Developers make new legal threats to banking inquiry

Johnny Ronan and Michael O’Flynn are disappointed their suggestions were rejected

Two of the country's largest developers have made fresh legal threats to the Oireachtas banking inquiry.

Johnny Ronan and Michael O’Flynn, who are acting separately but have expressed similar concerns, wrote to the committee on Monday expressing disappointment that suggested amendments they made ahead of the publication of the final report of the inquiry were rejected by its members.

In their correspondence Mr Ronan and Mr O'Flynn have urged the inquiry to reconsider the amendments they proposed and warned they will take legal action if their requests are not re-examined.

The inquiry will hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday to discuss the correspondence from the developers.

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The two developers have also claimed evidence given to the inquiry from the National Asset Management Agency was accepted without question by its members.

Mr O’Flynn and Mr Ronan both claim they were denied the opportunity to contest some of the testimony given by the agency.

Mr Ronan alleges the committee was engaged in a cover-up to protect Nama and was therefore turning a blind eye to an inconvenient truth.

Following the first legal submission by the developers, on New Year’s Eve, the committee met to discuss the points raised but declined to change their report.

It is understood the committee is reluctant to make any further alterations.

Spokesmen for Mr O’Flynn and Mr Ronan declined to comment on the correspondence.

Any legal action would scupper the publication of its final report and may have consequences for the timing of the general election.

It is understood Taoiseach Enda Kenny will not call the election until after the report is concluded.

Mr Kenny said on Monday he has decided on the date but will not announce it until a later date.

However, if the inquiry's findings are challenged in court, Fine Gael sources are indicating Mr Kenny may go to the country sooner than anticipated.

Mr Ronan and Mr O’Flynn were two of the 33 people who made submissions requesting changes to the banking inquiry’s report.

It is understood that in his response to the final report of the committee Mr Ronan said the inquiry was engaging in a political agenda to ensure the re-election of the current Government which is aiming to portray Nama as the saviour of the housing market.

It is understood Mr O’Flynn asked for quotes referencing donations he made to political parties be removed.

The developer insists allegations he received any benefit from making a contribution to parties is inaccurate and said any donation he made was in support of democracy.

The two developers said they would have no alternative but to take legal action if these references were not removed.

It is understood the committee declined to accept the requests and have informed Mr O’Flynn and Mr Ronan in writing of their decision.

Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen also took issue with the inquiry's report alleging it had impugned his good name.

Mr Cowen claims some of the statements included in the report are “leading and prejudicial”.

He said references to a meeting in the house of non- executive director of Anglo Fintan Drury before a golf outing in Druids Glen in 2008 should be removed.

The inquiry had heard Mr Cowen met former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean Fitzpatrick and Central Bank director Alan Gray at the home of Mr Drury before the outing.

Mr Drury and Mr Cowen had both given evidence before the inquiry and did not detail the location of the meeting.

Mr Cowen said this reference should be removed because it implied he gave misleading testimony to the inquiry.

He also requested that more context be given to his evidence before the committee.

Former Central Bank Governor John Hurley also took issue with some of the findings of the inquiry with regard to the power the Bank had at the time of the crash.

Former Secretary General at the Department of the Taoiseach Kevin Cardiff, Alan Gray, former Central Bank Governor Patrick Neary and a number of the auditors all requested changes be made.