Irish Republican News · January 9, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Leaked corruption claim threatens Ahern

The Dublin government and opposition parties clashed today over renewed allegations about a former minister's tax evasion.

Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is resisting calls to allow a debate on the claims involving ex-European Commissioner Padraig Flynn and his daughter Beverly Cooper Flynn, a parliamentary representative for Mr Ahern's Fianna Fail party.

The ongoing controversy follows leaked reports that fresh allegations were set to emerge about Mr Flynn at the ongoing Mahon tribunal of inquiry into planning irregularities.

It is claimed the former minister failed to report allegations of bribery to police in an attempt to keep the matter secret.

Mr Ahern has refused to comment on reports that a controversial IR#50,000 cheque given by a developer to Mr Flynn in 1989 was lodged into a non-resident bank account in his and his wife's names.

The Taoiseach himself is also alleged to have delayed progress of the tribunal by refusing to produce documents he promised five years ago.

Opposition leaders have demanded full statements from both the Taoiseach and Ms Cooper-Flynn about their involvement in the affair.

Green Party leader Trevor Sargent has officially requested the suspension of parliamentary business tomorrow and Labour leader Pat Rabbitte has reiterated demands that Mr Ahern makes a full statement.

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny branded the leaks ``deplorable'' and said it was inconceivable that normal business should resume in parliament with such allegations hanging over the Taoiseach.

Ms Cooper-Flynn, who has already lost the party whip twice, has said she will address parliament on the allegations tomorrow.

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© 2004 Irish Republican News