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A fifth Renua candidate has stepped down after failing to disclose tax issues

Desmond J Hayes was to run for Lucinda Creighton’s party in Limerick City.

Desmond J Hayes
Desmond J Hayes
Image: Twitter

Updated 5.30pm 

A RENUA CANDIDATE who appeared on the tax defaulters list last month has withdrawn from the general election campaign.

Desmond J Hayes, an accountant and tax consultant who has practised for more than 20 years, was running for the party in Limerick City.

A Renua spokesperson confirmed today he had withdrawn from the election campaign for “personal reasons”.

It’s understood that Hayes was asked to step down after an investigation found he had failed to disclose to the party that he was facing issues related to his income tax returns.

A well-placed party source said Hayes’s failure to anticipate he would appear on the tax defaulters list was not credible given his background as an accountant and tax consultant.

Hayes did not respond to requests for comment today.

Marriage breakdown

Last month, Hayes told TheJournal.ie that he was appealing a €1,250 fine for failing to lodge income tax returns, claiming it was a result of a marriage breakdown.

“It was a private family matter following marriage breakdown which I had brought to the attention of the Revenue as an expression of doubt prior to filing the income tax return,” he said at the time.

“Due to the long list in the family law courts the matter was heard after the date of filing had passed.”

The Limerick Leader, which first reported Hayes’s withdrawal, said he had referred himself to Renua’s ethics officer Karl Deeter in the wake of appearing on the defaulters list.

Deeter told this website: “I was asked to carry out an investigation into this matter at the behest of the national chairman and it was provided to the party’s national board.”

He declined to comment any further.

Number five

Hayes is the fifth Renua candidate to withdraw from the general election campaign and leaves the party, which launched its manifesto on Monday, with 17 candidates in the 40 Dáil constituencies.

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Cavan-Monaghan hopeful Mary Smyth stepped down after she labelled the Vatican ‘the Antichrist’ last month.

In October, Wexford-based Shane Dunphy decided to step down as a candidate, but said he would remain a member of the party.

Jack and Jill Founder Jonathan Irwin, who was set to run in Kildare South, withdrew in August, citing health problems resulting from his cancer treatment.

A week before that Galway West candidate James Charity quit the party after just two months over what he claimed was its u-turn on water charges.

Renua is unlikely to select a new candidate to run in Limerick City.

Read: Renua’s policy on Irish Water is a little murky

Three strikes and life: This is Renua’s radical policy on crime

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Hugh O'Connell

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