Tag Archives: Paul Murphy

Paul Murphy TD, of Solidarity, in Leinster House as Joan Burton TD, of the Labour Party speaks to the media on the Dáil plinth after Tuesday’s budgetary oversight committee

…. Confidence in the Garda Siochána is not an optional extra. It is the bedrock of public compliance and a properly functioning society. As a succession of scandals wash over the force, it is essential the public are assured that when gardaí give evidence in court, they speak nothing but the truth in accordance with their best recollection of sometimes fraught situations.

A Garda statement, saying a senior officer was conducting a review of organisational practices and policies arising out of Jobstown and “other issues of note”, may also have created the misleading impression that it would include evidence given in court. The Garda Commissioner made clear yesterday that this was not the case. A full Gsoc investigation is needed and Paul Murphy, if he is serious about anything other than crass political advantage, could usefully seek it.

A Case For Gsoc To Investigate (Irish Times editorial)



Earlier today.

In the Dáil.

In light of the Jobstown verdict two weeks ago.

Solidarity TD Paul Murphy said:

“It started with politicians. It started with a Labour minister a few hours after the protest, saying it was false imprisonment. It was followed by the Taoiseach saying that it was kidnapping. It was followed by the now Taoiseach saying it was thuggery. It was followed by our lost colleague Noel Coonan describing it as the same as Isis, and it was echoed by large sections of the media.”

“Now Taoiseach, politicians, not courts, politicians have to deal with the consequences. If you believe it’s serious chance, as there is, that the gardai gave false evidence on the stand, will you accept that we have to have an independent, public inquiry.”

In response, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says:

“Deputy, you had a fair trial. It went on for nine weeks. Your peers heard both sides of the case, the prosecution and the defence and they reviewed the evidence and they acquitted you of false imprisonment. You’re not a victim here…”

Via RTE News



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Jobstown, Tallaght.Dublin 24

A gathering to protest the ongoing trial of several men, including Paul Murphy TD (pic 1) and Barry Williams (pic 3, with daughter Niamh) charged with the false imprisonment of former Tanaiste Joan Burton and her advisor, Ms. Karen O’Connell at a Right to Water protest in the area in 2014. #NotDregs refers to remarks Ms. O’Connell made while sitting in a car with Ms. Burton.

Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews

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From top: Garda Tony Golden; Screengrabs from last night’s RTE Investigates

Last night.

Paul Murphy, of RTÉ’s Investigates, revisited the shooting of Garda Tony Golden and Siobhan Phillips by Adrian Crevan Mackin in Omeath, County Louth, on October 11, 2015.

Father-of-three Tony died in the shooting while Siobhan was left blind in one eye. Adrian, aged 25, took his own life shortly after the shooting.

Mr Murphy outlined the following events concerning Mackin.

2008: Mackin received probation for criminal damage.

2012: Mackin received a suspended sentence for possessing 23 images of extreme pornography.

December 2013: Mackin received a three-year suspended sentence for possessing a gun and ammunition

January 2015: The FBI informed gardaí from the Special Detective Unit on Dublin’s Harcourt Street that Mackin was buying weapons online. The FBI gave gardaí a list of weapons that Mackin bought over a two-year period.

Following this, the gardaí obtained a warrant stating they believed Mackin had six guns in his possession and other material to make explosives.

It also stated:

“Mr Mackin has also made enquiries with undercover agents in the FBI, USA to import Ricin, a highly toxic poison, with the intent of killing a Social Services Officer from Northern Ireland.”

January 16, 2015: At least 16 gardai from the Special Detectives Unit, some or all armed, went to Mackin’s house in Otmeath to execute this warrant. The gardai found material for making pipe bombs and gallons of sulphuric and nitric acid.

Mackin was taken into custody and, according to transcripts of the Garda interviews obtained by Mr Murphy, Mackin was asked if he was a member of the IRA, and he said ‘No, I’m not’. He was then asked if he has ever been a member of the IRA and he said, ‘No’.

Mackin was then asked another 27 questions about the IRA and he responded, ‘No comment’.

In a second Garda interview, Mackin was asked had he ever prepared explosives in his home and if he knew what a  pipe bomb was. He answered ‘No’ to both questions.

January 17, 2015: Then, during the fifth Garda interview, as gardai showed him a list of paypal transactions, Mackin admitted to buying bomb-making materials over the internet, including the sulphuric and nitric acid.

