Saturday 21 October 2017

Appeal Commissioner with FF link cancelled Haughey's £2m tax bill

Michael Brennan

Michael Brennan

The most famous decision by the Appeal Commissioners was to strike down the IR£2m tax bill received by former Taoiseach Charles Haughey on donations given to him by former Dunnes Stores head Ben Dunne.

It was made in 1998 by Appeals Commissioner Ronan Kelly, the brother of former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern's ex-wife Miriam Ahern.

That led Labour TD Pat Rabbitte to highlight the issue in the Dail. He complained that Mr Ahern had appointed Mr Kelly in 1992 without advertising the position. "Without in any way reflecting on that man's competence, does the Taoiseach agree that it gives the wrong impression to the public, that the brother-in-law of the leader of Fianna Fail should adjudicate on the tax affairs of a former leader of Fianna Fail?" he asked.

Mr Ahern confirmed that Mr Kelly was his brother-in-law but said the official dealt with Mr Haughey's tax appeal without any involvement from him.

"He was working in his professional job and he was the Appeals Commissioner in this case," he told the Dail.

Irish Independent

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