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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

 

Tribunal of Inquiry

Dáil Resolution

Seanad Resolution

Ministerial Order

Retail prices of articles in general consumption

16/12/1925

27/01/1926

    Ports and Harbours

    19/01/1926

    27/01/1926

      Shooting of Timothy Coughlan

      15/02/1928

      15/02/1928

        Whether mixture of maize meal and maize products with home-grown cereals would be in the national interest

        27/11/1929

        28/11/1929

          Marketing of butter

          30/04/1930

          14/05/1930

            Pig production

            05/05/1933

            11/05/1933

              Grading etc. of Fruit and Vegetables

              12/12/1934

              19/12/1934

                Town Tenants

                13/12/1935

                18/12/1935

                  Pearse Street Fire

                  25/11/1936

                  -

                    Public Transport

                    07/12/1938

                    07/12/1928

                      Fire at St. Josephs Orphanage, Cavan

                      03/03/1943

                      10/03/1943

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

                        24/11/1943

                        25/11/1943

                          Allegations concerning Parliamentary Secretary

                          05/06/1946

                          05/06/1946

                            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

                              Death of Liam OMahony in Garda custody

                              18/7/1967

                              19/7/1967

                                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 Government

                                03/07/1975

                                04/07/1975

                                04/07/1975

                                Whiddy Island Disaster

                                06/03/1979

                                08/03/1979

                                09/04/1979

                                Fire at Stardust Club, Artane

                                18/02/1981

                                19/02/1981

                                20/02/1981

                                "Kerry Babies" case

                                11/12/1984

                                12/12/1984

                                13/12/1984

                                Beef Processing Industry

                                24/5/1991

                                29/5/1991

                                31/05/1991

                                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)

                                07/10/1997

                                08/10/1997

                                 

                                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

                                 

                                Shooting of John Carthy in Abbeylara, County Longford on 20 April 2000

                                17/04/2002

                                18/04/2002

                                01/07/2002

                                Tribunal of Inquiry concerning some Gardaí of the Donegal Division

                                28/03/2002

                                28/03/2002

                                24/04/2002

                                Tribunal of Inquiry into whether Irish officials colluded in the murder of two RUC officers on 20 March 1989

                                23/03/2005

                                24/03/2005

                                31/05/2005