SPARE US your indignation, Micheál Martin. Button your disgust, Fianna Fáil. We don’t want to hear it. You had your chance and you chose to do nothing. So don’t pretend to be shocked now.
Just do us that much. We won’t buy it.
If the tribunal were to take another 15 years to deliver its findings, you’d still be sitting on your hands.
I sat through all of Bertie Ahern’s evidence. It was appalling.
Hilarious? Frequently. Pathetic? Often. Infuriating? Utterly. Embarrassing? Completely.
I didn’t believe it then and I don’t believe it now.
And, unlike the clever people entrusted by us to run the country at the time, I didn’t have to wait years for a tribunal of inquiry to tell me.
But did it matter? Well yes, it did, because this man, grinning in the witness box, was our taoiseach.
He wasn’t a corner-cutting property developer. He wasn’t a millionaire builder, doing what you have to do to close a deal. He wasn’t an amoral middle-man or a small-time councillor on the make.
Bertie Ahern was the prime minister of our country, holder of the highest office in the land.
That’s supposed to mean something.
And he was lying through his teeth. Anybody with half an ounce of wit could see it.
Reporters detailed his ridiculous explanations for the huge amounts of money washing through his myriad accounts, and resting in his office safes. The most cursory of examinations of the daily transcripts would have shown up his risible stories for the twaddle that they were.
But throughout, his government and party turned a blind eye; squirmed and twisted and gave every manner of excuse to avoid the blindingly obvious taking place in full public view in a State-established inquiry.