Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath has said the public are being denied the complete picture on the financial and banking crisis that hit the country by the lack of a comprehensive public inquiry. Deputy McGrath said the Government should move quickly to formulate the terms of reference for the inquiry and establish it as a matter of priority.
Deputy McGrath said: “We are seeing selective leaks from different sources in relation to the banking and financial collapse that hit the country and what we really need is all the information out in the public domain as a part of comprehensive public inquiry. There have already been concerted efforts on the part of some people in government to claim that there are no files relating to the bank guarantee being held by government. This is simply untrue and part of a disingenuous smear campaign.
“Fianna Fáil sought files from the Department of the Taoiseach under Freedom of Information last year, only to be told most could not be released. A schedule of documents held in the Department was released to the party (see below) showing records of minutes taken at meetings, notes from phone conversations, draft memos for government and notes for the Secretary to the Government and the Taoiseach of the at the time.
“Fianna Fáil still believes the most appropriate and least politicised forum for a banking inquiry would be a Commission of Investigation, held in public, under the chairmanship of a High Court Judge. However the Government does not agree. Nonetheless the persistent leaking of certain documents in recent days, months and years reinforces the need for an inquiry. The legislation to allow a parliamentary inquiry to take place was passed last year but the Government seems to be dragging its feet and establishing the inquiry.
“There has been no consultation with opposition parties on what terms of reference might be put in place for the inquiry or when it might commence. This Government is now into its fourth year in office and parliamentary inquiries in the past have been long and protracted at times. I have a genuine concern that if this inquiry is not established soon there is the real possibility it could run into very serious legal and political difficulty if it cannot conclude during the lifetime of the government.”