Donohoe defends his shares in drinks firm
Paschal Donohoe has refused to say whether he will sell shares he owns in a multinational drinks firm and a consumer goods company now he is responsible for setting VAT rates and excise duty on alcohol in the upcoming budget.
Mr Donohoe was previously forced to remove himself from cabinet meetings on drink sponsorship legislation due to his shareholding in the billion euro drinks company Diageo. The minister also holds shares in US consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble.
Pushed on whether he believed it was appropriate for him to hold shares in multinational companies now that he is Finance Minister, Mr Donohoe refused to say whether he would sell his holding.
Mr Donohoe insisted his financial affairs have never interfered with his political decisions and said he would discuss the matter with his family.
"There is nothing I have ever done in my career, that I am privileged to have as a public representative and a cabinet minister, that has focused on my private interests," he said.
Asked if he would sell the shares, Mr Donohoe said: "These are matters and discussions I will have with my family."
The two junior ministers in the Department of Finance - Patrick O'Donovan and Michael D'Arcy - said they would not sell shares they owned in consumer goods companies. In a bizarre contribution, Mr O'Donovan, who holds shares in Procter & Gamble, suggested his shareholding was no different than eating Pringles or using Gillette razors.