As well as getting a Freedom of Information request back last week about the judges, (more about that later) Revenue also responded to a request I made for information about what corporate hospitality its senior staff had accepted over the last year.
I wasn't quite sure what we'd find or if there would be a story in it. But what we got back was fascinating.
Full story here.
It turns out that several senior officials are getting tickets to sports and cultural events from private companies. The most interesting record released, however, contained details of an invite to Josephine Feehily, Revenue's chairman. Feehily attended a private dinner held in Matheson Ormsby Prentice (MOP) solicitors' office to give a talk on tax affairs to a select group of 25 Irish company directors.
The Chatham House Rule applied to all discussions at this meeting.
See the invite here, and page two.
As quoted in the story Revenue said there was nothing inappropriate with Feehily attending such an event.
“It would have been remarkable if the chairman had not accepted the opportunity to address directors in relation to tax and governance matters," it said.
There are obvious benefits for the business people attending this in-camera briefing with the head of Revenue which the invite describes as "mutually beneficial". I'm not too sure what good it did Revenue though as it didn't expand on the above statement.
Laura Magahy, then president of the Institute of Directors in Ireland, was the woman in charge of the event. Magahy has a great track record in winning state contracts for her company. As Pat Leahy quotes an "informed source" in a profile of Maghahy in 2002:
"She's a real can-do operator. She could get anything she wanted out of civil servants. A lot of people think she is brilliant."
Magahy is obviously still in favour with the powers-that-be with her recent appointment as Chairman of the Crafts Council of Ireland. Though this even raised heckles in Fianna Fail.
We don't at this stage know who all the other 25 directors at this dinner were. Liam Quirke, from MOP, is the only other person named on the email.
Incidentally, MOP were one of six firms that won a competitive tendering process earlier this year to get a six year contract to recover tax for Revenue.