Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Dublin Bay South Cllr Jim O’Callaghan says the Government would be putting party politics ahead of the national interest of the country should an early election be called.

Cllr O’Callaghan pointed out that the Banking Inquiry would automatically collapse should the Government call an election before it has had an opportunity to complete its work.

“Most people now recognise that the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry was established by the government to fulfill a very political purpose. Fine Gael and Labour assumed that it would reflect negatively on Fianna Fáil in the run up to the General Election. In fact the Banking Inquiry did not work out as the Government envisaged,” said Cllr O’Callaghan.

“The evidence of the former Fianna Fáil Taoisigh and persons representing the state at the height of the banking crisis was coherent and provided a justification for the decisions made by the previous government. This, coupled with the Greek banking crisis which grabbed worldwide attention earlier this year, has made people recognise that the easy alternatives previously suggested by those in opposition during the crisis were not likely to succeed.

“As a committee of the Oireachtas, the Banking Inquiry would cease to exist should the Dáil be dissolved. The Government is acutely aware of this fact. It would not be in the national interest if the inquiry was not permitted to conclude its work because of the government’s political desire to have an early election. As of last July the banking inquiry cost the state in excess of €3.5m. This money will have gone to waste if the Government calls an early election.

“Ending the inquiry prematurely would be a slap in the face to all of those witnesses who gave evidence before it. They have an expectation that the committee would consider and adjudicate on the important events that occurred at the height of the banking crisis. The TD’s and Senators who served on the committee also want to ensure it completes its work.

“The consequences for the Banking Inquiry and the reputation of future Oireachtas inquiries would be severe if the Dáil was dissolved early without the completion of the final report. The consequences for the government would be even more severe. Neither the Taoiseach nor his government could ever justify such an act of extraordinary political cynicism.”