€2.8m a year in tax reliefs from pool deal, court told

The Dublin Waterworld case continues:

Limerick businessman Pat Mulcair is gaining enormous tax advantages, amounting to some €2.8 million a year in tax reliefs, arising from “funding arrangements” put in place for the €62 million National Aquatic Centre, the High Court was told yesterday.

John Moriarty, a director of DWL, said yesterday he was reluctant to give certain documents about those funding arrangements to CSID because he had concerns those documents would be leaked to the media. He had previously given financial details to CSID and matters had appeared in the media. He did not want “purely commercial matters” between himself and Mr Mulcair appearing in the press. Certain documents were provided to CSID but, he agreed, other documents were not.

He denied a suggestion by CSID’s senior counsel, Denis McDonald, that CSID was not told of the precise arrangements involving Mr Mulcair because this would leave the State company in a difficult position in that the arrangement involved enormous tax benefits for a private citizen. Mr McDonald said the capital allowances available for a corporate tenant such as DWL would be a lot less than those available for an individual such as Mr Mulcair.

Mr Moriarty said he had revealed Mr Mulcair’s involvement in the project on February 20th, 2003, and the funding arrangement involving Mr Mulcair was revealed on April 15th, 2003. He had brought Mr Mulcair’s representative to the lease signing.

He said the proposed funding arrangements for the centre did not prejudice CSID in any way and the whole purpose of the funding arrangements agreed with Mr Muclair was to bring money into the aquatic centre project.

Mr Moriarty said Mr Mulcair had since 2003 provided some €1.8 million to the aquatic centre in money paid to an assets repair account used to pay repair and energy costs arising from defects in the building.