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Mary Lou McDonald TD raises INM data breach in Dáil and challenges Taoiseach on failure to adequately resource ODCE

17 April, 2018 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Speaking at Leaders Questions today, Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD, raised the serious data breach at Independent News & Media and challenged the Taoiseach on the government’s failure to adequately resource the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement.

Ms McDonald said;

“The Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement wants the courts to appoint inspectors to go into INM in order to conduct a full and proper investigation. That is completely understandable.

“However, yesterday it emerged that Denis O’Brien is seeking a judicial review of ODCE request to appoint inspectors by accusing them of leaking information about the breach.

“The ODCE has been investigating this story for a year without any leaks. However, as soon as the affidavit arrives at INM premises, there are numerous leaks and INM even report on details of the affidavit. 

“It appears to me that an attempt is being made to silence the ODCE.

“There is no doubt that the ODCE is up against it because of a lack of resourcing and support, Taoiseach. Currently, there are 35 staff and 7 Gardai assigned to the ODCE. This gives an insight into the state’s attitude to white collar crime and corporate enforcement.

“Companies should fear the ODCE and the consequences of data breaches and other unethical action.

"The ODCE should be properly resourced and empowered to ensure that white collar crime is not only prosecuted, but deterred.

“Ireland has gained a reputation as the Wild West when it comes to tax avoidance and the prevalence of white collar crime.

“If we are to shake this reputation, we must make a stand here and now.

“Taoiseach, your government cannot stand by and allow the ODCE to be disrupted or silenced.

“You have a responsibility to ensure that it can carry out its important work without fear.”

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