which aimed to extend parliamentary committee powers of inquiry was a reverse for the Government's bank inquiry plans. It took some time to bring in special legislation last autumn to fill the gap which resulted.

But while the inquiry preparations were inching forward, some serious unforced errors by the Government cast a dark shadow over a process which has not even got off the ground. The Taoiseach's comments a year ago about the inquiry probing an "axis of collusion" between some in Fianna Fail (FF) and Anglo Irish Bank were deeply unhelpful and played to FF's warnings about "a party political agenda".

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