FG Ministers say former ECB head should attend Oireachtas banking inquiry

Bruton and Varadkar say they would welcome Trichet’s involvement

Former European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet. Photograph: Price Chambers/Reuters

Former European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet. Photograph: Price Chambers/Reuters

 

Two Fine Gael Ministers have said they would welcome the participation of former head of the European Central Bank Jean-Claude Trichet in the proposed Oireachtas banking inquiry.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton and Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar were speaking to journalists in Dublin yesterday while canvassing in the Seanad referendum campaign.

Asked if he supported the call by Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore that Mr Trichet come before the inquiry, Mr Bruton said he would welcome any “relevant persons’’ coming before the inquiry.

“Such an inquiry will have its own terms of reference and I think if Mr Trichet has relevant information, of course he should be invited,’’ he added.

Mr Varadkar said he would welcome Mr Trichet’s participation, adding that he thought it was a very good suggestion.

Asked about The Irish Times revelation that broadcaster and public relations consultant Bill O’Herlihy had lobbied the Government on behalf of the tobacco industry, Mr Bruton said decisions would be made about the taxation of tobacco in the budget on the best advice available.

“The Government is also making changes in lobbying and legislation will be passed by the Dail as part of our reforms,’’ he added.

Asked about the appointment of Mr O’Herlihy, a former Fine Gael handler, as chairman of the Irish Film Board in March this year, Mr Bruton said he was a public figure of very considerable ability.