Oireachtas banking inquiry granted January extension for report

Work of committee was due to end in November and could be derailed by early election

Ciarán Lynch, chairman of the banking inquiry: sought additional eight weeks. Photograph; Dara Mac Dónaill

Ciarán Lynch, chairman of the banking inquiry: sought additional eight weeks. Photograph; Dara Mac Dónaill

 

The Oireachtas banking inquiry will today be given until the end of January to finish its final report, heightening the risk of the investigation being derailed by an early election.

Inquiry chairman Ciarán Lynch has written to Government Chief Whip Paul Kehoe seeking an additional eight weeks.

The motion will be passed by the Dáil and Seanad today, and the inquiry will be given until the end of January to finish its report.

The committee was due to be finished by the end of November but was delayed due to allegations being made against the investigation team working with the 11 members. A whistleblower claimed preferential treatment was given to some witnesses, including the Central Bank and the Department of Finance.

In his report into the claims, senior counsel Senan Allen said the allegations made under the Protected Disclosures Act were “preposterous”, “vexatious and scandalous”.

He said the claims were “flatly contradicted by the evidence”.

The work of the committee could be in jeopardy if an early election is called. The Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Act 2013 does not provide for the continuation of an inquiry after an election.