Judge warns IBRC investigation will take years

Mr Justice Brian Cregan
Mr Justice Brian Cregan

Mr Justice Brian Cregan, chair of the commission investigating the wind-up of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), has said the investigation will take “several years” to complete.

Cabinet ministers were yesterday briefed by Attorney General Máire Whelan on significant legal obstacles to the completion of the investigation.

However, Mr Justice Cregan has written a draft interim report stating that the investigation will take years even if legislation is passed to resolve issues around confidentiality and legal privilege, the Irish Independent reports.

The draft interim report will be sent to the Taoiseach and any person who is identified in or identifiable from the draft report,.

The commission is examining 37 transactions involving write-offs worth more than €10 million, but has stumbled over whether it can consider sensitive financial documents held by the Department of Finance and KPMG as evidence.

KPMG has asserted a duty of confidentiality over all of the documents it provided to the commission, and legal advice privilege over all documents containing legal advice.

The Department of Finance, which reportedly raised confidentiality concerns in August, has made similar claims over some of the documentation it has provided.

The Cabinet has discussed asking the High Court in Dublin to decide whether the documents can be considered, although Mr Justice Cregan has noted the Commissions of Investigation Act 2004 does not provide a mechanism for this.

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