Report Stinks of Corruption

Well, the day has finally arrived.

The Irish media is having a bonanza.

The Mahon tribunal has rejected much of the sworn evidence given to it by former taoiseach Bertie Ahern and said that he failed to “truthfully account” for the source of lodgements made to his bank account.

In its final report, published this morning, the planning tribunal found that Mr Ahern failed to account for over IR£165,000 which passed through bank accounts connected to him in the early and mid-1990s.

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THE MAHON TRIBUNAL resumes its inquiry today of Bertie Ahern TD, who resigned as Taoiseach last May following the discovery of several unsound payments of UK sterling into his bank accounts in the mid-90s.

The Inquiry will continue its cross-examination of Mr. Ahern concerning allegations that he received bribes totalling IR£80,000 from Cork based developer Owen O’Callaghan when he was Minister for Finance in 1993 and 1994.

It is alleged that the former Taoiseach received the unethical payments in return for assisting in the rezoning and development of Quarryvale, a lucrative tract of land in west Dublin adjacent to the M4 motorway, which would eventually become the bustling Liffey Valley Centre. Continue reading


June 24, 2008
TODAY PATRICIA DILLON, Senior Counsel for the Tribunal, cross-examined Owen O’Callaghan – the Cork based developer who, it has been alleged, paid bribes in the early 90s totalling IR£80,000 to the then Minister for Finance, Bertie Ahern.
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LAND DEVELOPER Owen O’Callaghan answered questions of Senior Counsel Patricia Dillon about his role in the directorship of Riga Ltd, O’Callaghan Properties and Barkhill Ltd in the mid-1990s.

These companies played a central role in O’Callaghan’s distribution of funds to Councillors in 1991 and 1992 in order to secure a crucial land rezone in West Dublin according to his former lobbyist and ‘bag-man’ Frank Dunlop.

His solicitor and co-director John Deane also answered questions about his distribution of drawdown loans from AIB of several million pounds to facilitate the West Dublin development of what would eventually become the Liffey Valley Centre, Lucan.

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TODAY BERTIE Ahern was cross-examined by the Inquiry into Planning and Payments about the purchase and ownership of his home on Beresford Avenue in Drumcondra, North Central Dublin.

The former Irish leader resigned from government in disgrace last month following the discovery of financial details unearthed by the Tribunal’s inquiries.

Mr Ahern was questioned about the purchase of his home with the assistance of UK based businessman Michael Wall.

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Collins & Cowhig Testify

Claire CowhigHenry Murphy SC & solicitor Susan Gilvarry for the Tribunal

MICHAEL COLLINS one of Bertie Ahern’s alleged dig-out benefactors in 1993, responded to cross-examination by Des O’Neill SC concerning his payment IR£ 2,500 to Mr Ahern.
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‘RETIRED’ TAOISEACH Bertie Ahern appeared in the witness box today to answer questions about controversial lodgements of UK pounds into his accounts and those of his daughters in 1994.

The Dublin TD, who resigned following evidence revealed at the Inquiry recently, today explained that any lodgements to his accounts over 1,000 pounds likely consisted of his winnings at the races: “I am interested in horse racing and over the years I have placed bets on horse races”.

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