PAC declines legal demand from former FF minister to hand over Ansbacher dossier to him
The Dail’s Public Accounts Committee has declined a legal demand from former Fianna Fail Finance Minster Ray MacSharry to hand over the Ansbacher dossier to him.
Lawyers acting for Mr MacSharry had given PAC seven days to hand over the Ansbacher dossier, the Irish Independent has learned.
Mr MacSharry took the significant step to engage lawyers from leading firm Arthur Cox to ensure his “good name and reputation is never again impugned” by the PAC or any member of it.
Mr MacSharry’s lawyers have called on PAC chairman John McGuinness to hand over the controversial dossier into the alleged use of offshore accounts by former politicians to evade paying tax.
But at the committee’s meeting this morning, Mr McGuinness informed members that as the committee is not formally in possession of the document and therefore is not in a position to accede to Mr MacSharry’s request.
Last week, the PAC declined a similar request from Ann Lenihan, widow of former Tanaiste, Brian Lenihan senior.
The legal action comes after Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald named six former ministers in the Dail under privilege, saying they were mentioned in the Ansbacher dossier.
Ms McDonald named Mr MacSharry, Des O’Malley, Gerard Collins, Maire Geoghegan Quinn, S Barrett, Richie Ryan and “others” as having held such off-shore accounts. All of the former ministers strongly denied owning such accounts.
At this morning’s
They have also sought “all records, including personal data and personal information” in his possession or that of the committee.
“Please arrange to provide these records to us, on behalf of our client, within seven days from the date of this letter,” Mr MacSharry’s lawyers told Mr McGuinness. This, they say, is required to allow him “take such steps to vindicate his good name and reputation.”
Speaking to the Irish Independent last night, Mr MacSharry said: “My lawyers are dealing with all those matters so I don’t have anything to say.”
The Anbacher dossier was sent to individual members of the PAC by whistleblower Gerry Ryan who is a Department of Jobs official.
At the same meeting, Fine Gael TD John Deasy was elected to the position of vice-chairman of the PAC, replacing Kieran O’Donnell who has taken up a post on the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry.