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Dublin: 15 °C Wednesday 26 June, 2019

Pensions of corrupt politicians 'could be cut off' - junior minister

Joe Costello said a constitutional amendment could halt payments to politicians named as corrupt by the Mahon Tribunal.

Pádraig Flynn pictured in 1991
Pádraig Flynn pictured in 1991
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

PENSIONS BEING PAID out to politicians named as corrupt in the Mahon Tribunal report could be cut off, a junior minister has said.

Joe Costello, Minister of State with responsibility for trade and development, said a constitutional amendment would be required to apply the cuts retrospectively to people who received corrupt payments.

But he said there was “no reason” why the change could not be introduced. Similar measures are already in place at an EU level, Costello said.

“It would be possible I believe to deal with the pensions issue by way of a constitutional amendment,” he told RTÉ’s The Week In Politics. “To make sure that politicians, that senior planners, that people who were paid from the public purse – their pensions could be rescinded.”

Costello said that the issue would be addressed by the upcoming Constitutional Convention.

It would require a constitutional amendment to deal with the people named in these reports because you can’t normally introduce legislation retrospectively. But that’s a matter we should look at, and at the present time we are establishing a Constitutional Convention.

A number of politicians were found to have received corrupt payments in the final report of the Mahon Tribunal, including former Fianna Fáil minister Pádraig Flynn and eleven former Dublin councillors.

Ex-Taoiseach Bertie Ahern was found to have given untrue evidence to the tribunal hearings.

Labour MEP Nessa Childers has called for the EU Commission to stop pension payments to Pádraig Flynn, who served as the commissioner for Ireland during the 1990s.

More: Full coverage of the Mahon Tribunal on>

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Michael Freeman

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