Fraud and favours in Irish beef industry

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The Independent Online
EXTENSIVE fraud against European Union subsidy schemes and systematic tax evasion took place in Europe's biggest meat processor, the Irish-based Goodman International, according to the report of a three-year judicial inquiry in Dublin published last night, writes Alan Murdoch.

The Irish Republic could now face demands for a multi- million pound EU subsidy clawback when agriculture officials in Brussels have assessed the findings of the tribunal of inquiry into allegations of fraud, corruption and political favours in the Irish beef industry.

The tribunal chairman, Mr Justice Liam Hamilton, confirmed that 'flagrant abuse' of intervention schemes had taken place. But Albert Reynolds, the Taoiseach, whose reputation and political future had been at stake over his handling of beef export credits as industry minister in 1987 and 1988, escaped serious political damage. There was no evidence that senior managers knew of the irregularities.