“That was not my money”

Via Damien. Vincent Browne in fine journalistic form at the Fianna Fail manifesto launch asking Bertie Ahern some ‘stupid’ questions. Updated below
Meanwhile the Irish Times adds some more detail to those money transfers

Mr Wall and Mr Ahern have told the tribunal that on December 3rd, 1994, Mr Wall produced £30,000 sterling in cash during a meeting in Mr Ahern’s constituency centre, St Luke’s. Mr Ahern’s then partner, Celia Larkin, was also at the meeting. Mr Ahern put the cash in a safe.

Mr Ahern told the tribunal the money was to be used on structural work on the house that was being purchased by Mr Wall, and that Ms Larkin would oversee this.

The money was deposited by her in a bank account in her name on December 5th. Some of the money was later used to settle a stamp duty bill of approximately £8,400 that arose from the purchase of the house by Mr Wall.

On the same day, Ms Larkin deposited £50,000 belonging to Mr Ahern in another account in her name, again for use on work on the house. However, this money was withdrawn a month later and returned in cash to Mr Ahern, the tribunal has been told.

In 1996, Mr Wall wrote a will dealing solely with the Drumcondra house and leaving it to Mr Ahern in the event of his death.

In the event of Mr Ahern pre-deceasing him, the house was to go to Mr Ahern’s children. Mr Ahern said he had no knowledge of this.

Mr Ahern told the tribunal he had decided to buy the house after he became Taoiseach in 1997.

Mr Wall said the net proceeds from the sale were lodged to a savings account in Galway. A month later he withdrew £50,000 in cash. He told the tribunal that he had intended to purchase machinery with the money but did not. He brought the cash back with him to Manchester where he placed it in a safe before spending it on receipted expenditures.

Update A couple of reminders of Bertie Ahern’s previous denials

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  • Ian

    No Dougal, that money was just RESTING in my account…

  • The Dubliner

    Despite the formidable Vincent Browne’s publicity stunt…err, inappropriate seizing of a launch occasion to ask unrelated questions and impugn the integrity of Bertie Ahern by asserting that his factual answers were not – my Vincent’s non-humble opinion – “credible,” Bertie did not show Vincent anything other than the utmost courtesy and tolerance in his replies to his badgering – contrasting starkly with the Gerry and Mark Show.

    I see nothing improper in Celia Larkin acting as project manager for a property that was not owned by her on behalf of the owner, especially if the owner was a close friend and the property needed renovation and she was to be the prospective tenant. There is no evidence that Bertie received any of the money that was to be used to the stated purpose, nor is there any suggestion (despite Vincent’s ulterior implication) that the owner of the property intended the money to be a ‘bribe’ for some un-stated purpose. Those who wish to make that allegation should have something more solid to support it than an irrelevant sense of what they personally find to be credible or otherwise.

    The pertinent issue is whether or not Bertie Ahern subsequently purchased the property from his friend at its market value. If he purchased it below market value, that would have been an error of political judgement on his part but not evidence corruption. However, errors of political judgement are punished by the electorate and not by tribunals or courts.

  • Jocky

    ah come on, it’s not like he was giving out honours for party donations or started an illegal war or anyhting. It’s all small beer in the grand scheme of things

  • miss fitz

    I was getting a bit fed up of Vincent’s grand standing until he had a go at PJ. Wow!

    You know, he’s just right in one way. No-one dared challenge Charlie about his money or where it came from or why he was spending it when there wasnt a bob anywhere else in the country.

    In this case, Bertie doesnt live extravagantly, and I honestly think that his circumstances were the result of his separation from his wife, and he was doing the best that he could.

    It’s a woeful pity Vincent couldnt have had his attack of moral outrage toward someone who patently deserved it at a time when we all would have benefitted from the truth about the corrupt lifestyle of Charles Haughey.

    Journalists must be inappropriate on occasions to get at the truth, it would be even better if they could hit the mark while they were at it.

  • Pete Baker
  • confused

    I hope this gives VB some encouragement to press on with his enquiries because the whole story has not been told.

    The Press in Dublin should be ashamed of their cowardice in the Haughey years. They backed off instead of exposing him for what he was worth.

    I think Ahern is a decent person but is still answerable to the Irish people.

  • sammaguire

    Bertie made 2 errors.

    1)He should have borrowed from a bank rather than friends.

    2)He should have borrowed serious money (say half a million) not the Mickey Mouse money VB is getting worked up about.

    He should then have got advice from Garret FitzGerald as to how he had a similar loan written off by the banks without the witch hunt by the anti FF media establishment.

  • The funniest thing was when Vincent Browne and Sinead O’Connor publicly argued in the offices of the Sunday Tribune as to which of them gave the other one the clap. Did garret the Good’s family ever pay back them oney AIB loaned him? Would AIB/Northern Bank find Gerry Adams a difficult customer to deal with?

  • http://www.rte.ie/news/2007/0504/IRA.html

    Berie is a politician. The “loans” he formerly got were carved up in such a way just to be under the donations threshold. But at least he does not have skeletons in the cupboard, like the Armani suits of Sinn Fein. It will be interesting to watch the uneducated generation of Crowe, Ferris etc being eclipsed by Mary Lou and the radicals of the gated communities of Rathgar.

  • Dodgy invoices

    What’s Bertie’s mate Joe Burke up to these days?