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Collins issues second warning to PAC over Ansbacher probe


Former Fianna Fail minister Gerry Collins

Former Fianna Fail minister Gerry Collins

Former Fianna Fail minister Gerry Collins

The legal representatives of a former Fianna Fail minister have sent a second letter to the Dail spending watchdog, warning it over its investigation of the Ansbacher dossier affair.

Lawyers acting for Gerry Collins, a former justice minister, yesterday demanded that the Public Accounts Committee hand over a copy of the dossier its members were given by a civil servant. The correspondence, from Eames Solicitors, requested that no further hearings take place before Mr Collins is supplied with the document.

It said Mr Collins was reserving his right to take action to protect his interests, rights and reputation.

The same law firm wrote to the committee last month on Mr Collins' behalf, alleging it had exceeded its remit.

Mr Collins was one of a number of politicians identified under Dail privilege by Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald as being named in the dossier.

He has vehemently denied ever holding an Ansbacher account or an account with Guinness & Mahon, the bank out of which the offshore tax dodge scheme was run.

In the dossier, Department of Jobs official Gerard Ryan alleged evidence linking several former ministers to Ansbacher was not properly investigated by several State agencies.

Revenue Commissioners boss Josephine Feehily was quizzed about the claims by the committee last month and insisted it had followed up all of Mr Ryan's leads.

Last week Mr Ryan indicated to the committee that he planned to respond to Ms Feehily's evidence.

It is not yet clear when he will do so.

Irish Independent