The Public Accounts Committee has announced the framework for a mooted inquiry into the collapse of Ireland's banking sector, while warning that it will not result in findings of "fact or culpability".

Announcing the framework, the committee's chairman said a "volume of questions remain unanswered" and they will begin by examining the banking guarantee and "the crisis management both before and after the issuing of the guarantee".

PAC chairman John McGuinness said: “It is not unfair to say that the banks almost brought down the state but if ever an issue required serious follow-up by a parliament, surely this is it."

Mr McGuinness added that the inquiry would have legal restrictions placed on it, and would following an "inquire, record, report model, where the causes of the collapse and the steps that should have been taken to prevent the crisis will be discussed".

He said the potential enquiry will have to gain access to the widest amount of records relating to the banking collapse, and this may include papers covered by cabinet confidentiality.

It has yet to be decided if the PAC will be asked by Dáil and Government to conduct the inquiry.

The Finance Committee of the Oireactas has also suggested it would be most suitable to conduct this inquiry.

But the PAC underlined it was an all-party grouping which reached a "unanimous" view on how an inquiry should proceed.

Pac member, Sinn Féin's Mary Lou MacDonald, said while an inquiry could not apportion blame, it could get to the bottom of what had happened.