It’s not what you know..

One interesting point to note in the case of two brothers, who own a hotel in Newry, and who have been given 4-year suspended jail terms for tax evasion and have been banned from directing any company for seven years – they also paid £3,399,042 for unpaid income tax and interest due, relating to fraudulent tax returns in a period from 1971 to 1992, as well as a combined fine of £2.2million – is contained in the video report linked here [RealPlayer file]. According to the report the judge in the case mentioned in his sentencing a number of references he had received, including one from the Member of Parliament for the area, Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy – who is now the NI Regional Development Minister – and the Ulster Unionist Party MLA Danny Kennedy.. references which he said “outlined [the brothers] good character.” Update As the BBC reports today, “Two leading MLAs have ‘no regrets’ about giving character references to two multi-million pound tax cheats”

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  • Sean

    To be Fair who likes paying taxes

  • Outsider

    Well we have to do it so why shouldnt these rich men?

    I dont feel much hatrid for them 99.99% of the human population is driven solely by money so these people are no different.

  • Frank Sinistra

    We need carification on IRA involvement, they were based in Newry after all. I suggest they start with a long hard look at this Kennnedy fella who may be an IRA apologist trying to muddy the waters.

  • Outsider

    Well the UUP have been accused of being IRA apologists in the past, now the DUP have assumed their mantle.

  • Pete Baker

    Perhaps some commmenters should try to separate out the actual issues under discussion here.

  • Outsider

    Pete

    Tongue in cheek has been the order of the day for at least the first four posts.

  • robert

    They got caught and paid up big time.

    Big employers in the area and facilitate and support all sections of the community in the Newry & Mourne area.

    But hey, they had the money stashed everywhere 🙂

  • “Big employers in the area and facilitate and support all sections of the community in the Newry & Mourne area.”

    Indeed and North Louth as well

  • Aquifer

    These criminals don’t want to pay their fair share for schools for children and hospitals for the sick. They are enemies of the republic, taxers of low wage PAYE workers, a burden on the honest. They wear suits when they should be wearing masks.

  • Rory

    That’s a hefty fine indeed. The poor fellows will be hard pressed to each buy a decent suit to wear now and judging by the photograph they both could be doing with it.

  • J Kelly

    Aquifer well said and bad suits at that

  • Rapunsel

    Just seen the story in the Irish News at lunch time. Chris Gaskin– Are you justifying or just making a factual comment?

    Where is the criticism from elected representatives in respect of this. Not only looks like but is one law for the rich and a different one for the rest of us.

    Want the proof?

    Take a look at what happens to some benefit fraudsters?

    http://www.dsdni.gov.uk/index/news_items/benefit-fraud-gateway.htm

    A tax fraudster is nothing but a thief and these two men are despicable thieves. Well said Aquifer

  • heck

    Aquifer

    maybe they don’t want to pay for an illegal war in iraq and the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians

  • “Chris Gaskin– Are you justifying or just making a factual comment? ”

    A factual comment, both men have done a lot of good for the people of Newry, South Armagh and North Louth.

  • Reader

    heck: maybe they don’t want to pay for an illegal war in iraq and the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians
    Too late, though the 2.2 million pounds recovered can now be used to help restore order to the country. Which should cheer you up a bit.
    Lucky for them that they still had the money lying around, and hadn’t quite got around to giving it to worthy international charities.

  • Rapunsel

    Chris

    Looks more like a justification to me.

    So you think it is ok for these two scum bags to withhold taxes that pay for public services so long as they do some good for some people in some areas?

    Doesn’t aseem like good logic to me

  • protorious

    So has this turned into a moral debate about tax evasion?

    I thought the actualy issue was the fact that two elected representatives gave character references to high-powered local businessmen who admitted to defrauding the state…

    Where the politicians in question aware they were going to plead guilty?

    If they were this is most confusing…

  • harry

    so these guys are given references by the MLAs because they provide employment? in that case is it ok for all companies not to pay tax?

    and does connor murphy see any double standard in providing moral comfort for the mc parlands for tax avoidance, while condemning oil smugglers as “criminal elements” for … avoiding tax.

    surely these two gentlemen are not one step better than the oil men??

    or does the figures involved give the brothers the right to kid glove treatment?

  • hercules

    Acquifer and harry have got it right. Not much more to say.

  • Check out http://www.conservativesni.com

    At least there are some people prepared to condemn the two muppet MLAs

  • snakebrain

    The old chestnut of taxation being a sophisticated form of demanding money with menaces takes on a whole new light when SF make their support clear..

  • snakebrain

    “Big employers in the area and facilitate and support all sections of the community in the Newry & Mourne area.”

    I’ll never understand why people are abjectly grateful for menial wages, especially when the whole edifice they rest on is endangered by those in charge not paying their taxes.

    I worked in a hotel once where the owner invited all the chefs out to see his new Porsche. One stayed behind, saying to me, “Why the fuck do I want to see the Porsche he bought with my hard work when I can’t even afford a motorbike?”

  • BonarLaw

    I would be surprised if this was the end of it. The lack of jail time (especially when compared to the related crime of benefit fraud) leaves this sentence open to an Attorney Generals’ reference to the Court of Appeal.

  • Rory

    “… both men have done a lot of good for the people of Newry, South Armagh and North Louth.”

    Judging by the vast sums they had stashed away, Chris, it would appear that “the people of Newry, South Armagh and North Louth ” have done a hell of a lot more good for the McParland brothers.

  • ciaran

    The references where based on personal knowledge of the two men who were also neighbours. The mc parlands give vast amounts of money to charities in the local area. They sponsor sports teams from both sides of the community. The two brothers are by and large decent hard working men.They made a stupid mistake of tax dodging when they could probably have got away with paying even less tax by using all the wee tricks that accountants can use. Just look at the likes of the beckhams who pay next to nothing.