Banking inquiry to redact Johnny Ronan’s Nazi reference

Oireachtas committee agrees to amend developer’s controversial written statement

Property developer Johnny Ronan. File  photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Property developer Johnny Ronan. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

 

The banking inquiry has agreed to redact the written statement of developer Johnny Ronan.

Mr Ronan formally requested that the Oireachtas committee remove the use of the phrase “Arbeit macht frei” in the statement.

The use of the phrase had been criticised by former minister for justice Alan Shatter because it was used in reference to Nazi concentration camps in the second World War.

“The committee normally rejects applications to amend statements once they have been submitted,” a spokesman for the inquiry said.

“However, in this case, the phrase at issue contains no evidential value and has the potential to continue to cause offence.

“In these exceptional circumstances the Joint Committee has agreed to the redaction of the last line of Mr Ronan’s witness statement.”

Mr Ronan has apologised for using the phrase.

‘Offensive and despicable’

Mr Shatter, who wrote to the committee about the “offensive and despicable” phrase in Mr Ronan’s submission, welcomed the developer’s decision to request that the comment be removed.

“Arbeit macht frei” was written over the entrance to Nazi concentration camps in Auschwitz, Sachsenhausen and Dachau, amongst others.