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Politicians 'named in new Ansbacher list,' PAC told


Leinster House. Photo: Getty Images

Leinster House. Photo: Getty Images

Leinster House. Photo: Getty Images

A government official has again linked prominent former politicians with Ansbacher accounts.

It is the second time Gerard Ryan has made claims linking named politicians with the offshore tax dodging scheme.

Previous claims by the Department of Jobs official were based on the alleged existence of a list of politicians kept in a black briefcase at the Guinness & Mahon Bank in the late 1970s.

In a new submission to the Dáil Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Mr Ryan now says he has learned of the existence of a second list of politicians.

Mr Ryan, an authorised officer who investigated Ansbacher between 1998 and 2004, did not have sight of the list himself, but was made aware of it during the course of his inquiries.

The second list contains the names of 10 former politicians, some of whom are dead.

In the submission to the PAC, he said he gave this list to the Revenue Commissioners in 2005, but did not know if it was properly investigated.

The Revenue has previously insisted it followed up on all leads generated by Mr Ryan.

The PAC yesterday opted against investigating the claims.

In a private session, the committee was warned by Oireachtas legal adviser David O'Neill that the latest claims related to the tax affairs of named individuals and were outside the PAC's remit.

The committee was warned it could be exposed to litigation, including defamation proceedings if it took possession of Mr Ryan's latest dossier.

PAC members were not supplied with the documents yesterday. Both Sinn Féin TD Mary Lou McDonald and Independent TD Shane Ross objected to this.

Mr Ross suggested a redacted version of Mr Ryan's claims be circulated to the members with the names omitted. After over an hour of discussion on the matter, the committee voted against examining the documents by a margin of 10-2.

Previous claims by Mr Ryan caused a furore last year when the names of people he identified in a dossier were read out in the Dáil by Ms McDonald.

Those named, who included former Government ministers, vehemently denied the claims and some have threatened legal action.

The Oireachtas Committee on Procedures and Privileges subsequently found that Ms McDonald's actions had been an abuse of privilege.

Irish Independent