Haughey pressured to help cash inquiry

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The Independent Online
The former taoiseach, Charles Haughey, is being invited to attend the payments-to-politicians tribunal or have legal representation when it resumes on Monday to argue whether conversations he had with a lawyer for supermarket magnate Ben Dunne should be made public.

The tribunal heard earlier this week that Mr Haughey secretly received pounds 1.3m from Mr Dunne while he was taoiseach between 1987 and 1991.

Proceedings at the Dublin Castle tribunal were suspended in some confusion yesterdaywhen Noel Smyth, solicitor for Mr Dunne, revealed that he had had discussions with the politician at his Kinsealy mansion which he had withheld from his earlier statement of evidence.

He said he had not disclosed them because he had been asked as a lawyer to meet Mr Haughey privately. Mr Smyth said Mr Haughey had imparted information to him as a solicitor. "I am taking the view therefore that unless directed by this tribunal to relate that information I would not give [it]."

After taking advice on whether to direct Mr Smyth to answer questions on the conversations, the tribunal chairman, Mr Justice McCracken, said Mr Haughey should have the opportunity to appear and say whether he felt the facts of the talks should remain confidential.

Saturday Story, page 20

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