Decision today on publication of report on bank’s affairs in full or part

THE High Court will today rule on whether a report into the affairs of National Irish Bank (NIB) can be published.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly has been in possession of the report, stemming from a six-year investigation into the affairs of NIB, since July 12 and will make a decision today on whether all or part of the report should be published.

Earlier this week it emerged that there were adverse findings in the report against two former senior executives with National Irish.

They were the former chief executive of the bank, Barry Seymour, who was in charge from 1994 to 1996, and the former head of finance Patrick Byrne.

Adverse findings were also made against the former Fianna Fáil TD Beverly Flynn, who was an employee of the bank in the 1980s.If Mr Justice Kelly rules that the final report of the inspectors can be made public, the findings will not be published before Friday July 30.

However, Paul Appleby, the director of corporate enforcement, said the timing of the release date will also depend on whether sufficient copies of the 500-page investigation can be printed.

The High Court will also hear today from a number of individuals who are seeking advance copies in the report. These include National Irish Bank itself, the Revenue Commissioners, the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority, the Central Bank, Mr Byrne, Mr Seymour, Mr Flynn and Pat O’Donovan, a customer who is taking legal action against National Irish.

Mr Appleby, who is seeking full publication of the report, also wants copies to be made available to the relevant regulatory bodies in Australia, where NIB’s parent National Australia Bank is listed.

The affairs of NIB have been under investigation since 1998 when the High Court appointed the retired Supreme Court Judge John Blayney and Dublin accountant Tom Grace to look at NIB and its subsidiary National Irish Bank Financial Services Ltd.

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