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“Banking Inquiry will look like a game of charades,” McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said that he believes the Government Banking Inquiry will do little or nothing to shed further light on the disastrous run up to the banking collapse in 2008. Deputy McGrath was speaking after the Inquiry Chairman, Labours Ciaran Lynch, confirmed that he hopes the final report of its findings will be available by November 2015, just prior to the next general election:


“Given the scope of the 20 year time-frame which the Inquiry has set itself to investigate, and the list of the proposed witnesses, I cannot see how such a deadline can be realistically met.

Even if there were not serious problems around the setting of the terms of reference, which to my mind has never been satisfactorily dealt with, we are really stretching things to say that this Report will happen.

There is broad acknowledgement for example that while Jean Claude Trichet can offer a pivotal insight into the whole bank guarantee mess, there is about zero chance he will facilitate the Inquiry in that way.

There are also numerous dangers around individuals implicating themselves in terms of the kind of disclosures we would need from senior bank executives.

So in the end I think the whole process will be like a game of charades, with the Inquiry members trying to decipher the vague and non-committed replies we have seen time and again from bankers who came before the Oireachtas on other matters like mortgage arrears.

Let us be frank; who is going to expect full and upfront disclosures when it is clear that the process itself lacks effective compellability powers and also that it has already been tainted with the suspicion that Fine Gael/Labour will be using it as the forum for a political witch-hunt prior to the next General Election?” concluded Deputy McGrath.