He also admitted to buying parts for six guns online. And when he was asked if he bought them for IRA use, he said ‘No’.

He maintained he was not a member of IRA.

However, the DPP ordered that Mackin be charged with membership of the IRA, and not with any firearms offences such as gun possession, or importing weapons parts – which he admitted.

He was sent to Portlaoise Prison to await bail. His initial bail was cut from €20,000 to €5,000 and, ten days after he was arrested, he was out.

After this point, Mackin’s mental health deteriorated, and he started to assault his girlfriend Siobhan Philips regularly.

In addition, Mackin told his sister that he was ‘a marked man’ and that ‘it was only a matter of time’. He believed dissident republicans believed he was an informer.

October 9, 2015: Mackin beat Siobhan intermittingly over 12 hours, cutting her arm and legs with a bread knife.

The next day, Norma Phillips – wife of Siobhan’s father Sean – collected Siobhan from her workplace. Norma told Mr Murphy that Siobhan said she was afraid Mackin was going to kill her.

Norma and Sean took Siobhan to Dundalk Garda station but a garda there said he wouldn’t take a statement as Siobhan could have had a ‘brain injury’. He then told them to go to Otmeath station. The guard also said he’d arrange a meeting between them and Garda Tony Golden for the following day.

October 11, 2015: Siobhan went to Otmeath station where she gave a statement to while Norma and Sean waited outside. At this point Garda Golden said it was time for Siobhan to get her stuff from her and Mackin’s home and leave him.

Siobhan went with Sean to the house – a two minutes’  drive from the Garda station – while Garda Golden drove up separately.

Siobhan spotted Mackin’s car outside the house. Garda Golden and Siobhan got out of their respective cars and went into the house while Sean waited outside.

Sean said as the door was open, he could hear what happened. He said Mackin asked them what they were doing at the house, Garda Golden said they were there to collect Siobhan’s stuff and then Mackin shot Siobhan four times, shot Garda Golden and then turned the gun on himself.

Norma Phillips told Mr Murphy:

“I certainly can’t, at any level, accept that Tony Golden knew what lay ahead for him or would have had any knowledge that this guy had guns or access to weapons.”


But, Mr Murphy said, other gardaí did.

“Nine months earlier, during questioning Mackin told detectives that he had access to weaponry including parts for two Glock pistols, the model used to kill Tony Golden. He even admitted to storing guns at a derelict cottage in Louth a few hundred yards from the Border.”

Mr Murphy explained that Mackin told his sister and solicitor that he showed gardai his cache of weapons parts and guns, partly in exchange for not being charged with firearms offences and only being charged with IRA membership.

Watch back in full here



From top: Anti Austerity Alliance/People Before Profit press conference yesterday with from left: Ruth Coppinger, Richard Boyd Barrett, Brid Smith and Paul Murphy; Paul Murphy

Today’s budget debate will largely be a charade.

Paul Murphy writes:

‘Fiscal space’ – it is a trick of misdirection worthy of Houdini. What one issue stood out most in this year’s pre-budget discussion? A debate about whether pensioners or people with disabilities or carers deserve a €5 increase more.

This is the fiscal space and neo-liberal economics in action – artificially creating scarcity and pitting people against each other to fight over who gets what.

It has served to focus discussion on how to share out the relative crumbs of €1.2 billion instead of the total cake of over €230 billion of economic output or a discussion on what kind of economy or society we want.

Years of austerity and regressive budgets have driven inequality to a point where the richest 10% of the population now control 54% net wealth, leaving just 5% for the bottom 50% of the population. Workers’ wages remain lower than in 2008 and have fallen as a percentage of GDP from 53% in 2008 to a projected 40.1% next year.

At the same time, corporate profits rose from €35bn in 2009 to €51bn in 2014 and €75bn in 2015. That is austerity in action – shifting wealth from wages to profits. The fiscal space straitjacket is designed to ensure that continues.

The consequence is a cost of living crisis for workers who are faced with low wages, soaring rents and underfunded public services resulting in unaffordable prices for necessities like childcare.

On the other hand, corporations with soaring profits are guaranteed by Michael Noonan that their tax rate on profits “never has been and never will be up for discussion.”

The starting point of the AAA-PBP budget statement Close the Tax Haven, Redistribute the Wealth, Transform Society was to break out of the fiscal space straitjacket and to end Ireland’s status as a tax haven.

