Banking Inquiry members making good progress in late dash to complete report

Members are meeting to discuss the changes they would like to make to the report, which they still have not seen in full

Newstalk, Banking Inquiry, Leinster House, Oireachtas, government, politicians, TDs, Senators, Pearse Doherty

File photo: Banking Inquiry chairperson Ciaran Lynch questions former European Central Bank chief Jean-Claude Trichet as part of the banking inquiry. Picture by: Niall Carson / PA Archive/PA Images

An all-day meeting of the Banking Inquiry is continuing, with good progress being made on working through proposed changes to the final report.

The document needs to be finished over the weekend if it is to be published before its legal deadline.

 

Over 340 amendments were tabled by members before today's meeting, which had to be delayed so that staff could go over them and match together any duplicates.

They met shortly after one pm and sources say over 50 of those amendments have now been considered - including some which are of major substance.

It is believed some members still have concerns that the amendments will neuter the report - which will make it more difficult for them to put their names to.

But there is widespread motivation in the room to get the report finished - so that members at least have an achievement to point to, and so other documents can be published as evidence.

But a long weekend beckons as members trawl through the proposed amendments - and the extra meetings mean there is virtually no time left to lose if the report is ever to see the light of day.

The Banking Inquiry chairman, Ciarán Lynch, earlier today said the committee: "owes it to the Irish people" to finish its final report into the crisis. 

Deputy Lynch says they have to do their best anyway:

"We owe it to the Irish people to bring this process to a conclusion. The Irish public have gone through the biggest financial crisis in the history of the State - it has affected every household in the country. We took on that job.

"We have worked extensively hard (sic) and we continue to do that to give the public the answers they deserve in terms of what actually happened and how best to avoid it in the future."

Deliberately bland

Sinn Féin's Pearse Doherty has tabled around 80 amendments. Mr Doherty has said that if those amendments are not adopted, he won't be happy to sign off on the report as it stands.

But it is now also possible that the final report will be deliberately bland, so that the inquiry can also release supporting documents and evidence that might help the public make up their own minds.

Sinn Féin's Pearse Doherty says it is vital that those documents are released: