THE GOVERNMENT HAS agreed to establish a banking inquiry immediately in the wake of the conclusion of the Anglo trial with Labour TD Ciaran Lynch to chair the probe.
A motion will be brought before the Dáil next Tuesday following a discussion at this morning’s Cabinet meeting.
The long-awaited inquiry will be established under the recently-passed Oireachtas Inquiries legislation and will be chaired by Lynch who is the chairman of the Oireachtas Finance Committee.
Speaking to TheJournal.ie this afternoon, Lynch said: “I think it’s a new challenge ahead, a challenge I am looking forward to. It will require a significant body of work.”
Speaking to RTÉ this lunchtime, Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin said that the inquiry will be able to compel witnesses in the same way as the High Court and he hopes it will be in public session before the end of the year.
The Government Chief Whip Paul Kehoe will now consult with other political parties on the proposed inquiry that will be carried out by the specially-established committee.
The Government parties hope that a motion to establish the inquiry will be before the Oireachtas next Tuesday.
Howlin told the News at One: “I am strongly of the view that a lot of the participants in the event… will be only too willing to lay out their views of what happened.”
The Labour Minister said that the inquiry will set out ”in clear and stark detail who was involved in the decisions that brought calamity upon us”.
He said: “It will all be done before the court of public opinion and people will be able to judge these matters.”
The Taoiseach has previously said that the inquiry will be “modular in nature” and focus on three areas: the bank guarantee and the events leading up to it; the role of the banks and their auditors; and the role of State institutions.
TheJournal.ie has previously reported that the committee is likely to be smaller than most others and will have representation proportionate to party numbers in the Dáil as is the case with other Oireachtas committees. This means it will be chaired by a government TD and have a majority of coalition members.
Any TD who has made subjective comments about bankers or individuals connected to the crisis and the inquiry is likely to be excluded from being part of the committee.
A government source insisted at the time that there are plenty of TDs who will be eligible to take part, citing the need for “political savvy” above accounting and banking expertise.