Mixed response from Donegal deputies on Apple ruling

Donegal TDs disagree over whether the government should appeal the European Commission ruling

Mixed response from Donegal deputies on Apple ruling
Staff reporternews@donegaldemocrat@dgldemocrat

There has been mixed response from Donegal deputies on whether the government should appeal the European Commission ruling that Ireland granted state aid to Apple of up to €13bn.

Joe McHugh, Fine Gael TD and minister of state, has described the situation is “very complex”, adding that “a lot of clarity is needed.”

He said: “I have read what the commission ruled and it sets out a very dangerous precedent - the commission's interference in sovereign matters, and that is a very dangerous road to go down.”

Fianna Fáil Deputy Charlie McConalogue said he believed the government has “a very, very strong position to stand over and a very defensible position in relation to its treatment of Apple.”

He said if Ireland did not defend its position, companies that deal with the country, or have in the past, could lose faith in Ireland's position.

Independent TD, Thomas Pringle, said he had no doubt that “a sweetheart deal” was done with Apple, saying, “obviously the commission has decided there was state aid there.”

He agreed the commission has no competency with regard to corporate tax rates. “But they do in terms of state aid, and what the commission is saying is they investigated whether Ireland's tax deal with Apple amounts to state aid,” he said.

Pearse Doherty, Sinn Féin TD and finance spokesperson, has called for a public inquiry to establish who facilitated “a sweetheart deal” with Apple.

“Given the state is chasing people who have not paid their water charges through the courts it is unimaginable that the government will appeal this ruling,” he said.

Leas-Cheann Comhairle, Pat “the Cope” Gallagher, Fianna Fáil TD, said he would express his views at a parliamentary party meeting.

Meanwhile, during a phone call with Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, recommitted himself to the company's operation in Ireland.

The Cabinet agreed on Friday morning to appeal the commission decision.