Instead of tinkering at the edges, we set out to outline how vast resources and wealth exist in this country and could be used to transform Ireland from a fiscal paradise for corporations into a socialist green economy that could work for all.

The centre-piece is the need for a break with the capitalist developmental model based on attracting foreign multinationals with low or non-existent corporation tax, low regulation and wages.

That failure is clear when nearly 60 years after attracting foreign capital with tax breaks was presented as a temporary measure to give the economy a boost,

Michael Noonan is still talking about FDI as the “seed potatoes” of economic development. It has resulted in a weak domestic private sector and a basket case economy – where growth figures have no relationship to the reality of the economy or people’s lives.

While the government and Fianna Fail fought over how to spend €1.2 billion, we proposed raising an additional €25 billion in tax and spending an additional €24 billion.

We targeted the raising of at least an additional €4 billion from corporations through a combination of closing tax loopholes like the ‘Double Irish’ and the ‘Knowledge Development Box’ and increasing corporation tax rates.

Although it has largely fallen out of public debate, the question of odious unjust debt and the need to burn the bondholders hasn’t gone away.

The state continue to spend €1 in ever €10 in tax raised on debt servicing – for debt that largely arises from the banking crisis and is not ours. We put forward a strategy of debt repudiation, which would conservatively save at least €3.22 billion.

To fund the scrapping of austerity taxes for working people – water charges, property and the USC, we put forward a series of other taxation measures.

These include the introduction of a Millionaire’s Tax of 2% on net assets exceeding €1 million, which would raise €2.92 billion, a Landlord’s Tax on non family homes, which would raise €450 million and a High-Income Social Charge and new rates of marginal tax on high levels of income to replace the Universal Social Charge and raise €2.33 billion.

In addition, we pointed to the almost €9 billion available in NAMA and the Irish Strategic Investment Fund. These are funds that are not allowed to be invested because of the ‘Expenditure Benchmark’ Fiscal Rule.

That rule must be broken and those funds used to fund major capital programmes – in housing, renewable energy, water, health and childcare.

While the government continues to treat the housing and homeless crisis as a market problem that needs a market solution, planning to bring in a new first time buyers grant, we took a completely different approach. The state should simply use €4.5 billion of those resources to build 20,000 and acquire 30,000 vacant units and use them as public homes to tackle the housing crisis.

Instead of treating our two-tier health service as an inevitability, we advocated spending an additional €3 billion on health in 2017, as part of developing a National Health Service in Ireland.

That would fund an additional 1,000 acute beds, 5,000 additional healthcare workers, the abolition of prescription charges and the allocation of an additional €200 million to mental health, alongside many other measures.

Instead of subsidising private childcare, we argued for €2 billion investment in the building of a public childcare service, free at the point of access. In addition, we called for additional investment of more than €1 billion into education, providing genuinely free education at all levels, with free school books, an end to voluntary contributions and all third level fees.

In addition, we budgeted €2.19 billion for an end to pay inequality in the public sector between older and more recent entrants and an immediate restoration of pay to 2008 levels.

Finally, as a crucial part of a strategy of transforming the economy along environmentally sustainable socialist lines, based on public ownership, we argue for investment of €3 billion directly by the state in renewable energy, water infrastructure, forestry and green agri-food.

All of this can seen a bit fantastical and undoubtedly will be portrayed as such by the media, if they bother to look outside the fiscal space. It is designed to provoke – to push the boundaries of debate out of the fiscal space and to illustrate the immense wealth that does exist.

The central point is that the obstacle to resolving the many social crises in Ireland is not an absence of resources – it is the fact that their ownership is concentrated in the hands of the big corporations and the super-rich.

The financial resources that could be raised through the taxation measures mentioned are only a small fraction of the resources that could be utilised by a left government with socialist policies to transform people’s lives. For example, using the banking system as a democratic public utility could mean a transformation in terms of public investment.

Public ownership of the key sectors of the economy would enable a paradigm shift to an economy based on renewable energy and sustainable growth – a socialist green economy.

Today’s budget debate will largely be a charade. Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil both invited Ireland’s very own Donald Trump, Michael O’Leary, to give them anti-worker, pro-big business addresses.

