As the Mahon Tribunal prepares to make final its report at the cost of 3 trillion euro to the taxpayer, there are some involved in the report starting to feel edgy no doubt. Started in 1997 and formerly known as the Flood Tribunal, it has covered everything from planning corruption, radio licenses, dig outs, digs in the head and the mating habits of former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.
It is sometimes forgotten this political hand grenade went off due to Michael Smith from An Taisce and former Dublin SE Fine Gael general election candidate Colm Mac Eochaidh cosponsoring a £10,000 reward for any information leading to convictions for planning corruptions…up popped plucky James Gogarty who dished the dirt on Ray Burke and various others. That kicked of the Tribunal gravy train for the legal profession and its helper monkeys, where even the people doing the photocopying became millionaires.
The dog on the street knew planning corruption was rife, one famous incident involved former Green Minister Trevor Sargent waving a cheque he received in the post from a builder who was seeking planning permission for a housing development. When he asked the other members whether any of them had also received cheques, he was assaulted by a number of his fellow councillors. Sargent alleged that Fianna Fáil councillor Don Lyndon, who went on to become a Senator of some repute, put him in a headlock and attempted to snatch the cheque from him. All very homo-erotic, oh to have live webcasts back then… Bertie memorably said he was up every tree in North Dublin for evidence of wrong doing by Ray Burke. Bertie couldn’t find a naked person in a nudist colony obviously.
This report has various hacks from around the country in a permanent state of near orgasm as it will deal with among others, old poor mouth Bertie and the dig-out received from his friends, the allegations he received money from property developer Owen O’Callaghan. Allegations had been made that he had taken IR£50,000 (€63,300) from Owen O’Callaghan, in return for favours at this time. Ahern won a libel action against a Cork businessman, Denis “Starry” O’Brien, defending himself against this allegation. However, broadcaster Eamon Dunphy has testified that he was told by developer Owen O’Callaghan, that Ahern was taken care of to support a shopping centre development in the 1990s.
Let’s not forget the few bob he won on the horses. Bertie’s former secretary, Gráinne Carruth, was forced, in evidence presented to her by the tribunal, to accept as a matter of probability that a lodgment of £15,000 she had made into an account on Ahern’s behalf had been in sterling. This directly contradicted to Ahern’s previous claims that the money was from his salary. Carruth had bawled while making this admission, where she had previously backed up Ahern’s testimony. Bertie abused her loyalty to such an extent she lied for him.
Rumour has it that there is one volume alone dedicated to Bertie, when minister for finance he had no bank account, there are alleged suitcases of cash from Manchester. Houses bought and sold. Money for a house given to Celia Larkin the former beauty salon owner who now laughably has a political column for the Sindo.
Bertie is currently residing as Fianna Fáil Bête noire and can be currently seen glad handing and signing autographs on women’s bodies at the Fianna Fáil drink in or Ard Fheis, as they like to call it, this weekend.
Some stats from the tribunal .
- Over 1,000 public sittings.
- 80 million spoken words (Bertie spoke 79 million of those)
- 400 witnesses
- 130,000 pages of documents.
- George Redmond, Ray Burke, Liam Lawlor and Frank Dunlop have all served jail sentences as a consequence of the tribunal.
- €34.5 million has been recovered by the revenue commissioners and criminal assets bureau .
- €150,000 spent on tea , biscuits and newspapers for the tribunal legal team.
- €46,000 spent shredding documents.
The Tribunal cost €97.3 million so far of which €50 million has gone to various legal types. The final bill will be expected to be in and around an arse clenching €250 million.
Let’s not forget his exalted highness Pee Flynn who is alleged to have trousered £50,000 meant for Fianna Fáil. If this report found the 3rd secret of Fatima and the Irish Crown Jewels, Bertie would still be the only story that mattered. With hushed whisperings of him being thrown out of Fianna Fáil tarred and feathered, lingering like a noxious poison, Bertie may turn out to be quite the vindictive little man we know him to be if Fianna Fáil go and throw him out of the party. He has serious potential to damage Fianna Fail even further.