The Taoiseach has said he has no problem complying with whatever procedures the Commission of Investigation into the banking system decides to proceed with.

Brian Cowen was responding to Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny who asked the Taoiseach if he would agree to the commission hearing about policy decisions he made as a Minister for Finance and Taoiseach in public session.

Mr Kenny said the Commission of Investigation Act provided for the hearing of evidence in public if a witness requests.

Labour leader Eamon Gilmore asked the Taoiseach why the inquiry would only investigate events up to September 2008.

Mr Gilmore asked the Taoiseach to at least include the bank guarantee scheme and the decision to bail out Anglo Irish Bank, which he referred to as a 'piggy bank for rogue developers'.

He said questions such as who the Government met before recapitalisation and why they had decided to rescue Anglo Irish Bank had to be answered.

The Taoiseach said such decisions had already been debated 'ad nauseum' by the Dáil and 'sometimes all night'.

He also defended the decision to recapitalise the banks, which he said had been approved by the European Commission.

Mr Cowen said Labour's proposals would have precipitated a meltdown of the banking system.

Earlier, Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan said a public inquiry into the banking sector would be both expensive and take years to complete.

Meanwhile, the Taoiseach has said the final report of the Moriarty Tribunal will be published next month.

Mr Cowen said the latest information is that the report will be ready for the printers by mid-February.

The Labour party motion, calling for the inquiry into the banking crisis to be held in public, has been rejected by the Dail.

On a vote, it was defeated by 78 to 73.

After the result of the electronic vote was announced, Labour Whip Emmet Stagg called for the vote to be retaken by the traditional method where TDs walk through the lobbies.

He said this was because of the importance of the issue, and to 'give an opportunity to the Green Party to take a walk of shame'.