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Tribunals of Inquiry

 

The main difference between a Parliamentary Inquiry (non statutory) and a Tribunal of Inquiry is that non statutory inquiries are not vested with the powers, privileges and rights of the High Court; Tribunals of Inquiry are. Tribunals are established by resolution of the Houses of the Oireachtas to enquire into matters of urgent public importance. It is not a function of Tribunals to administer justice, their work is solely inquisitorial. Tribunals are obliged to report their findings to the Oireachtas. They have the power to enforce the attendance and examination of witnesses and the production of documents relevant to the work in hand. Tribunals can consist of one or more people, a lay person, or non lawyer may be the Sole member of a Tribunal. Tribunals can sit with or without Assessors (experts in the subject concerning the Tribunal). Assessors are not Tribunal members. Sittings are usually public but can, at the Tribunals discretion, be held privately. Legislation relating to Tribunals includes the following;

TRIBUNALS OF INQUIRY (EVIDENCE) (AMENDMENT) ACT, 1998

TRIBUNALS OF INQUIRY (EVIDENCE) (AMENDMENT) (NO. 2) ACT,1998

TRIBUNALS OF INQUIRY (EVIDENCE) (AMENDMENT) ACT, 1997

TRIBUNALS OF INQUIRY (EVIDENCE) (AMENDMENT) ACT, 1979

No. 25/1936: TRIBUNALS OF INQUIRY (EVIDENCE) ACT, 1921,ADAPTATION ORDER, 1936.

No. 48/1930: TRIBUNALS OF INQUIRY (EVIDENCE) ACT, 1921, ADAPTATION ORDER, 1930.
 

Tribunal of Inquiry

Dáil Resolution

Seanad Resolution

Ministerial
Order

Retail prices of articles in general consumption

16/12/1925

27/01/1926

N.A.

Ports and Harbours

19/01/192627/01/1926

N.A.

Shooting of Timothy Coughlan

15/02/192815/02/1928

N.A.

Whether mixture of maize meal and maize products with home-grown cereals would be in the national interest27/11/192928/11/1929

N.A.

Marketing of butter

30/04/193014/05/1930

N.A.

Pig production

05/05/193311/05/1933

N.A.

Grading etc. of Fruit and Vegetables

12/12/1934

19/12/1934

N.A.

Town Tenants

13/12/1935

18/12/1935

N.A.

Pearse Street Fire25/11/1936

-

N.A.

Public Transport

07/12/193807/12/1928

N.A.

Fire at St. Josephs Orphanage, Cavan

03/03/194310/03/1943

N.A.

Dealings in Great Southern Railway Stocks between 1/1/1943 and18/11/194324/11/194325/11/1943

N.A.

Allegations concerning Parliamentary Secretary

05/06/194605/06/1946

N.A

Disposal of Distillery of John Locke and Co. Ltd., Kilbeggan

5/11/1947

6/11/1947

 

Cross Channel Freight Rates

23/10/1957

13/11/1957

N.A.

Death of Liam OMahony in Garda custody

18/7/1967

19/7/1967

N.A.

Television programme on Illegal Moneylending

17/12/1969

18/12/1969

22/12/1969
Allegations made by two Members in the Dáil against the Minister For Local Government03/07/197504/07/197504/07/1975

Whiddy Island Disaster

06/03/197908/03/197909/04/1979

Fire at Stardust Club, Artane

18/02/198119/02/198120/02/1981

"Kerry Babies" case

11/12/1984

12/12/198413/12/1984

Beef Processing Industry

24/5/1991

29/5/199131/05/1991

Hepatitis C Scandal

17/10/1996

17/10/1996

 

Alleged Payments by Dunnes Stores

06/02/1997

06/02/1997

 

New Tribunal to deal with matters arising from Dunnes Tribunal (Payments to Haughey and Lowry)

11/09/1997

18/09/1997

 

Planning Matters (including rezoning by Dublin local authorities)

07/10/199708/10/1997

 

Amendment to terms of reference

01/07/1998
/ 05/07/2001
02/07/1998 /
05/07/2001

 

Tribunal of Inquiry into HIV and Hepatitis C
Infection of Haemophiliacs

02/06/1999

02/06/1999