Banking inquiry expected in next few months

A banking inquiry is now expected to be up and running by May, before the local and European elections.

The inquiry is also expected to proceed under a new Committee of the Oireachtas, and not the Public Accounts or Finances Committee as had been expected.

Government Chief Whip Paul Kehoe held a meeting with opposition whips tonight about rule changes in the operation of business in the Oireachtas.

Included are changes to allow for the establishment of a special committee to conduct the banking inquiry - known as the inquiries committee.

But new rules on bias will also exclude some members from taking part in the inquiry.

The size, make-up in the number of Government and opposition, and whether it will be a joint committee or Dáil members only have yet to be decided.

Those details are likely to be brought to a meeting on teh Committee on Procedures and Privileges tomorrow evening, and it is the CPP that the new committee will be answerable to.

This will end the debate once and for all whether Public Accounts or Finance get to conduct the long awaited inquiry - neither will.

Major legal advice has been sought that allows this inquiry go ahead despite pending court cases.

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