Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Act (Commencement) Order 2013: Statements

Tuesday, 24th September 2013

The Minister is most welcome. It is very useful to have this opportunity to clarify the provisions we are discussing. People throughout the country are eager to know what form the banking inquiry will take. It is a welcome development that this House is being used as a forum to allow the Minister to set out exactly what is proposed.

I echo Senator Thomas Byrne’s comments on the Committee on Procedure and Privileges. It is important that both Houses have a role to play in this investigation. It is also important that we play to the strengths and capacities of individual Members. It may be necessary to set party membership considerations aside and consider individuals’ qualifications to participate. We all must keep in mind that our efforts in this area are for the benefit of the people.

I welcome the proposed modular approach and the timeframe that has been set down. All too often we have seen inquiries that dragged on for so long that their original purpose was eventually forgotten. However, while being mindful of the requirement to keep the inquiry tight and focused, we must also remember that we have a responsibility on behalf of the citizens of the State to find out as much information as we can. Senators Sean D. Barrett and Katherine Zappone who were singled out by several speakers for their economic backgrounds would certainly offer an expertise in these matters. I have no doubt, however, that other Senators and Deputies from various professional backgrounds also have qualities and capacities which would make them suitable for inclusion in the inquiry.

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