Financial investigations too slow: Truth delayed is truth denied

A citizen of this fair Republic need not be afflicted with Richard Nixon grade paranoia — or cynicism — to imagine that though we present hurling as our national game that the truth lies elsewhere. 

We may not, naturally, readily acknowledge this but it is not too difficult to argue that our national sport is a mixture of denial and evasion, anything that means we do not have to face uncomfortable, challenging truths. 

One of this week’s events, sadly, validates that argument.

Quinn Insurance went into administration in April 2010, but this week, almost a decade later, the Central Bank will finally open public hearings into the collapse and consider if named individuals ignored regulations while managing the company. 

A failed High Court challenge by two former Quinn executives, Kevin Lunney and Liam McCaffrey, contributed to this delay which is not by any means unique.

The Irish Nationwide hearings linger as do the special liquidation of IBRC, the assessment of AIB losses, the Siteserv inquiry and the Nama Project Eagle Commission of Investigation. 

There are many other examples including the collapse of broker Custom House Capital — €66.5m misappropriated and liquidated in 2011 — that leave festering questions. 

That so many of these implosions are still, almost a decade after the economic collapse, subjects of lawyered-up inquiries suggests even to the most optimistic that they are as much about shielding as they are about revealing.

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