BY Daniel McConnell, Political Editor
The Commission of Inquiry into the IBRC will not conclude its work until after the General Election, it has been confirmed tonight.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny, as the sponsoring Minister, has granted the extension to the Commission as requested by Judge Brian Cregan, without needing to seek Cabinet approval.
The Commission is now expected to conclude its work no sooner than April.
Mr Kenny, according to his spokesman, will still deliver draft legislation to Opposition leaders on Tuesday, aimed at overcoming legal issues which have dogged the Commission.
The news drew stinging criticism from Independent TD Catherine Murphy who said it is clear the Taoiseach is happy for the matter to be parked until after the election but said the public will not be.
Meanwhile, Mr Kenny has said Fine Gael Ministers will be allowed to vote for or against a repeal of the eighth amendment without fear of the sack.
Mr Kenny said members of Fine Gael would be allowed to vote with their conscience on the issue, regardless of whether the party was in Government or not.
The Taoiseach’s statement contradicts the party’s director of elections, Brian Hayes, who insisted Ministers should resign if they disagree with future Government policy on abortion.