IT’S BEEN ON the verge of collapsing numerous times, but the banking inquiry has finally signed off and agreed upon its final report.
The committee met this morning to discuss the submissions from witnesses who gave evidence at hearings earlier in the year.
It has been mired in controversy and there were concerns the committee would not meet its 27 January deadline. The report will now be published on that date.
Under the Houses of the Oireachtas Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures Act, the committee must allow a 21 day standstill period before the final report can be brought before both Houses of the Oireachtas.
Committee Chairman Ciaran Lynch said:
As required under legislation, a number of individuals and institutions were sent copies of the report and were entitled to respond to sections relating to them. We have now completed this part of the process of reviewing the responses and submissions received and have agreed and signed off on our final report.
The report contains three volumes – volume one: the main report; volume 2: recommendations for changes to the legislation for future running of inquiries; and volume three will involve the publication of all the documentary evidence considered in preparing the main report.
Behaviour of the banks
The report only deals with new material that emerged during the course of the hearings and not the context or background to the crash. It focuses on the behaviour of the banks prior to the bank guarantee in 2008 and the Troika bailout in 2010.
To date, the inquiry has cost about €5 million to date.
Despite set backs, Lynch said the agreement on the final report “reflects the positive and constructive approach members have adopted throughout this process”.
He thanked all committee members for their hard work and commitment throughout the inquiry and in agreeing and signing off on a final report.
“As the first committee to carry out its work under new legislation, we were entrusted to examine one of the major events in the history of this State, a crisis which has impacted on every household in Ireland.
“A parliamentary inquiry is a complex project, requiring a dedicated and expert team working behind the scenes to support the work of the Joint Committee. In this regard, I would like to thank the secretariat and investigators for their work, especially over the holiday period to ensure that the committee maintained its schedule to publish in January.”