They will pass a budget that serves his interests. Labour will feign opposition to the very approach it was implementing one year ago. Sinn Féin will oppose much of the budet, but its acceptance of the parameters of fiscal space and the rules of capitalism means they cannot offer a radical alternative.

The outlines of such an alternative is offered in the AAA-PBP budget statement. It requires a mass movement of the left in Ireland to make a left government with radical socialist politics a real possibility.

Paul Murphy is a TD Anti Austerity Alliance. Follow Paul on Twitter: @paulmurphy/AAA



From top: The sit-down protest at Jobstown, Tallaght, November 2014; Paul Murphy TD

Almost two years after the Jobstown protest the first false imprisonment trial will start on Monday in the Children’s Court where a 17-year-old, who recently completed his Leaving Cert, faces imprisonment.

Paul Murphy TD writes:

An injury to one is an injury to all” – so goes the old union slogan.

It is a principle which #JobstownNotGuilty is appealing to, as we seek to rally opposition to a major threatened injustice next week.

On November 15, 2014, then Tanaiste and leader of the Labour Party, Joan Burton was met by a spontaneous protest in Jobstown.

The protest grew to hundreds of people, as a community ravaged by the impact of austerity and betrayed by the Labour Party came out to make their voice heard.

A sit-down protest behind her car, which was parked beside a food bank took place, followed by another sit-down protest and slow march in front of a Garda jeep that Ms Burton was moved into.

In total, the protest went on for about two and a half hours. Around the corner, it later emerged, a homeless couple were living in their car for weeks.

After almost two eventful years, including two weeks of heavy-handed dawn raids, finding out through the media that we were to be charged with false imprisonment, and the tragic death of one of the accused, the trials are now upon us.

The first false imprisonment trial will start on Monday in the Children’s Court, where a 17-year-old young man, who recently completed his Leaving Cert, will stand trial.

“It’ll never go to trial” we were all re-assured repeatedly by people incredulous that the definition of false imprisonment could be stretched to include sit-down protests and slow marching. Yet it is.

This is not going to stop before Monday. By the end of next week, a young man could be sentenced to jail.

Next April, the first group of adult defendants will begin their six-week trial and could face up to life in prison. The total cost to the State of these prosecutions runs into the millions of euros.

How did it come to this?

This is not the first occasion when Ministers were delayed as a result of sit-down protests.

Take just one university, University College Dublin (UCD): Taoiseach Charlie Haughey was met by sit-down protests in 1989.

In 2002, Minister Noel Dempsey was stuck in a building surrounded by protesting students for hours.

Six years later, Brian Lenihan was reportedly ‘blockaded’ by protesting students there again.

Not one prosecution for even minor public order offences, never mind false imprisonment, followed any of these protests.

What’s so special about Jobstown?

It is a working-class community and a protest that has come to symbolise the dramatic shift in Irish politics.

That shift is one deeply unfavourable for the traditional establishment parties and the economic elite that they represent.

A key part of that change is the refusal of people to play the role allotted to them of ‘waiting in the long grass’ for elections – passively voting for parties like the Labour Party at election time, only to be sold out once again.

Instead, the anti-water charges movement was the lightning rod for accumulated anger to explode.

The result was widespread civil disobedience, centred in working-class communities like Jobstown.

Instead of the caricature of apathy, these communities were central to protests against Ministers, the prevention of the installation of unwanted water meters and, crucially, the 73% refusing to pay water charges bills.

Not only widespread civil disobedience, but successful widespread civil disobedience – with the Government forced to suspend water charges and Fianna Fáil forced into opposing them.

If you are part of the 1% in this country, with your traditional parties reduced to less than a combined 50% of support and Labour slashed from 37 seats to 7 – this is a very scary vista, considering the number of other issues that social movements are possible on.

It is a prospect that requires a strong response from their point of view. That is what explains the reaction of the state.

The effect of the conviction of people for false imprisonment would be to send a clear message – “this far and no further, back into your box. You may have forced us to suspend water charges, but don’t forget that effective protest is criminal and protesters will be criminalised.

It is a draconian extension of the political policing that was on view in response to the anti-water charges movement, from the arrest of more than 200 protesters at anti-water meter protests, the outrageous jailing of a number, Operation Mizen spying against protesters and the denial of the Anti-Austerity Alliance of the right to fund raise on the grounds that the money would be used to “commission … an unlawful act”

This is a threat not just to the freedom and future of the 17-year-old, or the other 18 defendants.It represents much more than that.

