The Oireachtas Banking Inquiry will refer the issue of unauthorised possession of certain documents to An Garda Síochána.
In the interests of meeting its obligations, the Inquiry publishes witness statements on its website as they are presented by a witness. It is still unclear how information from a witness statement which was recently published in the media came to be in the public domain ahead of a scheduled public hearing.
This witness statement forms part of a larger set of documents which are confidential under Section 37 of the Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Act 2013 and, in some cases, also fall within the ambit of Section 33AK of the Central Bank Act. Publication of these confidential documents is a breach of the Inquiries Act and may constitute an offence.
The concern for the Committee is that the documentation in its totality has a particular legal protection and, in that light, the Committee is writing to the relevant person(s) who were sent the documentation and the media outlets which are now in possession of documentation to remind them that to publish the documents would be an offence under Section 41 of the Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Act 2013.
The Committee has also agreed to refer these issues including the possession of the confidential documentation by a number of media outlets to An Garda Síochána.
All media enquiries in relation to the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry should be addressed to:
Houses of the Oireachtas,
P: +3531 618 3903
F: +3531 618 4551
All general enquiries should be directed to the Committee Secretariat.
t. +353 1 618 3651
Ciarán Lynch (Chairman)
John Paul Phelan
Sean D Barrett