Irish economists join Oxfam's call for abolition of tax havens

As a few famous Irish names crop up in a new Panama Papers list...

A number of leading Irish economists have put their signatures to a global call for an end to tax havens.

The 13 well-known business minds, including the University of Limerick's Dr Stephen Kinsella and Prof Brian Lucey of TCD, were among 300 economists from 30 countries to sign a letter to world leaders stating that there is no economic justification for the existence of tax havens.

The plea to close all loopholes and end this offshore financial secrecy was co-ordinated by Oxfam and comes ahead of an anti-corruption summit in London this week.

Aside from the Irish economists, the letter received backing from the likes of current Nobel Prize winner for economics Angus Deaton and former IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard.

According to the Irish Times, the Irish signatories are: Dr Nata Duvvury (NUI Galway), Prof Gerard Hughes (TCD), Dr Stephen Kinsella (University of Limerick), Prof Brian Lucey (TCD), Dr Tom McDonnell (Nevin Economic Research institute), Prof Terrence McDonough (NUI Galway) Dr Nat O'Connor (University of Ulster), Dr Srinivas Raghavendra (NUI Galway), Dr Eoin Reeves (University of Limerick), Dr James Stewart (TCD), Paul Sweeney (Tasc), Michael Taft (Unite the Union) and Prof Paul Teague (QUeen's Univeristy Belfast).

Meanwhile, several household names feature on an Irish list of offshore companies, shareholders and beneficial owners contained within the Panama Papers.

The list was published today by the Irish Times in conjunction with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and international media partners.

Three-time Major-winning golfer Pádraig Harrington, former U2 manager Paul McGuinness and developer Seán Mulryan are among the bankers, builders, sportsmen, solicitors and more that appear in the freshly-leaked files of Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, one of the world's largest providers of offshore services.

Harrington appears in relation to Panama company Marksmen Guaranteed Fund V SA., for which Mossack acted as a registered agent. Marksmen was incorporated in 1998 and dissolved in 2005.

McGuinness is named as a shareholder in Treibrea Group Ltd, a real estate group with properties in Ireland, France, Germany and the US.

Mulryan, the founder of the Ballymore group, is recorded as the beneficial owner of the British Virgin Islands company Dewdrop Properties Ltd.

In 2004, it was behind a controversial planning permission application to develop 30 houses and 22 apartments on the Esso Fields green space in the Leopardstown Oaks estate in Dublin. Permission was refused as the company did not have adequate legal title.

The Irish Times notes that there is nothing illegal about the use of these companies and that there is no suggestion intended that the people named were involved in any illegality.

The paper has decided not to publish emails, faxes, letters and attached document. Just the names, "to give a flavour as to the range of the extent of detail that can be gleaned from the files in relation to particular names".