It is an attack on the people of Jobstown and Tallaght – punishment for being to the forefront of the movement against austerity.

It is an attack on people’s democratic right to elect the TD of their choosing, because I would be removed as a TD if sentenced to more than six months in prison.

Most importantly, it is a fundamental attack on people’s right to protest. If sit-down protests are false imprisonment, then there are a lot of potential kidnappers out there.

Any striker who mounts an effective picket preventing the movement of vehicle could be guilty. Any anti-war protester who sits down outside Shannon airport could be guilty.

Any abortion rights protester who participates in a slow march could be guilty. We all become kidnappers.

It sounds farcical, but it is deadly serious. At stake here is people’s right to protest.

#JobstownNotGuilty was established by the defendants one year ago to co-ordinate a united defence campaign of all. We have been working away on legal and campaign preparations.

Now, we are appealing for people to support us and their own rights.

Much of the media has already pronounced our guilt, with the tone set from the day of our arrest, with Claire Byrne declaring that “you falsely imprisoned the Tánaiste” and continued famously by Ryan Tubridy on the Late Late Show, not to mention the Sunday Independent.

We therefore rely on people themselves connecting with #JobstownNotGuilty  and spreading the information about the injustice that is threatened.

We need people to pass motions in trade unions, students’ unions and campaign groups.

We want other communities to publicly express their solidarity and support for Jobstown. This should become a national scandal – with a demand that the charges be dropped.

The 17-year-old is on trial for all of us next week.

We have launched a fundraising appeal to raise the €2,000 necessary for bail in case he is jailed, so that he can appeal without being incarcerated.

One of our campaign will read out a statement on his behalf at Saturday’s Right2Water march and we will be present with placards and leaflets.

Most importantly, we are appealing to people to turn out to the Children’s Court in Smithfield, Dublin 7on Monday morning at 10am for the start of the trial of the 17-year-old.

A massive display of solidarity is needed to show that we stand behind him.

Paul Murphy is a TD Anti Austerity Alliance. Follow Paul on Twitter: @paulmurphy/AAA

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DAVOS-KLOSTERS/SWITZERLAND, 31JAN09 - Joseph E. Stiglitz, Professor, Columbia University, USA, at the Annual Meeting 2009 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 31, 2009. Copyright by World Economic Forum swiss-image.ch

From top: Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton and economist Joseph Stiglitz

This morning.

On the Today with Seán O’Rourke show.

Fine Gael Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton, Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy; former IMF director Donal Donovan, and Irish Independent editor Fionnan Sheahan were on the panel to talk about the Apple tax ruling.

Later in the show, Nobel prize winning economist Prof Joseph Stiglitz spoke to Mr O’Rourke.

Grab a tay.

Richard Bruton: “The principle, that the Irish Revenue authorities ruled on in 1991 and in 2007 was a standard approach. The principle that they enunciated was that a company, based in Ireland, should pay tax on its Irish activities and that was the ruling that was applied but what the EU is trying to now used state aid rules to do is to say that Ireland should become the international policeman for dealing with worldwide problems where companies are seen to play one tax code off against another. Very specifically, in relation to the US situation as you know, they offer a deferral tax system where the liability for tax in the US, which is obviously legitimate ultimately by companies like Apple, where all their research and development goes on – they allow a deferral so that tax is not brought back to the US authorities. But the EU itself has recognised that this €13billion is not available to Ireland because the US, it recognises that the US has a legitimate interest in getting access to this tax revenue and, indeed, their deferral rules would see that revenue taxable in the US and Apple have said that so Donal [O’Donovan] is simply wrong. The [EU] Commission isn’t authoritative on this issue, they are seeking to break entirely new ground…”

Sean O’Rourke: “Well no, what they’re doing is using the rules on the single market which prohibit member states from tailoring special inducements to incur rich companies to locate operations on their soil and the very fact that we allowed Apple, and we connived with Apple nationally, not necessarily breaking any of our own rules, but we allowed them to use Ireland as the basis for this, effectively, non-existent headquarters – no employees, no activity, to put money offshore and to avoid paying tax. It stinks to high heaven and we’ve been caught out on it and maybe we should just accept that fact.”

Bruton: “No you’re wrong, Seán. Ireland has a substantial substance from companies like Apple, 350, 000 over all. In the case of Apple, it’s 6,000 employees and they have paid tax on their earnings in Ireland.”

