Joe Higgins and Pearse Doherty refuse to support Banking Inquiry's final report

By Daniel McConnell, Political Editor

Two members of the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry have now said they cannot support its final report.

Socialist TD Joe Higgins has become the second member of the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry to say he will not sign off on the committee's final report.

In a two-line statement, Mr Higgins (pictured) said: “I confirm that I have formally told the Joint Committee of Inquiry into the Banking Crisis that I am not in a position to sign the Draft Report. I will make a full statement tomorrow, Monday, outlining my reasons for not signing”.

The embattled Oireachtas Banking Inquiry suffered a major blow earlier today when Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD confirmed that he would not sign off on the final report.

As first reported several days ago by the Irish Examiner, Mr Doherty has had significant difficulties with the direction the report's final stages have taken and was known to be heading towards not signing it.

Speaking this afternoon, Deputy Doherty said: “When I agreed to take part in the banking inquiry, foremost in my mind were the people who have lost their homes and businesses, the cuts inflicted on our public services and the generation forced into emigration because of the banking crisis”.

“The people have the right to know how the banking crisis came about, who was responsible and to be assured that it would never happen again. I have worked constructively on the inquiry to get to the full truth of what happened. While the report includes new information, it fails to fully answer the questions regarding how the crisis came about and who was responsible.

"Our people deserve the full truth. That is why I am unable to not sign off on the committee report."

The now fatally damaged inquiry also looks set to exclude a key part of its report in order to conclude its business on time.

The 11 members of the Inquiry committee, who are meeting throughout today, remain deeply divided as to what form the final report should take, and as a result, look set to jettison the executive summary part.

Fianna Fáil's finance spokesman Micheal McGrath today warned that the report may not have an executive summary as it will be difficult to agree with the 11 members.

He said they had not yet begun to consider the summary but 140 amendments had been tabled. He said that realistically it would be difficult to achieve agreement on its contents.

Mr McGrath said that would be an omission and the report should have an executive summary.

He added that they were never going to have a lengthy document on a complex issue that all 11 members were completely happy with, but he said if they failed to reach an agreement, they would be letting people down.

KEYWORDS: Baning Inquiry


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