• January 24, 2016


The Isle of Man a Tax haven? It was all in the murky mists of past times according to Liberal Vannin’s Kate Beecroft thirty years ago everyone’s terribly professional now (here’s the clip):


Well perhaps she’s right or maybe it is just that they are more cunning these days and the movement of money electronically is just more convenient than the old days of Kate’s ‘wild west’ when the suitcase run was the order of the day. Certainly the NAMA £7 million never came in a trunk!

However, hang on it was not thirty years ago that George Redmond was stopped by police as he got of a plane from the Isle of Man at Dublin Airport with a suitcase with 300,000 Euros in. The former public servant was to figure in various Irish court actions over corruption up to about 2008.

You will notice he was coming from the Isle of Man – obviously no one told George that the ‘wild west’ was over and obviously when he left Ronaldsway ‘the Sheriff and his deputies’ were out of town!

It’s easy to make light of these things. In the case of Redmond it was just a case mired in government and local government sleaze in Ireland which saw the Isle of Man and its ‘professional’ finance sector feature frequently at Tribunals in the late 1990/2000s.

But there was also a more sinister side as well which exposed the dark underbelly of finance and laundering. Just a year after Redmond’s close encounter with the Gardai at Dublin Airport another more worrying case was in the Irish courts in 2000. It established that Dublin’s criminal underworld also used (and who knows may still use) the Isle of Man for its ‘financial business’.

In 2000 underworld figure, Kevin Meehan, was found guilty, by the Irish Special Criminal Court, of six charges of money laundering connected with criminal activity. Meehan, a man ostensibly with an income of £60 per week social welfare benefits, deposited more than £600,000 sterling in a Vienna bank. The tortuous process for the transfer of the monies included accounts in the Isle of Man.

The Meehan’s family were quite notorious at the time Kevan’s father, Brian Meehan, was serving a life sentence for the murder in 1996 of campaigning Dublin journalist Veronica Guerin. Indeed the Brian Meehan case was in the Special Court again in November last year as he sought to have the conviction overturned.

Whatever the outcome of the present judicial deliberations over Meehan it seems highly likely that the gang to which the Meehan’s belonged, and which Veronica Guerin was probing along with others in Dublin’s crime underworld did some of its ‘online banking’ on the Isle of Man.

As journalists listen to Kate wax lyrical about the ‘wild west’ they might like to ruminate on the fact that for some in their profession it was a ‘wild west; where the ‘cowboys’ using the place still had guns and journalists asking probing questions got killed.

For Veronica Guerin money laundering and offshore sleaze was not an esoteric question it ultimately cost her life.

Photograph: Campaigning Irish Independent journalist Veronica Guerin aged 37 when she died. She left a husband and seven year old son.


Issued by: The Celtic News



The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues


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