Flynn’s EU pension hangs on outcome of CAB probe

Pádraig Flynn could lose his €50,000 EU pension depending on the outcome of the Criminal Assets Bureau investigation, the European Commission has said.

Labour MEP Nessa Childers and members of the public have written to the Brussels asking that it cut the former Irish commissioner’s pension.

The man responsible for administration in the commission, Maros Sefcovic, said wrote to Ms Childers that the findings of the Mahon Tribunal were a “matter for serious concern”.

He pointed out that under the rules, commissioners must both during and after their tenure “behave with integrity and discretion as regards the acceptance, after they leave office, of certain appointments or benefits”.

He said that while the tribunal findings did not represent the verdict of a court, they have been referred to the Criminal Assets Bureau.

“Therefore, the commission will await the outcome of the referral of the findings of the Mahon Tribunal before taking a decision in this matter. I can assure you the results of the proceedings of the Criminal Assets Bureau will be an important element to be taken into account by the commission as to whether action should be taken.”

The tribunal found Mr Flynn to have taken corrupt payments before he became a commissioner, and EU legislation refers only to the actions of a commissioner while in office or after.

However, Ms Childers said Mr Flynn was also found to have falsified documents while a commissioner in 1998, claiming that Tom Gilmartin gave him money personally rather than as a party donation.

She also said the tribunal showed he gave false testimony about receiving substantial corrupt donations when he appeared before the tribunal from 2004-06, which was after he ceased to be a commissioner.

There were also issues around this time with tax evasion and accountability for additional sums of money in his accounts, according to the tribunal’s findings.

Ms Childers said: “Pádraig Flynn has disgraced Ireland’s good name in Europe. He should no longer receive his sizeable pension from the European Commission. He was found to have taken corrupt payments before he was commissioner, falsified documents while he was a commissioner and made false statements to the tribunal after he was commissioner.”

Mr Flynn receives Dáil pensions of €87,000 a year in additional to the annual €50,000 from the EU.

The commission would have to apply to the European Court to depriving him of his pension. It has done this twice already with other commissioners.

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