The Moriarty Tribunal has finally issued its report into the financial irregularities of former Taoiseach, Charles J Haughey and other politicians. All along Haughey claimed ignorance of his own finances, something the judge dismissed entirely.
Moriarty ruled that Haughey’s most generous donor, department store baron Ben Dunne, received lobbying support from the prime minister in his company’s successful battle to avoid paying a €49 million (US$64 million) bill to Ireland’s tax collection agency.
The judge noted that Haughey received about €65,000 (US$85,000) from a Saudi sheik in exchange for getting Irish passports for his relatives, although Haughey had claimed the money was for a racing horse he owned. He said Haughey spent on himself tens of thousands of euros (dollars) that he had raised on behalf of his deputy prime minister, the late Brian Lenihan, for his deputy’s cancer-treatment bills.
While Haughey entered office in 1979 owing Ireland’s largest bank nearly €1.5 million (US$2 million), the judge noted, most of the debt to Allied Irish Banks PLC was either paid by business friends or never repaid at all.