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Transparency International Ireland welcomes Government decision to establish official inquiry into IBRC transactions

Dublin, 4 June 2015

Anti-corruption organisation Transparency International (TI) Ireland has welcomed the Cabinet’s announcement yesterday evening to establish a commission of investigation that will inquire into transactions involving a loss of €10 million or more at the Irish Banking Resolution Corporation (IBRC).

John Devitt, Chief Executive of TI Ireland said:

‘The Government’s handling of this affair to date has been shameful and it appears some of its members have failed to recognise the damage that can be done by obstructing or delaying independent inquiries when there is a clear need for them. The delays have denied everyone involved a prompt and fair hearing, have wasted taxpayer money, and further eroded trust in politics.

Its refusal to launch an independent inquiry into questions raised by Deputy Murphy in late 2014 also betrays an inability to learn from past mistakes. In 2013, the Department of Justice sanctioned an internal inquiry into allegations of Garda malpractice only for it to announce a Commission of Investigation a year later. History seems to have repeated itself in the space of twelve months.

There may be no wrongdoing uncovered by the IBRC inquiry and anyone who might be questioned should be considered to have acted professionally and in good faith unless found otherwise.

However, Catherine Murphy TD has raised very important questions that only an independent and adequately resourced body can answer. We welcome the announcement of a commission of investigation but trust that its final report will not gather dust like those of previous inquiries’.

TI Ireland has previously called for action on the findings of the Moriarty Tribunal into payments to politicians that was published in March 2011. It will seek clarification on the status of any investigation or prosecutions that have been pursued on foot of the tribunal’s final report.