Government mismanagement is turning key inquiry into farce: McGrath
Push for FG / Lab committee majority reinforces concerns about motivation for inquiry
Fianna Fáil has responded to the latest twist in the Government’s ham-fisted management of the banking inquiry, following the decision to postpone the first meeting of the inquiry to facilitate the Government’s latest attempt to control the committee’s agenda and block membership of Marc Mac Sharry.
Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath commented, “The Banking Inquiry should commence as planned on Wednesday and should not be delayed by Fine Gael and Labour’s attempts to play politics with the committee membership. The continued cack-handed mismanagement of the process is now turning this key public investigation into a farce.
Deputy McGrath said: “Nine members of the Oireachtas have been validly chosen by their parties and their peers and the Banking Inquiry should proceed with its inaugural meeting in Leinster House on Wednesday. The public have been waiting long enough for this investigation and it should not be delayed so Fine Gael and Labour can play cynical games because they are not happy with the make-up of the committee and want to control the agenda.
“If the government seeks to overturn the valid decision of the Seanad Committee on Selection, the public will correctly question the motivation of the Government in this process. Such a manoeuvre would simply be to ensure that Fine Gael and Labour have a majority on the committee. This is supposed to be an independent parliamentary inquiry whose focus is on getting to the truth behind the banking collapse in this country. If it is genuinely non-political, why is the Government tying itself in knots in an attempt to guarantee an in-built majority?
“Since the beginning, we have expressed the view that this work should have been carried out in public by a fully independent process modelled on the same lines as the Leveson Inquiry in Britain. We expressed the suspicion that for the Government, this was more about party political advantage than it was about getting to the truth of what happened. This latest stunt, postponing the commencement of the inquiry to find time to change the democratically expressed view of the Oireachtas proves that these concerns were well founded.
“However, the Government set its face against a properly independent inquiry and proceeded with this model. The Oireachtas has chosen its representatives. We now just want to get on with the process on behalf of the public. We have the full complement of members, properly selected, and we should proceed this week.”