Mick Wallace now says he is an ‘adviser’ to wine bars and gets income of up to €5,900 a year
Story by Kevin Doyle and Sarah Collins • Yesterday 06:00
MICK Wallace has amended his declaration of financial interests in the European Parliament to describe himself as an “adviser” to a chain of wine bars.
The MEP now says that he earns up €5,988 a year in the role which he added to his parliament records on February 14.
It comes after the Irish Independent revealed how he claimed to have three win bars in a video posted online.
Mr Wallace did own a number of wine bars before his bankruptcy in 2016. But he ceased to include them in his Dáil register of interests around that time. They were never listed before his in declaration of financial interests for the EU Parliament.
Accounts filed with the Companies Registration Office show Mr Wallace is neither a shareholder nor a director in the holding company behind his original wine business – Wallace Calcio.
The confusion prompted the leader of the Wexford politician’s own political group in the European Parliament to seek clarity.
French MEP Manon Aubry said she would “condemn” any omissions on the declaration, if they were to be found.
In his new declaration, Mr Wallace describes himself as “Advisor to Wallace Calcio LTD”.
He has listed the role as one that comes with a gross monthly income of between €1 and €499.
The document, published by the EU Parliament, cites the role as one which is a “regular remunerated activity” which the MEP undertakes “alongside the exercise of my office, whether as an employee or as a self-employed person”.
The exact nature of the advice provided by Mr Wallace is not described.
Questions arose about Mr Wallace’s role in the wine bars after a video uploaded on TikTok by right-wing Italian MEP Alessandro Panza.
In it Mr Wallace said: “I have three wine bars in Dublin and I sell only Italian wine and I import all the produce from Italy,”
The video was filmed at an event in the European Parliament in Brussels, where Mr Panza appeared to be rallying opposition to Ireland’s plan to place cancer warnings on alcohol labels.
In the video, Mr Panza introduces Mr Wallace as a producer of wine in Italy’s Piedmont region. The Irish MEP talks about importing wine from Italy and claims soft drinks should be made to carry cancer warnings before wine is targeted.
Mr Wallace’s original declaration of interests – which dates from 2019, the year he was elected an MEP – did not mention interests in Italy or in Ireland.
He is on record in 2012 as saying that he sold a vineyard in Italy to his brother to settle business debts.
Repeated attempts by the Irish Independent obtain an explanation from Mr Wallace over the past week went unanswered.
Mr Wallace (67) is the former developer behind the creation of Dublin’s Italian quarter, a collection of bars and cafes on the north banks of the Liffey – a short walk from Temple Bar – which was built in the early 2000s.
He entered the Dáil in 2011 as an Independent TD, with a stake in three companies: 99pc of his own building firm, M&J Wallace; 99pc of the Wexford Youths, a football club he set up; and a 40pc share in Wallace Calcio, the holding company behind (at that time) five wine bars and a cafe.
He was also a director of eight firms, including three property management companies and two clothing businesses, and listed two properties in Wexford.
By December 2016, the distinctive politician – recognisable by a shock of curly white hair and pink T-shirts – was adjudicated bankrupt with debts of more than €30m, according to press reports.
His Dáil declaration for that year lists ownership of just one firm: M&J Wallace, the building company that was liquidated to help pay off his debts.