Thursday 29 June 2017

Apple chief Tim Cook accused of 'snub to Irish people' by declining Oireachtas committee invite

Apple CEO Tim Cook Picture: AP
Apple CEO Tim Cook Picture: AP
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Pearse Doherty has said he is "disappointed and angry" at the decision by Apple not to come to Ireland and discuss the EU tax ruling.

Tim Cook has been accused of snubbing the Dail after refusing to attend hearings on a €13bn tax bill that the company was hit with.

Chairman of the Oireachtas all-party Finance Committee, John McGuinness, invited the Apple boss to answer questions on the European Commission ruling next month.

Committee member Sinn Fein's Doherty said he had been told the offer had been rejected and branded Mr Cook's rejection a snub to the Irish people and parliament.

"Disappointed and angry at Apple decision to refuse to attend Finance Committee. Legal excuse doesn't add up-others involved attending!," he said.

"Will push Committee to ask Apple to reconsider. Tim Cook attended Senate hearings and claimed a deal was in place. Dail deserves same respect."

Apple executive Claire Thwaites wrote a reply to the committee on Mr Cook’s behalf to say that he had been advised not to appear.

"As you will appreciate, this is a complex and challenging issue, and one on which we are receiving ongoing legal counsel. We are engaging with the Department of Finance and The Revenue Commissions, as well as the European Commission," she wrote.

"Given the sensitive nature of the investigation and the timing, we have been advised not to undertake any other direct activities, which could potentially prejudice future outcomes. It is on this basis that we are unable to appear before the Committee on this occasion."

Labour TD Seán Sherlock - a member of the Finance Committee - told independent.ie:

"I can't see why Mr Cook wouldn't appear before the committee.

"The issue is not sub judice and it would provide an opportunity for a public airing by Apple beyond the confines of government buildings.

Mr Sherlock added that it was "a missed opportunity by Cook to speak directly to his employees in Ireland through the committee."

More to follow...

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