Fianna Fail ‘afraid’ of banks inquiry
Fianna Fail ‘afraid’ of banks inquiry

Fianna Fail has been accused of being “afraid” to hold an inquiry into the banking crisis.

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny has said he will call for an inquiry by a parliamentary committee when the Dublin parliament resumes.

“I note in the recent past that all other parties, bar Fianna Fail, have indicated that they share our view on an inquiry being established. Even within Fianna Fail there are elements calling for such an inquiry,” Mr Kenny said.

“On the other hand senior figures in Fianna Fail are clearly afraid of what such an inquiry will unearth regarding their recent period in government.

“We have to ensure that the kind of crisis that crippled our banking system and economy can never happen again and that those in positions of authority in the lead into the crisis are held to account,” he said.

Minister for the Environment John Gormley said the Fianna Fail/Green party coalition government had said “very clearly” it would consider the matter of an inquiry, although the Cabinet had not yet considered the issue.

In the context of compellability and “constitutional issues”, he claimed a referendum would be required.

“Well of course, I think it’s very important that we look at this in a very real way but that it doesn’t distract from the very important business of actually getting our banking sector up and running again,” Mr Gormley said.

“But yes, the Government will be looking at the issue in detail, considering all of the issues, and particularly constitutional issues because you have to have an effective committee, a cost-effective committee as well, and you do that by ensuring that there is compellability, that’s the only way that you can get to the bottom of any of these issues.”

Senior Fianna Fail figures recently ruled out an investigation in the immediate future. Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheal Martin last week said an inquiry would be established but it was not an immediate priority for the Government. He refused to be drawn on a date, strongly indicating it would not happen during 2010.

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