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
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.
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.
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.
‘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”.
TODAY CELIA LARKIN, Bertie Ahern’s former partner, was questioned by Henry Murphy SC about receiving an unsecured loan of IR£30,000 in 1993 from a Fianna Fail account in Irish Permanent Building Society, Drumcondra.
Ms Larkin told the Tribunal that the loan was repaid in full with assistance from Mr Ahern just two weeks before the then Taoiseach gave evidence at the Tribunal last February.