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As claims stack up, so too do unanswered questions

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Judge: Declan Costello

Judge: Declan Costello

Judge: Declan Costello

Slowly but surely, Gerard Ryan's allegations are being substantiated.

The Costello family has confirmed the late judge Declan Costello, the son of a former Taoiseach, did have an onshore account at Guinness & Mahon - the bank at the centre of the Ansbacher affair.

Mary Harney did wind up the investigation into Ansbacher accounts at a time when Mr Ryan was looking into the alleged involvement of former Fianna Fail and Fine Gael ministers, the Department of Jobs confirms.

The department also says he was offered bonuses to bring his investigation to a speedier conclusion in 2001.

Revenue admits Ryan's work did alert them to some cases of offshore account holders who were not unearthed by the original Ansbacher report.

The only aspect of his testimony which appears to be in doubt are his claims senior Fianna Fail and Fine Gael politicians held Ansbacher accounts and were never exposed. He admits he doesn't have the evidence to back this up, but says it merits further inquiry by the relevant authorities.

As his case stacks up, so too do the unanswered questions.

Why did a respected official, who was praised for his role in the Ansbacher investigation, get treated with such disrespect in later years?

Why was his investigation shut down? Why did it take two years to forward a witness statement to gardai?

Why did he not get an adequate explanation to satisfy his allegations, despite his work being forwarded to five different authorities?

Surely after such sterling service to the State, he deserved a response from someone in officialdom.

Instead, he has had to avail of whistleblower legislation to highlight his concerns to the Dail Public Accounts Committee.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has acknowledged Mr Ryan does need to be protected. Jobs Minister Richard Bruton will meet him.

It's the least he deserves after being ignored.

Irish Independent