Banking inquiry may meet over Christmas to finalise report

December holiday week is the only available time to overhaul 750-page document

Senator Susan O’Keeffe, who along with Eoghan Murphy is leading a team to produce a new banking inquiry report. Photograph: James Flynn

Senator Susan O’Keeffe, who along with Eoghan Murphy is leading a team to produce a new banking inquiry report. Photograph: James Flynn

 

Members of the Oireachtas banking inquiry may have to meet on Christmas Day, St Stephen’s Day and New Year’s Eve in efforts to salvage a final report.

Under its present timeframe the committee has only five more days to finalise the draft report, notwithstanding the fact that it has decided to discard a substantial amount of the 750-page document presented by inquiry investigators last Monday.

There is agreement among a majority of members that this is not possible.

The only solution would be to take an additional week to complete the new draft report.

If that path is pursued, it will result in the committee having to come back during Christmas week, which is the only week they had scheduled off in the rigid time frame leading to publication of the final report on January 20th.

Emergency meeting

Yesterday, several committee members said it would be impossible to produce a credible draft report by December 1st.

If the committee agrees to reconvene during Christmas week, they will have another seven days to finish the report.

“I already think it is inevitable that we will be in Dublin on Christmas week and I think it likely we will have to work on Christmas Day, St Stephen’s Day and New Year’s Day,” said one member, speaking on the basis of anonymity.

New report

Eoghan Murphy

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath and his Sinn Féin counterpart Pearse Doherty are being consulted. Work has continued all weekend.

Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins who has already indicated he will not support the final report at this stage, last night said the legislation was deeply flawed and should be scrapped.

Criticisms of the report by committee members included major omissions, assumptions not being based on evidence, a lack of a coherent narrative and a disconnect between oral and documentary evidence.

A meeting will be held tomorrow to see if it can be rescued or whether it has to be rewritten in full.