Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath has responded to the news that Dáil colleague, independent TD Stephen Donnelly has withdrawn from the proposed banking inquiry committee. He has called on the Government to revisit its decision to reject an independent Leveson-type inquiry.
Deputy McGrath commented, “When we left Leinster House on Friday, the banking inquiry was already in a mess. The decision of the Government to overturn an Oireachtas decision in order to stack the committee with supporters was a shocking development and one that undermined the entire process in many people’s eyes.
“This latest development, with the departure of a well qualified and respected independent TD plunges the process into even further trouble. The Government must change the approach it has adopted over recent weeks and realise the scale of the problem it has created. The entire viability of the inquiry, whether Fine Gael and the Labour Party like it or not, is in jeopardy.
“While we in Fianna Fáil have made it clear repeatedly that we will fully engage in whatever process is in place, we have long advocated a genuinely independent and transparent process along the lines of the Leveson Inquiry, where the public can have full confidence that the only agenda at play is the desire to get to the truth.
“Today, we call on the Government to revisit its decision to reject that proposal and look again at establishing an independent inquiry. As we view the wreckage of the last seven days, it is very hard to see how the Government can possibly re-establish any sort of public respect or confidence in its plan. Going back to the drawing board and choosing a proper format might at least give the country a way to get to the truth.”