Banking inquiry committee will ‘leave club jerseys at the door’

Labour’s Ciarán Lynch says group will work on behalf of the Irish people

Chairman of the banking inquiry committee Ciarán Lynch (Lab) says group will work for the Irish people and ‘leave club jerseys at the door’. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Chairman of the banking inquiry committee Ciarán Lynch (Lab) says group will work for the Irish people and ‘leave club jerseys at the door’. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

The banking inquiry is an opportunity to “leave our club jerseys at the committee room door and to do an important job on behalf of the Irish people”, its chairman has said.

Speaking on the first day of public hearings, Deputy Ciarán Lynch (Labour) said it was necessary that committee members approached the inquiry with open minds.

“Nobody has a monopoly on wisdom and no one should pre-judge the outcome of this inquiry,” he said.

“This is an opportunity to demonstrate an example of parliament at its best: thorough and impartial.”

Set up in October to examine why Ireland experienced a systemic banking crisis, the cross-party inquiry committee is made up of seven deputies and four senators.

‘Financial burden’

Mr Lynch said the committee would endeavour to ensure “the financial burden that has laid itself so heavily on the shoulders of the Irish people will not be placed there again”. He said the purpose of the inquiry was to identify and learn from previous mistakes and to ensure that, as far as is possible, “We do not create the circumstances which would lead to a similar disaster in the future”.

“The dark cloud of the banking and financial crisis still lingers over every home in Ireland,” he said.

“It is the task of this inquiry to shed light on how the collapse happened and to ensure its dark shadow never falls on our country again.”

He said gaps in our knowledge of the time leading up to, during and after the banking crisis remained.

“Without the knowledge that answers to these questions will provide, we cannot protect ourselves against a repetition of the crisis,” Mr Lynch said.

Mr Lynch said the committee would hear from experts, from “those who were at the helm when Ireland ran aground” and from “those who were in the engine room”.

He pointed out that the committee had the power to compel written and oral evidence.

“It means that the Irish people will hear, at first hand, from those who were involved in one of the major events in the history of our country,” he said.