Sinn Féin TD alleges ‘disconnect’ in banking inquiry report

Doherty claims inquiry members and investigation team had different viewpoints

Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty has claimed there was a ‘disconnect’ between the investigation team working with the Oireachtas banking inquiry and the members of the inquiry. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty has claimed there was a ‘disconnect’ between the investigation team working with the Oireachtas banking inquiry and the members of the inquiry. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty has said there was a “disconnect” between the investigation team working with the Oireachtas banking inquiry and the members of the inquiry.

Speaking on The Irish Times Inside Politics podcast, Mr Doherty insisted the committee will produce a report by January 20th.

He said: “We are very determined to get a report. We know there has to be a report.

“We want to produce a report. We want the evidence to be published and it can’t be without a report being submitted.

“While we may have been more precious about issues, I think we will be less precious at this point in time.

“But the report will be competent. I am more optimistic now than I was a week ago.”

The Oireachtas banking inquiry is in the process of halving its initial 750-page report to prepare a shorter, more focused one.

Inside Politics

Members were forced to put in place a new team aimed at finishing the report amid frustrations that the initial draft final report was fundamentally flawed.

Mr Doherty said there was a disconnect between the expectations of the members of the inquiry and the investigation team writing the initial report.

He said: “They produced a draft report which had different emphasis on evidence we heard, which didn’t meet the expectations of the committee.”

The Sinn Féin TD said it was not “fair to throw anyone under the bus” but insisted the team was well aware of what the members had expected from the report.

Mr Doherty said: “I don’t agree that the investigation team didn’t know what the members wanted. They knew fine well what the members warned.

“Each member provided in written format what they wanted out of the report.”

Report

The committee is to produce a 250-300-page report focused solely on new information that emerged during the public hearings.

It will now consist of 11 chapters, which will cover issues that arose in the banks, the bank guarantee, the role of the European Central Bank and other factors in entering the bailout programme.

The new team, including Fine Gael TD Eoghan Murphy and Labour Senator Susan O’Keeffe, have until next Thursday to complete the revised report.

Mr Murphy and Ms O’Keeffe are working with three legal representatives and the personal assistants of Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath and Mr Doherty.

Every member of the committee is being consulted on a daily basis about the drafting of the revised report.