Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore has said a banking inquiry will be set up as quickly as possible.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Gilmore said an inquiry was required to find out exactly what happened and to allow the Irish people to move on.

The Tánaiste said he hoped it would take place in the next few months.

"The Government is anxious to have this banking inquiry set up as quickly as possible. It is now in the hands of the Dáil, all of the parties in the Dáil.

"We want this inquiry to be an all-party inquiry, to be a parliamentary investigation and the Government will certainly co-operate in every way we can with the opposition in order to set this inquiry up," he added.

Government Chief Whip Paul Kehoe met party whips yesterday to brief them on the legal advice regarding the establishment of a committee of inquiry.

They heard there will have to be a significant number of changes to standing orders or the rules of the House to proceed.

Extra powers will have to be given to the Dáil committee on procedure and privileges, to ensure the legislation is implemented correctly.

That committee will have to make decisions on all of this by 4 February and then it will go before the Dáil and Seanad.

It is understood the rules on bias will be very stringent in terms of who is eligible to be on the committee for the banking inquiry.

The banking inquiry could then be set up in the first four or five months of this year, which would be ahead of Local and European elections.