Dáil clerk failed to send letter to HSBC

None of the money under suspicion of tax evasion in relation to the offshore HSBC accounts that came to light as part of the Swissleaks controversy were transferred from Irish banks, the Public Accounts Committee heard yesterday.

Dáil clerk failed to send letter to HSBC

Revenue Commissioners chairman Niall Cody told Independent TD Shane Ross that according to the data provided to it by French authorities all the money was held offshore before being transferred to HSBC.

Mr Cody and Revenue PAC liaison officer Liam Gallagher were appearing before the Dáil committee to outline their investigation into HSBC offshore accounts, which have yielded more than €4.5m in tax, interest and penalties to date.

Revenue undertook 33 investigations in relation to the scandal that broke last month, 27 of which have been completed and six are ongoing. The €4.5m windfall to the State arose from 19 settlements with Revenue.

Prior to yesterday’s meeting there were heated exchanges with committee members extremely upset that a letter requesting HSBC’s presence at the hearing had not been sent by a committee clerk.

Mr Ross said the clerk’s failure to send the letter as he hadn’t gotten around to it made a mockery of the committee and added it was being upstaged by secretariat.

Labour TD Joe Costello also questioned the absence of a HSBC representative.

Mr Ross faced a strong rebuke from other committee members for admonishing the clerk in public, however, with Limerick TD Patrick O’Donovan saying a mistake had been made and the committee should not dwell on it.

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