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Colm McCarthy among 9 experts who will help banking inquiry figure out what to investigate

The banking inquiry met again in private session this morning.

Colm McCarthy chaired An Bord Snip Nua, which proposed deep cuts to public spending at the height of the financial crisis.
Colm McCarthy chaired An Bord Snip Nua, which proposed deep cuts to public spending at the height of the financial crisis.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THE BANKING INQUIRY has agreed to the appointment of nine experts from various fields to an advisory group that will help it determine the terms of reference of the inquiry.

The committee met this morning in private session to agree on the membership of the expert group which includes leading economist and commentator Colm McCarthy and the current Comptroller and Auditor General Seamus McCarthy.

The ad-hoc group of technical experts met for the first time yesterday to hold a preliminary meeting and their membership was confirmed by the committee today.

All of the independent experts will work for the committee on a pro-bono basis.

The role of the group is to provide expert knowledge and input to the committee as it develops its proposal for its inquiry which will be submitted for consideration by two internal Oireachtas committees by 17 September. The group will meet three times this month before producing an interim report for presentation to the committee on 23 July.

This will feed into the inquiry’s final proposal which will out line the specific matters, key events or main questions to be inquired into, along with relevant dates and persons involved. It will also provide direction on the documents and written evidence that will need to be compelled.

In addition to the two McCarthys, the other seven members of the group are:

  1. Pat Casey, principal officer at the Department of finance 
  2. Paul Gorecki, adjunct professor of economics at Trinity 
  3. Megan Greene, Maverick Intelligence
  4. Cathal Guimard, economist and former Irish aviation commissioner
  5. Conor McCabe, research fellow at UCD School of Social Justice 
  6. Rafique Mottiar, consultant economist at the Central Bank
  7. John Shaw, assistant secretary at the Department of the Taoiseach 

The committee had approached a number of other people including two former Comptroller and Auditors General and the UCD economics professor Karl Whelan who said he was unavailable:

Separately members of the inquiry committee are said to have expressed unhappiness at today’s meeting about the cost of fitting out Agriculture House on Kildare Street for the inquiry’s public hearings.

The Office of Public Works has been told by the committee to halve the estimated cost of the fitting out rooms in the building which had been put at some €470,000.

Committee chairman Ciarán Lynch said: “A key issue for members is that expenditure related to the inquiry should be kept to a minimum and that the operation of the inquiry should at all times be cost effective, efficient and reasonable and the Committee will keep estimates of costs under continued review.”

Read: The banking inquiry will ask leading economists to help figure out what it should investigate

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Hugh O'Connell

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