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Friday 18 October 2019

Tax-cheat curate pulls out of ceremonies

Fr Tadhg O'Donovan: failed
to make proper tax returns
Fr Tadhg O'Donovan: failed to make proper tax returns

THE Catholic curate who was fined €6,000 after reaching a €213,000 tax settlement with the Revenue Commissioners will play no part in his parish's Easter ceremonies.

Parishioners of Whitechurch, Co Cork, were told that Fr Tadhg O'Donovan has requested some private time and will not be participating in the Easter ceremonies.

The Diocese of Cloyne and Whitechurch Parish was informed that Fr O'Donovan was withdrawing his services as a priest over this weekend.

Fr O'Donovan, from Mallow in Co Cork, refused to comment to the media after he was fined last Wednesday. However, parishioners and friends said he was "very upset" at the coverage.

The Diocese of Cloyne stressed that it does not comment on individual cases. However, the diocese pointed out that, as a general rule, each priest is responsible for his own tax affairs -- and that the Church believes priests should, like everyone else, pay tax according to their means.

Income

Last week, the Revenue Commissioners revealed that Fr O'Donovan had an interest in 13 properties in Cork dating back to 1989 -- and was in receipt of a substantial rental income from at least 11. Some of the income took the form of rental supplement payments from the Health Service Executive -- a scheme aimed at helping low-income families afford rental housing.

Mr Dempsey said that Revenue became aware of this when they investigated payments being made by both the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Department of Social and Family Affairs.

Fr O'Donovan -- a curate in the Cork parish of Whitechurch who was formerly based in Araglin in North Cork -- pleaded guilty to 10 charges at Cork District Court.

The offences included five charges of failing to make proper tax returns, three of providing incorrect information to the Revenue Commissioners, one of making an incorrect tax statement and one of failing to keep proper accounts for tax purposes.

The charges also covered the sale by Fr O'Donovan of two properties from which he made a substantial capital gain.

Fr O'Donovan reached a final settlement with the Revenue Commissioners of €213,222. He was also fined a total of €6,050.

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