Category: Archive

Haughey hearing behind closed doors

February 15, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Andrew Bushe

DUBLIN – The _250,000 inquiry into the conduct of former Taoiseach Charles Haughey by the country’s oldest and largest body of accountants, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland, is the last that will be heard behind closed doors.

In the future, hearings will be public and the disciplinary procedures will be “more open and transparent,” the Institute’s new president Pierce Kent, has pledged in his inaugural speech.

The Institute’s council approved proposals to speed up investigation of complaints and publicize disciplinary sanctions more widely.

“We now recognize that open justice is far more convincing than private discipline,” Kent said.

Former High Court Judge John Blayney is heading the inquiry that has been sitting since last September.

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The ICAI inquiry is examining the role of Haughey and four other accountants who appeared before the Judge Brian McCracken payments-to-politicians inquiry, which found the former taoiseach had received _1.3 million from the business tycoon Ben Dunne.

Kent said that over the last five years the Institute has suspended or excluded 12 members. Since 1997, it has spent _1m on quality assurance, employing 16 people full time on this work.

Haughey, who’s 72, is still a member of the Institute and may be called to appear before the inquiry but it has no powers compel him to attend.

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