Ireland to launch formal bid for new EU anti-money laundering HQ this week

Cabinet will also hear a funding scheme will be opened for farmers in Shannon Callows whose fodder was badly damaged by extreme weather

Ireland is expected to sign off on a formal bid later this week to become the location for the EU’s new Anti-Money Laundering Authority.

At the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Minister for Finance Michael McGrath will seek approval for Ireland to submit the bid.

The proposed new authority aims to improve the detection of suspicious financial transactions and close loopholes used by criminals to launder illicit proceeds or finance terrorist activities.

As many as 10 states of the European Union 27 are expected to compete to host the authority’s headquarters.


It is understood that Ireland’s application puts significant emphasis on the geographical spread of EU institutions and the relative lack of headquarters here in Ireland compared with other countries.

Given the importance attached to the agency, Mr McGrath is expected to recommend that the State be willing to offer considerable financial support to win the bid process.

A decision is expected in late 2024.

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue will also tell the meeting on Tuesday he is opening a fodder support scheme for farmers impacted by flooding on the Shannon Callows.

The callows experienced what was described as “very challenging” weather conditions last summer and some farmers were unable to save fodder crops for this winter.

This has been compounded by the continuing wet conditions throughout autumn.

Speaking in advance of the meeting Mr McConalogue said: “I recognise the acute and exceptional nature of the challenge for affected farmers and have been engaging with Government colleagues in the area and will be confirming details of a scheme to Cabinet.”

Mr McConalogue is also expected to bring a memo which will approve new research on methane. It will involve funding for a global accelerator that can identify new technologies to reduce methane emissions.

The agriculture sector has the highest rate of emissions across all sectors in Ireland, a significant portion of which is attributed to methane emissions from ruminant animals.

Elsewhere, Minister for Education Norma Foley will bring a memo to encourage parents to avoid buying smartphones for their children in primary schools. The initiative will seek to build on a successful initiative to exclude smartphones from primary schools in Greystones, Co Wicklow.

Harry McGee

Harry McGee

Harry McGee is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times