Apple's Tim Cook will not appear before Oireachtas Finance Committee

His decision has been described as "disrespectful to the Irish people"

Apple's Tim Cook will not appear before Oireachtas Finance Committee

Julien Behal / PA Archive

Apple CEO Tim Cook has declined an invitation to appear at the Oireachtas Finance Committee to discuss the EU's finding that the US firms owes at least €13bn in back taxes relating to its activities in Ireland.

"Given the sensitive nature of the investigation and the timing, we have been advised not to undertake any other direct activities, which could potentially prejudice future outcomes. It is on this basis that we are unable to appear before the Committee on this occasion," an Apple representative responded.

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has ciriticised Mr Cook's decision:

“I am disappointed and angered by the decision of Mr Tim Cook not to attend the Committee.  The EU’s State Aid ruling has created a huge debate in this country about our tax affairs and it is only right the Finance Committee of the Oireachtas carry out hearings on this issue.

"Mr Cook appeared before the US Senate hearings and it was his comments there that sparked much of the discussion and possibly even EU action in this case. For him to refuse to attend the Committee now is disrespectful to the Irish people," he said in a statement.

Tim Cook and Enda Kenny

Mr Doherty added that he will be "pushing the Minister for Finance and the Taoiseach to make contact with Mr Cook and let him know that they believe an invitation by an Oireachtas Committee is important and that the government believes he should attend."

Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy also criticised the tech bosses refusal to come to Leinster House.

The Government and Apple have also appealed against the European Commission's ruling that the company benefited from a 'sweetheart' tax deal in Ireland.