O’Rourke: “But why do we allow, why do we allow the to pay virtually no tax on their worldwide earnings or 90% of them…”

Bruton: “We apply…”

O’Rourke: “Why do we facilitate that?”

Bruton: “Don’t talk me down when I’m trying to answer….”


Bruton: “The EU wants to make Ireland some sort of international tax policeman which would be entirely negative to our interests and so many countries invested here.”

Paul Murphy: “…This argument by Fianna Fáil and the Government is utterly disingenuous and dishonest. The idea is that somehow Ireland stumbled into this situation of being a tax haven and different companies are managed together in the different loopholes of different countries and they all just happened to set up in Ireland. It was designed to do that. That’s the point of the tax ruling in 1991. So it isn’t about the [EU] Commission now asking Ireland to be a tax policeman in retrospect, because in 1991 and 2007, a ruling was designed to say to Apple: we don’t mind if you come here and you set up Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe. And you have head offices that have nobody working for them whatsoever and you funnel through $22billion of profits a year, in the case of Apple Sales International and, don’t worry, we won’t charge you tax on it. So we didn’t stumble into this situation, it was a designed thing and now the Government is trying to like make things not clear because the Government has a real problem on it.”

O’Rourke: “Donal, you don’t often agree or nod when Paul Murphy is speaking but you’re nodding vigorously there.”

Donal Donovan: “Well, you know, you’re right, I don’t often agree with Joseph Stiglitz either but actually I do think there’s a great deal of truth in what Paul says. This is something that has not happened by accident. This is a long-plan strategy and we did remove parts of this last year, and the year before but we did so at the point of a gun. I mean Minister [for Finance] Noonan was quite right when he removed the ‘double Irish’ and his [inaudible] residency but he waited until he had absolutely overwhelming pressure arising for the US and elsewhere and public opinion. And I think we’ve been on the back foot of this, Sean. We have reacted when we’ve been pushed into reacting, there’s no doubt about it that we have not been proactive in earlier years in trying to change the situation. And really, it’s a much bigger issue than the technical question of the legal matters who approved what in 1991. Really this has become a political and moral issue. We’ve seen ever since the US Congress held hearings, we’ve seen it with Panama Papers, Lux Leaks, everything, our 26% [rise in GDP] figure is related to this. All of this, the world is changing and, again, I wouldn’t always agree with Fintan O’Toole on many things but, this morning, he said we have to be on the right side of history and we should get on the right side of history.”

O’Rourke: “So, Richard Bruton… if the situation is changing, and you’ve highlighted yourself how the Government had introduced measures last year, if the situation is changing, why don’t we sort of shrug our shoulders and say to Apple, ‘look, sorry guys, the world is moving along, you’ve got a massive cash pile, something in the order of, is $230billion, we have to take a sizeable slice out of it’, the rules have changed and maybe we’re not going to lose a load of jobs if we do that.”

Donovan: “Well I think that’s right because the arrangements that gave rise to this, you’re absolutely right, have been changed already so it’s not that we’re relying on this to continue in the future… we should do the right thing and make up for it.”

O’Rourke: “Could we not take that approach, Richard Bruton?”

Bruton: “No, because we have established in the OECD a process whereby these sort of reforms will be done on a collective basis, with countries acting together and that is the approach that has already brought the sort of changes we’re talking about where, the way in which companies can aggressively play one tax off, one country off another is being wound back. There is numerous examples of where that occurs in the treatment of interest, the treatment of capital, the treatment of company resident, the treatment of intellectual property, the treatment of deferral of tax and so on and what we have to do is collectively sit down and work out agreements that will be applied universally. What the EU wants to do is to make Ireland the international policeman – to go out and say to the US, ‘you should not be applying deferral system’, ‘you should be collecting money from Apple straight away’ so Ireland should go and collect that money….Let’s not forget that if the word of the Irish authorities, independent Revenue Commissioners, independent of Government, if that cannot be relied upon, on companies who have invested and employed 350,000 people in Ireland, up and down the country…”

O’Rourke: “But we gave our word and then showed we were up to no good. We were conniving with these guys to avoid paying tax…”

Bruton: “That is precisely what we will be fighting to appeal against. There is no, it is not the case that we were conniving with anyone. We made legitimate rulings with the Revenue Commissioners made independently and they offered their opinion and companies have made their decision…”

O’Rourke: “But to quote [European Competition] Commissioner Margrethe Vestager yesterday, if my tax bill was 0.05%, falling to 0.005%, I would think I would need to have a second look.”

