Finalised bank report calls for action against ECB

Committee 'unhappy' with final document after spending weekend amending 450-page document

Late on Sunday night there were still three chapters causing “significant concerns”. Photograph: The Irish Times

Late on Sunday night there were still three chapters causing “significant concerns”. Photograph: The Irish Times

 

The majority of Oireachtas banking inquiry members have agreed the final draft report, despite many admitting they are not happy with it.

The committee spent the weekend amending the 11 chapters of the 450-page report. Late last night final agreement was reached by members, although three chapters in the report were causing “significant concern”.

The executive summary which was to run to 15 pages was abandoned as the amendments being sought by committee members could not be agreed in time.

Members believe the timeframe to publish the final report is still too tight. This is because the report must go out to interested parties by mid-week and any amendments sought will have to be considered over the Christmas period. The report must be published by January 27th.

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Socialist TD Joe Higgins and Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty have confirmed they will not sign off on the report.

Mr Doherty said there were huge gaps in the committee’s work and its final product did not identify the causes of the crash. He caused anger among his colleagues when he informed them of his decision.

Some members criticised Mr Doherty’s decision not to sign off on the report.

Fine Gael TD John Paul Phelan said: “I think its very regrettable that Pearse walked away before any consideration of findings had even begun.

“It has been a gruelling few days, however, I believe we have a duty to try and get a report published.”

Fine Gael TD Eoghan Murphy said members had worked extremely hard to get the work complete.

He said: “We’ve made excellent progress over what’s been another difficult weekend. I hope it is enough.”One member said this was a purely political decision by Mr Doherty who was “concerned at being upstaged by Joe [Higgins].”

Another said Mr Doherty had treated the committee unfairly by announcing his decision before work was complete.

“He made the decision after we agreed the chapters without any votes. His explanation was that he went home and thought about it. He had an epiphany.”

Responding, Mr Doherty said he was disappointed members were getting political.

The members held 15-hour meetings on Friday, Saturday and yesterday to complete the report. Several of the inquiry members admitted they were deeply unhappy with the report. One member said some of the findings were “poor”.

Fianna Fáil Senator Marc MacSharry said no inquiry should take place under the same restrictions the banking inquiry has worked under.“Nobody could be entirely happy with it,” he said.

The report will be sent for legal review. The inquiry will then consider amendments before distributing it to third parties for consideration.