Emergency legislation considered to break inquiry deadlock

Taoiseach Enda Kenny — Photo: European People’s Party, CC-BY 2.0

The Government of Ireland is considering emergency legislation to break a legal deadlock preventing the Commission of Investigation from completing its investigation into the wind-up of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC).

The commission was established to independently investigate issues of significant public concern regarding certain IBRC transactions.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny confirmed that Judge Brian Cregan, chair of the commission, had advised him in a letter that the commission “is not in a position to proceed with its investigation into any of the relevant ‘write-off’ transactions”.

It is understood the obstacle surrounds a determination related to issues of confidentiality and legal privilege.

The Taoiseach has since requested advice from Attorney General Máire Whelan SC on the implications of the determination, and the legal options available to ensure the investigation can be “completed in an effective and timely manner”.

Mr Kenny told RTÉ News: “A change in law may be required to resolve this situation. Judge Brian Cregan does not have adequate powers according to himself.

“This is an independent decision he made himself. I will have to wait for the advice of the Attorney General regarding what ought to be done to resolve the situation.”

As a result of the complication, it is now unlikely that a substantial report will be produced before the Irish general election in April.

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