Haughey fights to keep secrets surrounding pounds 1.3m gift

Charles Haughey, the embattled former Irish prime minister, could seek a judicial review at the Dublin High Court today to maintain the secrecy of discussions about pounds 1.3m he received from a leading Irish supermarket chain.

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.

Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Primary teaching roles in Ipswich

£21552 - £31588 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education re...

Science teachers needed in Norwich

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Science teachers requ...

Semi Senior Accountant - Music

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A successful, Central London bas...

English teachers required in Lowestoft

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Qualified English tea...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits