Tavern Owner Claims Seized Cash; Denies It Was Destined For IRA
DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) _ An Irish tavern owner said Tuesday that the $1.64 million the Irish government seized last week was his, and denied the money was destined for the outlawed Irish Republican Army.
Alan Clancy, who owns taverns in Dublin and New York City, said in a statement issued by his lawyer that the 1.75 million Irish pounds seized last Wednesday was to develop a business to export pork from Ireland to the United States.
″I have no connection with the Provisional IRA, Sinn Fein or any agent or support group of theirs such as Noraid,″ Clancy said in the statement.″I believe in and aspire to the unification of Ireland by peaceful means. I condemn political violence for that or any other purpose.″
Clancy, who moved from Ireland to New York in the late 1970s and now reportedly lives in Ardee, eastern Ireland, said he used a power of attorney to deposit the money in the Bank of Ireland last June under the name of David McCartney.
He added that he would take legal steps ″to remedy the gross injustice which has been done to me.″
London’s Sunday Times newspaper, quoting unidentified U.S. government sources, said Sunday that Clancy faces a federal grand jury investigation into allegations that he was involved in laundering the money.
The Irish Parliament passed emergency legislation after banking hours last Tuesday to allow the siezure of the money, which reportedly was extorted from a British businessman and was intended to finance the IRA’s guerrilla campaign to end British rule in Northern Ireland.
The almost exclusively Roman Catholic IRA seeks to unify mostly Protestant Northern Ireland with the Roman Catholic-dominated Republic of Ireland. Sinn Fein is the outlawed IRA’s legal political arm.
Noraid, the New York-based Irish Northern Aid Committee, says it raises money to help the families of Catolics killed in Irish sectarian violence. U.S. and Irish authorities say the committee helps fund IRA purchases of arms and explosives.