PAC cannot examine Ansbacher evidence

Parliamentary legal team say issues raised by Ryan are outside remit of committee

Gerry Ryan wrote to the PAC  alleging the Ansbacher accounts were used by prominent figures to evade tax in the 1990s. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Gerry Ryan wrote to the PAC alleging the Ansbacher accounts were used by prominent figures to evade tax in the 1990s. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

 

The Public Accounts Committee cannot examine evidence from whistleblower Gerry Ryan.

Members met today to view the correspondence from Mr Ryan but legal advice from the parliamentary legal team said the issues were outside the remit of the committee.

Mr Ryan wrote to the committee in relation to Revenue’s investigation of Ansbacher account holders, alleging the accounts were used by prominent figures to evade tax in the 1990s.

It is understood he has made a number of new allegations, but members have not been circulated with the correspondence.

The clerk of the committee wrote to TDs on Wednesday informing them of the letter.

The note read: “As the correspondence relates to the tax affairs of a number of named individuals, I referred it for legal advice because of a concern relating to privilege attaching to such a document if it was circulated.

The committee was split on how to proceed and went to a vote.

Only two members - Shane Ross TD and Mary Lou McDonald TD - voted in favour of viewing the correspondence.

Mr Ryan is a senior official in the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

He has written to the committee previously alleging a number of politicians used offshore accounts to evade tax.

Revenue officials appeared before the committee and rejected the allegations.

The then-chairwoman Josephine Feehily said all of Mr Ryan’s claims had been investigated thoroughly.