China firm targets Irish bigwigs in data scrape

Information on influential Irish politicians, their close friends and family, senior gardai, civil servants, scientists, bankers, trade unionists and criminals has been systematically collected since 2017 by an obscure Chinese company that provides data to China’s intelligence services and private clients.

A copy of the leaked dataset, obtained by The Sunday Times, shows the firm gathered information on 963 Irish people, including justice minister Helen McEntee and John Twomey, the deputy commissioner responsible for defending Ireland’s national security. The name of the former garda commissioner Martin Callinan also features.

Data has also been harvested on the Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald, the EU ombudsman Emily O’Reilly, ombudsman and information commissioner Peter Tyndall, and former Irish Labour Party politicians Joe Costello and Pat Rabbitte, among

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