Swiss leaks: Mail not sent to HSBC account holder Aidan O’Brien

Racehorse trainer says matter is now resolved and company fully tax-compliant

Irish racehorse trainer Aidan O'Brien (45) is among the Irish people who feature in the files from HSBC Private Banking in Geneva given to the Revenue Commissioners in 2010.

The files indicate that the mail relating to his and his partner’s account was kept in the bank rather than sent to them and that the account was closed in 2003.

There is no information as to the size of any balance held. A request for a comment on the matter met with no response.

In 2011, Whisperview Ltd, Piltown, Co Kilkenny, a company owned by the O’Briens and involved in horse training and breeding, appeared in the tax defaulters list in relation to a settlement totalling €526,077.


The settlement comprised €177,639 in tax, with the rest being interest and penalties. The settlement was listed as arising from the underdeclaration of corporation tax and PAYE/PRSI, and was described as an offshore assets case.

At the time, the company issued a statement saying that certain money earned by Whisperview in the period from 2000 to 2003 was lodged to an overseas account and that these sums were repatriated in full to Ireland in November 2003.

“Full corporation tax at the prevailing rate was paid on these monies. However, the tax rate in 2003 was lower than the rates which applied in the period between 2000 and 2002. The underpayment of tax in respect of the years 2000, 2001 and 2002 gave rise to the additional corporation tax and to the interest and penalties which were also paid.

“The matter is now resolved and Whisperview Trading is fully tax-compliant.”

Whisperview does not appear in the files seen by The Irish Times, which have their origin in data taken from the Geneva bank's IT system by a former employee, Hervé Falciani, in 2006 and 2007.

Colm Keena

Colm Keena

Colm Keena is an Irish Times journalist. He was previously legal-affairs correspondent and public-affairs correspondent