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Bank bailout inquiry will get answers, vows Gilmore


Eamon Gilmore. Photo: Damien Eagers

Eamon Gilmore. Photo: Damien Eagers

Eamon Gilmore. Photo: Damien Eagers

THE banking inquiry will get to the bottom of what happened when the last government made "a wrong decision to give a guarantee to the banks which saddled the Irish taxpayers with their debts," Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore has said.

It has also been announced that the inquiry is expected to begin in May. And government chief whip Paul Kehoe informed senior politicians that the probe would be led by a new inquiry committee answerable to the Oireachtas Committee on Procedures and Privileges.

But there will be strict guidelines governing the make-up of the body. Among them, anyone who does not pass a bias test will not be appointed.

"This is to ensure nobody can make a complaint that a TD is biased against them," Labour whip Emmett Stagg said.

Mr Gilmore also explained why it had taken so long to establish the inquiry.

"There was a necessity to bring in legislation to allow the Oireachtas to do it," he said.


The Tanaiste added he hoped the banking probe would happen in the very near future.

"It is now in the hands of all of the parties in the Dail," he revealed. "We want this inquiry to be an all-party inquiry, to be a parliamentary investigation, and the Government will co-operate in every way we can to set up as quickly as possible".

A significant number of changes to the rules of the house must also be made to proceed.

But issues such as the size of the committee and the chairperson have yet to decided.

Social Protection Minister Joan Burton was asked to confirm speculation that Labour TD Ciaran Lynch would chair the new body.

She told Newstalk Breakfast: "I can't, but certainly I know that he's been mentioned."

Asked if she would endorse him, she replied: "Yes, I think he's been a very, very good chair of the Finance Committee, but I think that in the committee structures in the Dail there have been a number of people from different parties who I thought have done very, very well in terms of committee work."