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Public deserve full and open inquiry – not a whitewash

19 January, 2010

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Arthur Morgan has totally rejected the government’s proposed Commission of Investigation into the banking crisis, describing it as an attempted whitewash of the facts.

Deputy Morgan said:

“The last Commission set up by this government was the Commission of Taxation – that was sent off with a narrow terms of reference, at great expense to the taxpayer and its findings were then ignored by the government.

“We need a full public inquiry into the banking crisis and Sinn Fein supports the establishment of a Joint Oireachtas Committee inquiry. With all due respect to Professor Honohan who was a prevailing force in calling for this inquiry, and other experts in the field, they should be working to an Oireachtas Committee, not setting the terms of reference for a private Commission investigation.

“Who will sit on this Commission? How much will it cost the taxpayer? I am not satisfied that this work could not be undertaken by members of the Oireachtas at a great deal less cost to the taxpayer and with full public disclosure.

“As it stands the public element of this process will be virtually non-existent. An Oireachtas Committee will see Professor Honahan and the other experts the government refers to in advance of compiling their reports and subsequent to writing it and be allowed to comment on the report. But the government does not even say if the Oireachtas’ Committee’s comments on the reports will form the basis of the Commission’s terms of reference.

“The systemic failures that pre-empted this banking crisis and the fact that many of those involved are still in their positions requires a fully transparent examination of the facts and I do not believe this will be achieved through this process as set out by the government today. This is an attempt to whitewash the truth before the inquiry has even taken place.” ENDS

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