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Investigation into banking crash needs to hurry up - Howlin

Brendan Howlin also said there is a chance the referendum on public inquiries could be rerun to allow an inquiry into the banking crisis to take place.

Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire

THE INVESTIGATION INTO banking crash which crippled Ireland’s economy needs to speed up and make some findings, a senior government minister has said.

Brendan Howlin said that there needs to be accountability for the people who made “reckless and outrageous” decisions and said he would like to see an “early determination” of the investigation which is under way.

The Minister for Public Expenditure also said that there is a possibility that the referendum on public inquiries which failed to pass last October could be rerun to allow an inquiry into the banking crisis to take place.

He said that alternatives such as appointing a High Court inspector or a full committee of inquiry to investigate the collapse were also under consideration.

In the interview with the Financial Times, Howlin said that there hasn’t yet been a full explanation of who was responsible for the financial crisis, who made the decisions and who advised on the decisions, adding:

I do think that it is necessary to get the full picture

The Minister said that there is an “absolute requirement for light to be shone into that dark crevice”.

Howlin said that he would not comment on whether politicians should be questioned by gardaí or charged over their role in the crisis as it would be inappropriate. Iceland’s former prime minister Geir Haarde is currently on trial over the collapse of the country’s banks during the 2008 financial crisis.

The ongoing investigation is being carried out as a joint operation between the Garda’s fraud investigation squad and the office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement.

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Former head of Anglo Irish Bank Seán Fitzpatrick was arrested in December for the second time as part of the investigation into alleged irregularities at some of Ireland’s financial institutions during the boom.

Both times Fitzpatrick was released without charge.

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Christine Bohan

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