TD voices ‘worries’ about IBRC bank inquiry judge

A leading TD has “worries”, because the chair of the probe into IBRC once acted against the former Anglo bank. However, Catherine Murphy, joint leader of the Social Democrats, did not call for Judge Brian Cregan to step down, though the IBRC deals cost the taxpayer €10m.

Judge Cregan acted for free on behalf of businessman, Sean Quinn, against the bank, at one court session, when he was a senior counsel in 2012.

The judge said he had told officials he had acted for Mr Quinn before he was appointed to the IBRC inquiry, which is due to deliver its final report by the end of the year. Ms Murphy said it would be difficult to find anyone without a potential conflict of interest in Ireland’s small legal pool, but she still had concerns.

“The fact he did it on a pro-bono basis worries me. The inquiry needs to be seen as independent. We were told there would be an interim report by September, but this hasn’t started yet. I feel very frustrated about the way this investigation has played out, to date,” Ms Murphy said.

The Commission of Inquiry has stated Judge Cregan believes there to be no conflict of interest, though he previously acted for Mr Quinn. The investigation into IBRC deals has been controversial, with opposition TDs questioning its remit and time-frame.

Judge Cregan replaced retired high court judge, Daniel O’Keefe, as the probe’s chair, after Mr O’Keefe stood down for “personal reasons” The Government had originally asked KPMG, the liquidators of IBRC, to review the bank’s deal, after Ms Murphy obtained freedom-of-information documents, which showed opposition by Finance Department officials to the sale of a company called Siteserve to a firm controlled by businessman, Denis O’Brien. The Cabinet finally agreed in June to opposition demands for a commission of inquiry.

More on this topic

Denis O'Brien responds to claims made by TD Catherine MurphyDenis O'Brien responds to claims made by TD Catherine Murphy

Taoiseach warns Opposition that IBRC inquiry could be long-running and expensiveTaoiseach warns Opposition that IBRC inquiry could be long-running and expensive

IBRC inquiry will not conclude before General Election, Taoiseach confirmsIBRC inquiry will not conclude before General Election, Taoiseach confirms

Government aiming to get IBRC inquiry back on trackGovernment aiming to get IBRC inquiry back on track


Lifestyle

It is the fourth of May, 2007. I am coming home from work, tired and scrolling through images of Trapani, Sicily - our holiday destination in a few weeks. Nothing remarkable about the journey, until I read the story of a missing girl in Praia De Luz, Portugal.Learning Points: Give Madeleine McCann's family the space to put their lives back together

More From The Irish Examiner