99. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Questions Nos 147 and 148 of 15 February 2018, the exact extension provided in each of these statutory inquiries in view of the fact that some have not yet commenced; and his views on whether they will be able to complete their task in a timely fashion. [9033/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Firstly I want to say, contrary to the Deputy's assertion, that work has been ongoing in relation to all five of the inquiries since the middle of last year. These inquiries were established by Orders made by my predecessor on 15 May 2017. Officials from my Department subsequently met with the retired judges appointed to conduct the Inquiries to provide them with all relevant documentation held by the Department and a considerable amount of work has been done since then.
In respect of three Inquiries, an extension until 31 March 2018 has been granted for the delivery of final reports. In the cases of the two remaining Inquiries, extensions have been granted until 30 June 2018. These extensions have been granted in order to afford to the Inquirers adequate opportunity to consider fully all matters relevant to their terms of reference.
As I advised the Deputy in my reply to question 147 of 15 February 2018, I believe that it is in the interests of all involved that the inquiries be given sufficient time to examine and report on the issues in question. As inquiries progress, additional information or documentation can come to light and this can impact on the time required to fully inquire into the matters within the ambit of each inquiry.