Saturday 19 January 2019

Inquiry to question 120 bank officials

Some 120 banking officials are poised to appear in front of the long-awaited inquiry into the banking collapse.

The controversial bank guarantee, the troika bailout and the decision to liquidate the former Anglo Irish Bank will all be examined by the €5m probe.

A special report prepared for the 11-person inquiry team has proposed that the investigation examines events dating as far back as 1992.

The banking inquiry committee, chaired by Labour TD Ciaran Lynch, is due to meet today as the Dail resumes.


The inquiry is to have two key focuses: firstly, to find out what happened in the banks and secondly to examine the lead-up, night of and fall-out from the €440bn September 2008 bank guarantee.

Initial preparation work, including technical briefings, is to commence in October with the first hearings to commence in December.

Then, in the New Year, the inquiry phase will commence hearings on April 13 and conclude on September 24, with a proposed 42 days of hearings.

The report also identifies for the first time the complete list of witnesses who will be asked to appear before it.

While not listed by name, they include current and former members of Cabinet; former taoisigh Brian Cowen and Bertie Ahern; former top officials in the Departments of Finance and An Taoiseach, including Kevin Cardiff, Dermot McCarthy and David Doyle.

Also included will be current and former Central Bank top management, including current Governor Patrick Honohan and his predecessor John Hurley and financial regulators Pat Neary and Mathew Elderfield.

The committee will also seek to hear from former ECB President Jean Claude Trichet, top staff in the NTMA and NAMA, dissenting voices as well as whistleblowers like Marie Mackle from the Department of Finance.

In its final proposal, the Committee identifies a number of major "possible risks and constraints on its work".

These include a potential perception of bias against witnesses and the impact the inquiry could have of prejudicing ongoing legal cases.


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