Taoiseach asks Donnelly to return to banking inquiry

Independent TD Stephen Donnelly

By Shaun Connolly, Political Correspondent, Irish Examiner
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has urged Independent TD Stephen Donnelly to rejoin the crisis-hit banking inquiry.

Mr Donnelly quit the probe in outrage at Mr Kenny adding two extra members to the investigation in order to sure a Government majority on the body.

"This is a different kind of committee. It is not driven by Government. It does not operate to a mandate or direction or instruction from Government. For instance, the Fine Gael members who attend on the committee have absolute freedom in the context of working with the committee as they want to do.

"The members of the committee can work entirely independently. I do hope the committee can get down now, on Thursday, to starting the process of the substantial work it has to do and it will do that work without any direction, instruction or mandate from the Cabinet," Mr Kenny said.

The Taoiseach signalled he would like Mr Donnelly to think again about the committee.

"He was elected in part on the issue of the banks and obviously Deputy Donnelly has a lot to offer in many respects.

I think his article on Sunday was written on the assumption the Government was going to require that the committee would work to a particular Government mandate.

That is patently not true and it is a matter completely independently for the committee to do what it wishes to do. So in that sense, given the fact the committee needs good people, perhaps Deputy Donnelly might reconsider his position," Mr Kenny said.

The Taoiseach was speaking during visit to Irish peace keeping troops in South Lebanon where he placed a wreath in memory of the 47 soldiers from Ireland who did as part of the UN mission between 1978-2000.

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