Bruton: “But those are bogus numbers because what that ruling is saying is that the activities of Apple in the US, where they do all their research and development, their manufacturing in China, should be taxed, that tax should be collected in Ireland. There is no basis for that, the US authorities will collect tax from Apple on the so-called deferral system that they have and, as you know, this is hotly debated in the US, how they should reform that and whether they should have instruments to bring that money…”


Donovan: “I just want to say…if the Minister Bruton could say: when these rulings were issued in 1991 and 2007, and I accept that they were rulings by the Revenue, did the Revenue check with Brussels at the time, as to whether these rulings were, or would be considered consistent with state aid rules? Because if we went ahead and did them, and issued them without getting the OK from Brussels, then we can’t really complain if, later, Brussels, says: ‘well, no I’m sorry you did these rulings but they were illegal.

O’Rourke: “Minister?”

Bruton: “These are rulings on tax matters and the Irish authorities took a view that is absolutely common across tax world that you are taxed in the jurisdiction on the activities in your jurisdiction. The issue then around tax structures that companies have – that involves much more elaborate collaboration across the system and we’ve sent up vents to precisely address that, this process at the OECD…”

Talk over each other

Murphy: “Minister, you know you’re being dishonest there, you do. You know that the thing was set up to facilitate it, that’s the point of the tax rulings and I think the Government’s spin around this is designed to make it seem all so very complicated right.”

Bruton: “That is not the case.”

Murphy: “And the reality is extremely clear: one of the biggest, multinational corporations in the world didn’t pay tax to the tune of €13billion-plus. It’ll get close to €19billion when you add on interest to Ireland and we are owed that tax. Now, Government would like to make it seem. Yesterday they said, first of all, well, at least the Commission has given us a clean bill of health in terms of Google and Facebook, the Commission had to come out and say, ‘no, we haven’t, we haven’t looked at them’. Then, the Government said, ‘but sure even if we got the money, we could only spend it on paying down the debt’, the Commission came out and said, ‘no, that’s not the case, you can spend it on capital expenditure. And the Government has a major political problem – this is their bank guarantee moment..”

O’Rourke: “And this is my cue to bring in [Irish Independent editor] Fionnan Sheahan. Just speaking of the Government’s political problem. Do you think they’re going to give us a decision today based on Michael Noonan’s recommendation – an immediate decision to appeal?”

Fionnan Sheahan: “No. I think, as Donal has said, they will take time to assess the ruling. You said at the start, the Government’s decision was to appeal – that was half the government the other half was saying something very different. And if you look at the government’s handling of this: the European Commission versus our Government has been a bit like {Danish TV series] Borgen versus Ballymagash [fictional rural town in RTÉ’s Hall’s Pictorial Weekly]. We have Margrethe Vestager basically cleaning us out for an hour yesterday on the steps of the European Commission building, quite authoritatively setting out her case on the basis of the European Commission’s ruling and then we have Michael Noonan basically floundering around, talking about all folksy tales about seed potatoes and so on and so forth. Well, to give you an old folksy analogy to match that: she ate him without salt. And I think there are major questions about Michael Noonan’s handling of this entire affair over recent months.”

Meanwhile, later in the show, Nobel prize winning economist Prof Joseph Stiglitz also spoke to Mr O’Rourke, saying:

“I think they’re [the Irish Government] wrong [to appeal]. I think, it was an interesting discussion [above]. I thought, to put it frankly, what the minister was saying is all utter balderdash. The fact is that you were encouraging tax avoidance, you knew it, let’s not make any pretence about it. You got  a few jobs at the cost of stealing revenues away from countries around the world and that’s the kind of activity that has to be stopped.

Listen back in full here


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Last night.

On RTÉ’s Six One.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan spoke to Brian Dobson about the ruling.

During their discussion, Mr Noonan said:

This isn’t a moral issue. This is a financial and a taxation issue.”

There you go.

Watch back in full here

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CEO of Console Paul Kelly; analysis of Console credit card payments and payments to his wife Patricia and their son Tim; and RTÉ Investigates journalist Paul Murphy

You may recall last Thursday night’s RTÉ Investigates report on the finances of national suicide charity, Console.

