Haughey fights to keep secrets surrounding pounds 1.3m gift
Monday 28 April 1997
Ben Dunne, the Irish supermarket magnate, confirmed last week that he had channelled pounds 1.3m to the heavily-indebted Mr Haughey, who served as Taoiseach between 1987 and 1991. The tribunal investigating payments to politicians, which was set up by the Irish government in February, has given Mr Haughey has until this afternoon to appear before it, or seek representation, if he wishes to contest an order forcing disclosure of the contents of five discussions he had with Noel Smyth, solicitor for Mr Dunne.
Three of the meetings took place at Mr Haughey's 18th-century Kinsealy mansion in north Dublin, and two at the home of Mr Haughey's neighbour to avoid publicity. The two houses are connected by a tunnel.
The tribunal, and the controversy surrounding it, has developed into a veritable bonfire of Irish politicians' reputations. Michael Lowry, the former transport minister, was forced to resign after revelations about how Mr Dunne paid for a pounds 214,000 extension to his house. Dunnes Stores charged the work, which included furnishings and a custom-made double bed, to one of its Dublin retail outlets - and valued it at pounds 395,000.
Last week the tribunal heard evidence that Mr Lowry, whose firm provided refrigeration services to Dunnes' stores, had received another pounds 105,000 via the Isle of Man. This payment had not been declared in Lowry's statement to the Dail on the affair. The serious tax implications of various payments revealed at the tribunal have aroused considerable public interest.
Proinsias de Rossa, the leader of Democratic Left, the junior party in the ruling Irish coalition, is now suggesting that Mr Lowry should stand down as a candidate in the forthcoming general election.
Mr Lowry yesterday appealed for privacy for his family after newspaper revelations of a relationship with a 35 year-old woman, with whom he was pictured on holiday in Spain while his wife and children were elsewhere on the Continent. The former minister resigned from the Fine Gael parliamentary party over the Dunne affair and intents to stand as an independent in his Tipperary North constituency.
Mr de Rossa, the minister for social welfare, told told his party's ard fheis (annual conference) in Dun Laoghaire that the relationship between business and politics had to be put above board once and for all.
John Bruton, the present Prime Minister, is to give evidence to the tribunal this morning, He is expected to explain the circumstances in which his Fine Gael party received pounds 180,000 in donations from Mr Dunne, which the party itself disclosed earlier.
This included a donation of pounds 100,000 which was secured by Mr Bruton after calling for a cup of tea at Mr Dunne's house.
- 1 Universities aren't working us hard enough, say undergraduates
- 2 Lego letter from the 1970s still offers a powerful message to parents 40 years later
- 3 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Heroin to be prescribed to Canadian addicts by doctors
Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
Charing Cross fire: Station closed and 100 evacuated over blaze on train
Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby – through the stories of his accusers
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be joining a long-established, renown...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The key requirements of the rol...
£30000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This south Warwickshire based s...
Competitive + bonus: Selby Jennings: My client, a growing European CIB are loo...