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Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of the Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill 2018: Discussion (19 Feb 2019)

Pádraig MacLochlainn: I must apologise. I had to step out for two votes in the Seanad. We were dealing with legislation. Apologies for the crossover of responsibilities today. However, I heard the ODCE's opening statement. As the ODCE representatives will be aware, the committee will be receiving its documentation and engaging on those issues. First, I want to go back to 2012. In 2012, Mr. Remy Farrell SC...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of the Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill 2018: Discussion (19 Feb 2019)

Pádraig MacLochlainn: Going back to the issue of resources, would Mr. Drennan dispute the assertions of Mr. Remy Farrell in 2012 that the ODCE was under-resourced?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of the Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill 2018: Discussion (19 Feb 2019)

Pádraig MacLochlainn: I will put it a different way. Does Mr. Drennan believe that he had adequate resources in 2012?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of the Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill 2018: Discussion (19 Feb 2019)

Pádraig MacLochlainn: Mr. Drennan said in his opening statement that there were five components in the Anglo Irish Bank trial. There was huge public interest in the Seán FitzPatrick trial. Would he have requested additional resources to assist with all of that? As that arrived on his desk, would he have said to the Department that he needed additional resources as this was big stuff?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of the Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill 2018: Discussion (19 Feb 2019)

Pádraig MacLochlainn: Mr. Drennan also referred in his opening statement to the Independent News & Media investigation and the finding by the court that it should progress. When I was questioning the senior departmental officials last week I mentioned that significant financial assets are being transferred due to Brexit, including €190 billion alone from Barclays. Mr. Drennan will understand that...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of the Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill 2018: Discussion (19 Feb 2019)

Pádraig MacLochlainn: I am conscious that when we discuss the Remy Farrell comments there was one accountant in the office in 2012. Obviously that is not enough. Hindsight is 20-20 vision but the ODCE was given major responsibilities on behalf of the people of the State. The lives of many people were utterly destroyed in many ways by the economic collapse and the office carried responsibility for holding people...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of the Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill 2018: Discussion (19 Feb 2019)

Pádraig MacLochlainn: I have to ask the question. If members of the public were here, they would want to ask it. Perhaps we will get more light in the documentation and we will revisit this on another day. However, I leave that question hanging there as it is a question that is asked regarding the show trial of one individual and whether there is an issue where other bodies gave these institutions clean bills...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of the Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill 2018: Discussion (19 Feb 2019)

Pádraig MacLochlainn: No, I have another question. The Law Reform Commission discussed six core powers. I will not read them but the officials will be familiar with them. What are their thoughts on the six core powers as a framework for the future? Do they accept them as prudent? Should they be reflected as we work our way through this legislation and any possible amendments thereto?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of the Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill 2018: Discussion (19 Feb 2019)

Pádraig MacLochlainn: It strikes me that in his response, Mr. Drennan has almost made a case for an overall agency if the ODCE could not have been tasked with the matter of looking at audits. From the perspective of the ordinary layperson, which is what I would regard myself as in this regard, that the full picture was not fully examined. This committee has received submissions which pointed out that in a court...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of the Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill 2018: Discussion (19 Feb 2019)

Pádraig MacLochlainn: Do investors in a company look to an audit as reassurance that their investment is a safe one, for example?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of the Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill 2018: Discussion (19 Feb 2019)

Pádraig MacLochlainn: Is that not terrifying?

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of the Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill 2018: Discussion (19 Feb 2019)

Pádraig MacLochlainn: Okay.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of the Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill 2018: Discussion (19 Feb 2019)

Pádraig MacLochlainn: That is my fault.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of the Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill 2018: Discussion (19 Feb 2019)

Pádraig MacLochlainn: I have a final question.

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of the Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill 2018: Discussion (19 Feb 2019)

Pádraig MacLochlainn: It will be. I talked about how, when one goes on an aeroplane, one puts one's faith in the pilot being adequately trained and one's life in the pilot's hands. We have perhaps a foolish perception that auditors sign off on accounts and give a company a clean bill of health. If an engineering company cleared an aeroplane and it goes down, my life is gone. I would like to think that my loved...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of the Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill 2018: Discussion (19 Feb 2019)

Pádraig MacLochlainn: Mr. Drennan will be back so we can develop that further.

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (14 Feb 2019)

Pádraig MacLochlainn: As colleagues in this House know, a very serious story has broken today regarding the fact that the PSNI has withheld huge volumes of information from the police ombudsman in the North. This information is pertinent to matters of the utmost importance, particularly to the families who have lost loved ones. I want to talk about the family of Councillor Eddie Fullerton from my hometown of...

Seanad: Progress in Relation to Climate Change: Statements (14 Feb 2019)

Pádraig MacLochlainn: Energy and food security are the two most important sovereignty issues facing Ireland over the coming decade. Agriculture and rural land are the pillar upon which both of these are built. As the world shifts globally from an extractive economy to a regenerative economy, successive Governments have been sitting on their hands and have failed to provide the leadership required to guide the...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of the Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill 2018: Discussion (5 Feb 2019)

Pádraig MacLochlainn: In its report last October, the Law Reform Commission recommended a corporate crime agency. I was my party's justice spokesperson and I remember at the time a key contribution was made by Remy Farrell, a senior counsel. He was heavily critical and stated it had never been a better time for white-collar crime. He referred to the dramatic under-resourcing of a range of agencies, including...

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: General Scheme of the Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill 2018: Discussion (5 Feb 2019)

Pádraig MacLochlainn: I presume the Department will proceed with the Bill. Does Ms Greene foresee the corporate enforcement authority coming under the umbrella of a corporate crime agency and being subsumed into a wider agency at some stage?

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