It reported how inappropriate payments were made to directors; multiple sets of accounts were used with alterations and deletions sent to different bodies; different dates of birth for the same person were used; while directors signed documents using both married and maiden names.

On the night of the report, it was reported that CEO of Console Paul Kelly had resigned.

Further to this….

Last night, RTE Investigates journalist Paul Murphy returned to the matter on Prime Time and reported on a draft copy of a HSE audit into the charity’s finances.

RTÉ writes:

The audit reveals details of how Paul Kelly, his wife Patricia and their son Tim benefited by almost half a million euro in salaries and cars between 2012 and 2014 with a further half a million euro spent during that period on Console credit cards for items including groceries, designer clothes and foreign trips. Between them Paul, Patricia and Tim Kelly used eleven credit cards over the three year period.

Amongst the items the cards were used for, were large unvouched cash withdrawals, trips to Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and other destinations, designer clothing in outlets such as Ralph Lauren and Hugo Boss, dining out, rugby world cup tickets and dental work.

…Paul Kelly received consultancy payments of €218,586, plus a 2009 Mercedes CLS costing €30,600 (fully expensed) and 4 credit cards.

Patricia Kelly received salary payments €67,149, plus a 2010 Audi Q5 costing €57,000 (fully expensed) and 4 credit cards.

There were no contracts or board approvals for the payments for the CEO or his wife.

Inconsistent and vague explanations were provided to the internal audit about Patricia Kelly’s car.

In addition, Mr Murphy reported last night that although Mr Kelly issued a statement saying he’d stepped down last Thursday – following a board meeting – Mr Kelly is now claiming that the meeting was never properly convened and he actually has not resigned.

Watch last night’s Prime Time back in full here (go to 30.25).

Previously: Inconsolable

RTÉ Investigations Unit



Derry Clarke, who runs L’Ecrivan restaurant in Dublin with his wife Sallyanne Clarke, spoke to Seán O’Rourke, following last night’s Prime Time report.

Derry and Sallyanne’s son Andrew died by suicide in 2012.

Mr Clarke, who has fundraised extensively for Console since Andrew’s death, said:

“In January, a generous benefactor gave me a cheque for €26,000 which I gave directly to Console. It really makes me sick really, it really does. And to face these people, you know, over the last two years, to fundraise for, it’s difficult.”

“…I had no idea [of the payments], I really didn’t and that’s what really makes me more annoyed with myself because, normally, you know, when you’re giving a lot of money to someone, you check it out, you know, you check out where it’s going to and what it’s doing…where it’s going, what’s it being spent on. No idea really.

“And, you know something, in reflecting on Paul Kelly, I only met him at functions or fundraising functions so I never knew what car he drove or where he lived. So I didn’t know anything about him really when I look back, it’s kind of amazing really. A lesson learned, the hard way.”

“One thing I’ve got to say though Seán is Console, as an operation is spectacular. I mean the services they offer are second to none. I mean they’re the only charity at the moment that do a 24/7 phone line, a national phone line, that’s still in operation today.”

“I mean they get over 3,500 calls a month so that is something we have to look at. Many volunteers and counsellors that work with Console now, today, I mean they’re great people. It’s something which we should think of. If we could separate what they do, day-to-day services, from one person’s actions. If we could do that, that would be great.”

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Paul Murphy tweetz:

Freedom Of Information figures from Irish Water. 21% drop of revenue in last quarter, non-payment over 50%.

Irish Water says over 20% drop in bill payment (RTE)

Previously: Water Cooler

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Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy

The Irish Times reports:

Legal aid has been assigned to Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy in relation to his trial on charges of falsely imprisoning Tánaiste Joan Burton during a water charges protest almost 18 months ago.

A trial date has not yet been fixed for Mr Murphy (32), with an address at The Copse, Woodpark, Ballinteer.

…A solicitor acting for Mr Murphy on Thursday said he was making an application for legal aid and handed in a statement of means. He said the State was on notice and had no objection. He said the case could last four to six weeks.

Judge Melanie Greally said based on the average weekly income in the documentation she would assign legal aid. The figures in the documentation were not disclosed in open court.


TD Paul Murphy assigned legal aid for Jobstown protest trial (Irish Times)

Leah Farrell/Rollingnews