Banking inquiry to delay report publication by week

Some members refuse to sign off on report in current format, saying it is too political

Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty: said he could not agree to the contents of the report.  Photograph: Dave Meehan

Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty: said he could not agree to the contents of the report. Photograph: Dave Meehan

 

The Oireachtas banking inquiry has agreed to delay publication of its report by a week.

Members met for more than four hours on Wednesday night amid fears the report would not be completed in time and would inevitably not be published.

The 11 members agreed to extend the amendment process until 6pm on Thursday.

The 40-page executive summary, which was heavily criticised by the members, has been withdrawn.

A new one of five pages will now be drawn up by the finalisation team.

The committee agreed to delay publication by a week until January 27th.

However, members were insisting there was still a strong chance a report would not be completed in time.

The emergency meeting was called as members including Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty and Fianna Fáil TD Michael McGrath warned they could not sign off on the report.

Mr Doherty said he had not had a chance to read the report in full and could not agree to its contents.

It is understood there were a number of factual inaccuracies contained in the report due to the tight deadline the committee was working to.

The 11 members were given the executive summary of the report at 4pm on Wednesday despite the chapters of the report not being concluded.

The summary was labelled too political by the TDs and Senators and the team was asked to rewrite the 40-page summary.

Highly critical

The Irish Times understands it is highly critical of the Fianna Fáil-led government and at one point refers to the former European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn as the “chief bottlewasher”.

The Fianna Fáil members of the inquiry – Mr McGrath and Senator Marc MacSharry – said they would not sign off on the report that contained that executive summary.

The report runs close to 700 pages despite an agreement it would be a shorter, more focused one.

It is expected to examine key areas including the role of the media, burden sharing, the banks, the role of State authorities, the guarantee and the bailout.

It will be split into three volumes – one gathering the evidence, one examining the recommendations and conclusions and the third will look at the Act governing the committee.

The inquiry will meet on Friday evening to examine the changes made to the report.

It will then be distributed to interested parties next week.

The committee will have to meet on New Year’s Eve to sign off on the report.

Sources say the delay in publication will provide some legal risks for the committee.