The Dáil has passed a Government motion backing the proposed appeal of the European Commission's ruling that Ireland granted Apple illegal state aid worth €13bn.

Following a lengthy debate in the recalled Dáil, the vote was passed by 93 votes to 36.

A number of amendments to the motion were rejected.

A Sinn Féin motion calling for the Government not to appeal the ruling was defeated by 104 votes to 28.

An Independents4Change motion seeking support for "the ruling of the European Commission that a sweetheart tax deal between Apple and the Irish tax authorities amounted to unlawful State aid" was then defeated by 98 votes to 16. 

The motion tabled by Mick Wallace, Clare Daly, Thomas Pringle, Thomas P. Broughan, Maureen O'Sullivan and Joan Collins called on the Government to make public the details of how many similar deals have been made by the Revenue Commissioners, to what sectors and what companies. 

It also called on the Government to support public country-by-country corporation tax reporting, so that the extent to which profits are shifted into and through the country are known.

Amendments put forward by the Social Democrats, Labour, the Green Party and AAA-PBP were also rejected.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan earlier told the Dáil other countries have indicated that they will support Ireland in its appeal against the ruling,

During the question and answer session at the end of today's debate on last week's ruling, Mr Noonan said that the grounds for appeal will be entrusted to the Attorney General and her legal advisers. He said she has about two months to do so.

Mr Noonan added that Ireland has joined with the state aid appeals of Luxembourg, Holland and Belgium and expects similar support from these countries.

"We have indications already of support."

He said the support "has to be in the judicial forum and we are not talking about political support." 

Earlier Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Dáil that the European Commission ruling on Apple was damaging to Ireland and could not be allowed to stand.    

The commission concluded that Ireland granted undue tax benefits of up to €13bn to Apple.

It said "selective treatment" allowed Apple to pay a tax rate of 1% on European Union profits in 2003, down to 0.005% in 2014.

Mr Noonan said the Government was appealing the ruling to defend the integrity of Ireland's tax system and to challenge the encroachment of EU state aid rules into the sovereign Member State competence of taxation.

Last night, TDs were given a 16-page Department of Finance document giving the background to the commission's decision.

The Department of Finance also sent deputies a white paper from the US Department of the Treasury on the commission's recent state aid investigations into transfer pricing rules.

The white paper, which was published before the commission's decision on Apple last Tuesday, states that the commission's approach is new and departs from prior EU case law and commission decisions.

Analysis: Apple, Ireland and the Spanish connection

Mr Noonan said the European Commission stated that the sums to be recovered by Ireland would be reduced if other countries were to require Apple to pay more taxes or if the US authorities were to require Apple to pay larger amounts of money to their US parent company.

The minister said that meant that the final figure was by no means certain and may be the subject of complex, drawn-out engagement with other countries for many years to come.

"Regardless of any Irish appeal, if Apple were to be successful in their appeal the full amount would have to be repaid to the company", he said.

While he acknowledged that not everyone in the House agreed with the decision to appeal, however he said there was a need for a debate that acknowledged the reality surrounding this "enormous sum of money".