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Mick Wallace: No Dáil censure ahead of possible committee investigation

The whips of the five main Dáil groupings agree not to table motions of censure ahead of potential committee hearings.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Archive

THE WHIPS of the Dáil’s five groupings have agreed not to table any motions of censure against Wexford independent TD Mick Wallace, pending the outcome of a potential committee investigation into his tax affairs.

The whips of Fine Gael, Labour, Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and the Technical Group met this afternoon to discuss a possible all-party motion condemning Wallace for knowingly under-declaring the VAT of his construction company, M and J Wallace Ltd, to the Revenue Commissioners.

All five groups have agreed to hold fire, however, until the Dáil Committee on Members’ Interests meets to formally decide whether it has the authority to conduct an investigation into the affairs of Wallace and his companies.

That committee, which is chaired by another independent TD Thomas Pringle, is listed as meeting in private session tomorrow at noon in order to further discuss the possibility of a full investigation.

Though Pringle publicly said he did not believe the committee had jurisdiction over Wallace’s corporate affairs from before he was elected to the Dáil, the committee is now working on the belief that Wallace’s decision not to pay the full amount continued into his tenure as a TD.

TheJournal.ie understands that the whips agreed not to pursue a motion ahead of the committee’s preliminary investigations, largely because the committee has been requested to investigate the matter by the Ceann Comhairle, Sean Barrett.

A source said debating, or passing, any motion in advance of the committee’s investigations could pre-empt the committee’s hearings, and would be tantamount to “putting the cart before the horse”.

A Revenue Commissioners list of tax settlements, published this afternoon, confirm that Wallace’s construction company – of which he is the sole director and 99 per cent shareholder – incurred €425,668 in penalties as well as €289,146 in interest after under-declaring VAT to the tune of €1,418,894.

Its settlement with Revenue was the second-largest in the first quarter of 2012.

Wallace leaves Technical Group, while Ceann Comhairle denies permission for Dáil statement

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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