Former Anglo chief refuses to appear at Oireachtas committee

 

Former Anglo-Irish chief Sean Fitzpatrick has been criticised for his decision not to appear before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Economic Regulatory Affairs tomorrow.

Mr Fitzpatrick has cited legal reasons for his refusal to attend.

Chairman of the committee Michael Moynihan said he was disappointed at Mr Fitzpatrick's decision, and said many questions needed to be answered.

"We need and deserve a full explanation as to what went on at the bank which led to the necessity of it being nationalised," he said.

"Though Mr Fitzpatrick has declined to appear before the committee on this occasion, this is not an end to the matter. The committee has written to the government Chief Whip asking that a motion be put before the Dáil
which would give the committee the authority to compel witnesses to attend its hearings. Such power already exists for the Public Accounts Committee."

Labour Party TD Sean Sherlock, who is a member of the committee said Mr Fitzpatrick's refusal was not acceptable.

"Mr Fitzpatrick has an obligation to answer to the Oireachtas for his actions," he said.

"Clearly if senior figures who brought the banking system to the verge of collapse refuse to attend when requested, then the Dail will have to look at the possibility of providing powers of compellability for Oireachtas Committees. The Committee will be in danger of becoming irrelevant if senior bankers are allowed to thumb their noses at the Oireachtas in this way."