Your Afternoon Headlines ‐ 03/12/2014

Good afternoon. Here are the headlines past midday.

1. Tax Evasion Accusations

Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald used Dail privilege to name today several politicians accused of tax evasion by senior civil servant and whistleblower Gerry Ryan.

Ryan’s investigations had been terminated by then minister Mary Harney and the Public Accounts Committee was told that they were not allowed to investigate the allegations made by Ryan.

The politicians named, including Former Fianna Fail TD Maire Geoghegan‐Quinn and former Progressive Democrat leader Des O’Malley has denied the allegations.

Writer ‐ Leandro Pondoc

2. Iran Air Strikes

Iran has begun air strikes against Islamic State Militants in Eastern Iraq, the Pentagon has said today.

The Iranian government has acknowledged that dozens of personnel have been in Iraq to fight alongside Kurdish troops to keep back IS. An Iran spokesperson said they will not address reports of airstrike but acknowledged that Iran personnel are out fighting ISIS.

Iran was not invited to the coalition created by the US in fighting the Islamic State and the US are continuing their policy of not co‐ordinating military tactics with Tehran.

Writer ‐ Tomás Dubhghlas

3. General Election Speculation

Fianna Fail is to begin selecting candidates for a hypothetical general election speculated to to take place next year.

Although the Taoiseach has maintained that the government will not hold a general election until the spring of 2016, an autumn 2015 seems likely among opposition.

Several leading names in the opposition party, such as party leader Micheál Martin and Seanad leader Darragh O’Brien,  will be putting forward their names in the fortnight to have general election candidates selected by May.

Writer ‐ Caoimhe Ni Chathail

4. Northern Ireland Corporate Tax

The UK government is set to go ahead with the devolution of corporate tax powers in Northern Ireland, raising the possibility of the north being able to match the Republic’s corporate tax rate.

Currently, Northern Ireland’s corporate tax rate stands at 21 per cent. The government in the north had long been pushing to lower the tax rate to 12 per cent to better match the south.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton has said that he welcomes the move and that Ireland will thrive in competition.

Writer ‐ Leandro Pondoc

5. Robbery By Digger

A digger was used to smash open and rob an off‐licence called The Cellar in the town of Aughnacloy on the border.

According to the PSNI, the premises on Moore Street was smashed open around 5am this morning, damaging the ATM and the Super Valu attached to the premises.

Police are appealing for anyone with information to come forward to help with the investigation.

Writer ‐ Leandro Pondoc