IRISH BUSINESSMAN DENIS O’Brien has found himself in the middle of the US presidential battle as candidate Donald Trump launches an attack on Hillary Clinton.
In a missive on his website, the Republican nominee criticises his rival for her ties to O’Brien who is described as a “cell phone tycoon”.
Entitled ‘Follow the Money’, the statement details O’Brien’s business interests in Central American, the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands.
It notes that he is the chair of the Clinton Global Initiative Haiti Action Network and a ‘leading philanthropist’ before going on to paint an unfavourable picture of the Irishman.
It uses quotes from a number of media articles and other sources.
The lengthy letter details some of the donations O’Brien has made to the Clinton Foundation, as well as pointing towards $2.5 million in funding Digicel received from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2011 for use in cell phone development in Haiti. Trump notes that USAID (US Agency for International Development) administered the programme while Clinton was US Secretary of State.
It outlines O’Brien’s various legal actions against media organisations and the purchase of Siteserv, a company which went on to win the contract to install water meters across Ireland.
On the 1995 mobile phone license competition which O’Brien’s Esat Digifone won, the statement quotes articles from the Guardian and the Irish Times published following the Moriarty Tribunal which found that O’Brien made payments to former minister Michael Lowry.
O’Brien continues to challenge the findings of the Tribunal which concluded ‘beyond doubt’ that the then-minister gave “substantive information” to O’Brien, which was of “significant value and assistance to him in securing the licence”.
O’Brien’s spokesperson has told RTÉ that the businessman would not be making any comment on Trump’s statement.
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