The Oireachtas Banking Inquiry will conclude its public hearings this week after which the Committee will commence the final phase of work leading to the Inquiry report.
Later this week the Committee will hear from former IMF member Ajai Chopra who was responsible for the design and monitoring of Ireland’s financial bailout programme (2010–13); Minister for Finance Michael Noonan; Alan Ahearne relating to his role as special advisor to the late Minister of Finance, Brian Lenihan; Alan Gray relating to his roles as Non-Executive Director of the Central Bank and IFSRA and as an advisor to former Taoiseach Brian Cowen; Denis O’Connor and Aidan Walsh from PWC on their roles working for the Financial Regulator on loan quality of the covered banks; and Tom Browne relating to his role as Managing Director Lending Ireland/Director in Anglo Irish Bank.
Chairman Ciaran Lynch TD said: “The public hearings phase of the Banking Inquiry will conclude next week, when the Committee will hear from its final public hearing witnesses, including former IMF official Ajai Chopra and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan.
“The Committee is now embarking on the final phase of its work programme leading to its final report. This involves final analysis and review of evidence, obtaining clarification of material evidence from witnesses, and compilation of books of core documents for publication with the final report. Prior to finalising its report, the Committee is also required under the 2013 Inquiries Act to engage in a consultation process with parties potentially affected by the report.
“When Nexus Phase public hearings conclude on 10th September, the Committee will have heard oral evidence from 95 witnesses over an intensive 4 month period. When witnesses during the Context Phase are included, the Committee will have heard from 128 witnesses in 49 days of public hearings since December 2014. These witnesses representing all key institutions and relevant stakeholders, along with relevant experts, have brought a wide range of perspectives to bear on the Committee’s comprehensive examination of Ireland’s banking crisis.
“Public hearings are a significant and important part of the inquiry process. Our hearings have enabled the public to hear directly from key witnesses and institutions with relevant knowledge and first-hand experience of Ireland’s banking crisis.
“However, the taking of oral evidence is only a part of the work of the inquiry. Over the coming months, the Committee and its team will work on bringing together all of the ingredients for its final report, which will be based on an analysis of all material documentation along with key oral and written evidence from witnesses. The Committee will then deliberate on its draft report and will consult with affected parties prior to submission of its final report to Dáil and Seanad Éireann.”
The Committee will continue to meet in private during the report preparation phase which will take a number of months and will issue regular updates on progress during this phase.
Separately, the Committee has also received correspondence from the European Central Bank declining to participate in the Inquiry’s work.
Deputy Lynch said: “While the ECB is outside the Irish jurisdiction and beyond the Committee’s powers of compellability, we did have an expectation that it would assist us in our work. The response is disappointing given that the Committee made every effort to accommodate the ECB and also to facilitate it in reviewing and responding to statements and evidence given at our public hearings which referenced the role and influence of the ECB.
“It is unfortunate and unsatisfactory that ECB has chosen not to engage with the Committee. A response and engagement from the ECB would have added to our final report and its stance is therefore regrettable.”
Further information on the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry can be accessed on this website.
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Ciarán Lynch (Chairman)
John Paul Phelan
Sean D Barrett