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If PAC cannot investigate Ansbacher allegations ‘who will defend the public interest?’ – McDonald

22 January, 2015 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin member of the Public Accounts Committee Mary Lou McDonald TD has confirmed that the PAC received advice today that it cannot hear the testimony of the senior civil servant whistle-blower, who provided individual Committee members with documentation relating to Ansbacher accounts.

Responding to this development, Deputy McDonald said:

“While this confirms advice I had received earlier about the limitations on the PAC’s powers, in this case I am nevertheless disappointed and moreover deeply concerned.  It raises the question: if the PAC cannot do so, then who can and who will defend the public interest?

“The complaint is brought by a credible senior civil servant.  The allegations made are of a most serious nature.  They concern alleged tax evasion by senior political figures, alleged political obstruction by a succession of Ministers, and questions around previous investigations by the relevant authorities including Tribunals of Investigation.  Despite this, it would now appear that there is no parliamentary mechanism through which these matters can be examined.

“I have raised this issue with the Taoiseach on the floor of the Dáil on two separate occasions and have also written to him, in order to impress upon him that these allegations must be addressed.  A transparent investigative mechanism that can command public confidence must be found, and the onus is now on the Government to find it.”

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