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Brian Cowen won't be at the banking inquiry until July - and it's already cost €2m

The former taoiseach will appear before the inquiry along with several other key figures from the crash this summer.

Brian Cowen
Brian Cowen
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Updated at 7.30am

THE BANKING INQUIRY is expected to hear from former taoiseach Brian Cowen and former finance minister Charlie McCreevy sometime in July.

The inquiry has notified a fourth tranche of witnesses, mostly affiliated to the Department of Finance, of their requirement to appear before the committee examining the cause of the Irish banking collapse, which has so far cost over €2.1 million to establish and run.

Cowen will appear in relation to his role as minister for finance between 2004 and 2008, as will McCreevy who preceded him in the role between 1997 and 2004. Their appearances are likely to take place in July.

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern is expected to be asked to appear before the inquiry although he has not yet received notification.

Others receiving notification of their requirement to attend today include former Department of Finance secretary general Kevin Cardiff and his predecessor, David Doyle, who was the top civil servant in the department at the time of the crash.

Current Department of Finance secretary general, Derek Moran, and his predecessor, John Moran, who left the post last year, have also been asked to attend. Maria Mackle, a whistleblower who gave warnings about the crash, has also been asked to attend.

IPA Conferences Kevin Cardiff Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

These appearances will be part of the Nexus phase of the committee’s hearings, which will involve contributions from several key current and former bank executives along with regulators past and present who have already been asked to appear before the committee in recent weeks.

Separately, figures released today show that the inquiry has so far cost over €2.1 million to establish and run since May of last year.

Three-quarters of this has gone on salaries for its secretariat and investigation team. Around €163,000 of the money has been spent on external legal advice. Nearly €300,000 has been spent on ICT equipment.

The next phase

This next phase of the inquiry is considered crucial to the success to its success, with highly-sensitive documents and evidence to be considered by the committee.

The 11 members of the inquiry were locked in lengthy talks that ran until just before midnight last night as they were briefed on the technical and legal aspects of the next phase.

In a statement today, the inquiry chair Ciaran Lynch said: “This phase of our hearings will include a move to compelling witnesses and statements and the use of evidence.

“Under the witness management protocol, there will be a structured witness engagement with a seven week lead-in between the notification and the public hearing. The protocol includes timescales, evidence books and technical briefings.”

The nexus phase begins next week and will run until the middle of September. A total of 64 public hearings are planned with some 60 witnesses expected to attend in this period. The inquiry has been regularly updating this list with those who have been compelled to attend so far.

The committee is also expected to engage with the former head of the European Central Bank, Jean Claude Trichet, at an informal IIEA event in Dublin on 30 April.

Lynch said the committee is now working as to how it can engage with Trichet so as that what he tells them can be used as evidence for the inquiry.

“Web-casting or live streaming of the event and Q&A session, in addition to a written transcript will also be provided,” Lynch said of the event, the venue for which has yet to be confirmed.

First posted Thursday evening.

The story so far: Sexy corruption and 8 other things we’ve learned at the banking inquiry

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Hugh O'Connell

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