The Joint Committee on Business, Enterprise and Innovation is seeking the power to compel the Director of Corporate Enforcement, Ian Drennan, to provide it with a submission in relation to the Seán FitzPatrick case. 

The power the Committee wants to use is similar to that used during the Banking Inquiry and is provided for in the Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Act 2013. 

Mr Drennan had previously offered to make a submission to the Committee.

But he then withdrew that offer because he said the Committee was not in a position to give him assurances he felt were necessary to protect his office from litigation risk and associated financial exposure. 

Last month, the Committee wrote to Mr Drennan to ascertain his views on it using the power of direction.

In response, Mr Drennan said that because of the protections afforded under the 2013 Act, the Committee would receive the "full co-operation" of the ODCE if he was directed to provide the submission.

"The Committee has always been of the view that it is necessary for it to have a more complete understanding of the events leading up to the trial and acquittal of Mr FitzPatrick," the committee's chair Mary Butler said.  

"The Director's submission may be of fundamental importance to the work of the Committee and I am pleased that we have found a way forward that appears to meet the Director’s requirements," she added.

The Committee will now proceed to seek the necessary approvals. It said these will include decisions by Dáil and Seanad Éireann.