Panama files named the Fine Gael advisor among their list of those involved in secretive offshore tax regimes
One of Enda Kenny’s, and Fine Gael’s key advisors, election strategist Frank Flannery has said he has asked Bank of Ireland in London to explain how his name ended up in the controversial Panama off-shore tax avoidance files published last week.
He told reporters in Dublin he has requested Bank of Ireland to produce the full file on his 1996 purchase of a house in Primrose Hill for £615,000. He, and his wife, sold it on in 2012 for £2.8m.
Last week’s leaked papers suggested the purchase was secured by a £250,000 deposit held by a third party in a bank account in Jersey. Loan security was allegedly provided International Funding Promotions.
Mr Flannery, who was in London in the mid-1980s for the unsuccessful launch of an early lottery-based business venture, said as far as he was aware he was the sole purchaser of the house and had no off-shore accounts, hidden from the Irish tax authorities. He said he and his wife bought the house with 100 per cent financing which they later paid off with funding from another bank.
“I’m going to try and find out how on earth my house purchase came to be associated with this and how it turns up in places like Panama and how it came to be associated with Jersey,” he told Ireland’s Sunday Independent.
“The whole thing is too grave, far too serious and has crossed every kind of boundary. It’s too profound a matter to be pussyfooting around with.
“I’ve now gone somewhere I’ve never gone before. I have a strong legal team in place and I’m taking this very, very seriously. That’s the arena it’s going into now.
“Obviously, the main parties involved will all be engaged with by me, the people in Panama, the people in Bank of Ireland and the people in the Irish Times.”
Mr Flannery said he had never heard of International Funding Promotions, the company behind the Stg £250,000 deposit in Jersey which Bank of Ireland Private Banking had allegedly relied on for security when it gave him a mortgage.