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State of the Nation

Bertie and Enda to be quizzed about banking collapse

Here’s everything you need to know about what’s happening in Irish politics right now…

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Everyone’s talking about…

The banking inquiry finalised its list of witnesses at a private meeting yesterday.

Albert Reynolds Funerals Scenes Bertie Ahern Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Taoiseach Enda Kenny will appear to discuss the role of the Oireachtas during the crisis when he was the opposition leader. Fine Gael’s then finance spokesperson and now Jobs Minister Richard Bruton will attend the same meeting.

Former Taoiseach and Fianna Fáil leader Bertie Ahern will be questioned about his role in the lead up to, and immediate aftermath of, the banking collapse. He’s likely to appear in July, as is his successor Brian Cowen.

Several bankers from Anglo, Irish Nationwide and Permanent TSB will also face questioning, as will former International Monetary Fund executive Ajai Chopra.

Several papers report that around ten bankers from Anglo have been called including Sean FitzPatrick, David Drumm, Mike Aynsley and Alan Dukes, as well as former Irish Nationwide chief executive Michael Fingleton.

Sean Fitzpatrick is Free Seán Fitzpatrick Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Tánaiste Joan Burton and Labour TD Pat Rabbitte, former party Progressive Democrats leader Mary Harney and Green Party leader John Gormley have also been asked to appear.

All eyes will be on the committee as members finally get an opportunity to question the key players in Irish politics and banking who had a front row seat during the crisis.

The committee is hoping all witnesses will appear freely so the process is not slowed down by them having to use their power of  compellability.

At this point, no great revelations have been made at the banking inquiry, but many will hope the next round of interviews will shed more light on why the economy went into free fall.

Inside Leinster House

A war of words has broken out between two Senators as the same-sex marriage debate nears its end. Fidelma Healy Eames said Averil Power’s claims the No side is using ”dirty tactics” is “outrageous”.

The agenda

  • The Dáil and Seanad aren’t sitting today, but the Cabinet will meet.
  • The banking inquiry will have two meetings today: at 9.30am Ronan Murphy and John McDonnell from PwC will face questions, while Paul Smith, former Managing Partner at Ernst & Young, and Dargan Fitzgerald, Audit Partner at Ernst & Young, will appear at 3pm.
  • TDs and Senators on both sides of the campaign will make one final effort to galvanise voters ahead of Friday’s same-sex marriage and presidential age referendums.
  • Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will continue their royal visit, travelling to Mullaghmore in Sligo.

What the others are saying

  • Senior government figures are predicting a yes vote of up to 60% in the same-sex marriage referendum, according to the Irish Times.
  • Meanwhile, the Irish Independent states that Labour is angry some sections of Fine Gael failed to canvass for a Yes vote.
  • The same paper reports that the Public Expenditure Department will present a draft text to trade unions today in ongoing talks about public pay restoration.

In case you missed it

On the Twitter machine

Health Minister Leo Varadkar seems happy Stephen Fry has weighed into the same-sex marriage debate.

Originally published: 9am

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