Editors and media executives may face banking inquiry

Committee agrees final terms of reference

 

Newspaper editors and other media executives may be called to give evidence to the Oireachtas banking inquiry after the committee agreed alterations to its final terms of reference today.

Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins asked that an amendment be made to the inquiry’s final submission on what it will cover in its forthcoming investigation.

Mr Higgins’ amendment, accepted by the committee, requested the inquiry examine “the development of a prevailing consensus, including the role of mass media and advertising and mortgage brokers, financial consultants and property development and sales companies”.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Higgins said “senior editors, financial controllers and board members of major media organisations can be compelled to appear before the committee” as part of a module examining the lead up to the banking crash.

“Some organisations did purchase property sales websites,” the Dublin West TD added in an apparent reference to The Irish Times and its acquisition of myhome.ie.

Also speaking after today’s meeting, Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath said he is satisfied the inquiry will not be a witch hunt against his party, adding the Oireachtas had to show it is able to carry out such investigations.

Mr McGrath said he would still like to see the European Central Bank appear before the 11 member committee.

The inquiry’s final submission will now be sent to the Committees on Procedures and Privileges of both the Dáil and Seanad, and chairman Ciarán Lynch said the proposals should be debated in both houses by mid-October.