The Oireachtas Banking Inquiry Chairman Ciaran Lynch has welcomed the unprecedented decision by the Government to waive legal privilege to allow former Attorney General Paul Gallagher to discuss advice he gave to the previous Government on a number of issues that comes under the Committee’s remit.
Deputy Lynch said: “The Committee had asked the Cabinet to waive legal privilege to allow former Attorney General Paul Gallagher to discuss advice he gave the Government on three issues – the night of the guarantee, the Troika Programme and the role and influence of the European Central Bank. On behalf of the Committee, I would like to welcome the co-operation from the Cabinet in assisting the Committee in its work and greatly appreciate this unprecedented decision which reflects the exceptional circumstances of the financial crisis and the hugely important work of the Committee inquiring into the reasons Ireland experienced a systemic banking crisis. While the waiver will be confined to oral evidence and will not extend to documents requesting or containing legal advice, the waiving of legal privilege should allow Mr Gallagher give the fullest possible assistance to the Inquiry.
“The Government also approved the waiver of legal privilege over legal advices provided by Padraig Ó Riordáin and Eugene McCague of Arthur Cox solicitors in relation to the bank guarantee during September and October 2008. Again, given the important mandate of this Committee to inquire into the financial crisis and our work putting together the pieces to get a full picture of the events leading up to, during and after the crisis, this is a very welcome and helpful decision.”
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Ciarán Lynch (Chairman)
John Paul Phelan
Sean D Barrett