“with the best will in the world, no sane person could believe his stories..”

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern’s eventful, and final, day at the Mahon tribunal is reported in the Irish Times.

AFTER YESTERDAY’S evidence, it is not inconceivable that the tribunal will fail to clear former taoiseach Bertie Ahern of the allegation that he received money from developer Owen O’Callaghan. It is already clear that the tribunal has reason to find that Ahern has failed to explain the large amounts of money lodged to his accounts in the 1993 to 1995 period.

But, as ever, Miriam Lord has the best lines.

So, it may be possible to believe that Bertie Ahern really believes he did nothing wrong, that he somehow believes he worked on the right side of an invisible moral line between private donations and public duty. He has already thrilled the tribunal with his take on the subject of donations for political/private use.

During his days of giving direct evidence, when he came out with truly risible excuses to explain how large amounts of money, much of it in foreign currency, came to rest in his many accounts, did Bertie honestly expect sensible people to take him seriously? Maybe he did, for he insists he adhered to the rules of good government.

Owen O’Callaghan was told a rival firm would not be getting tax designation. Good news for Owen. Yesterday, Bertie said that was because it was policy. (Whether or not he told Owen this we don’t know.) And sure if a few rich businesspeople thought they were on to a good thing because he gave them his ear – but nothing much else, it transpires – then nobody was hurt. Bertie did nothing wrong and he was in a financially strapped position at the time.

Sure wasn’t everyone at it? It remains to be seen whether the tribunal judges adopt a similarly morally ambivalent approach when it comes to writing their report. In the meantime, Bertie will nurse his hurt and hope the public comes around to his way of thinking come the next presidential election.

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  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    “with the best will in the world, no sane person could believe his stories..”

    That is absolutely correct and a damning indictment of the ROI electorate who re-elected the fecker.

  • And not much of a reflection …

    … upon those tools* who affected to believe every last work Bertie lied about ‘off-book’ deals cooked up over the transfer of P&J;, and supposedly, explicitly, albeit secretly, known only unto to honest Bertie, signed onto by the DUP. Their public signature to public declarations not, apparently, withstanding.

    *Those tools would be you, Sammy.

  • Jer

    In the meantime, Bertie will nurse his hurt and hope the public comes around to his way of thinking come the next presidential election.

    Can that be true? Is there still a chance that man could be selected to run for president.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    And not much of a reflection

    I presume you have some basis for making that outrageous, erroneous and scandalous allegation…do share.

  • DC

    Oh yea Bertie Ahern, the man who spent more than 100k plus on make-up when in office, why did he need all that blusher I’m red enough writing this.

  • You slabbered on Sammy …

    … and then, on and on and on after the bould Bertie told his absurd lies about the DUP ‘knowing full well they had signed up to transfer of P&J;[as per SF’s timetable]’, as if somehow Bertie saying it made it so. Indeed, you danced on Slugger threads a merry little “gotcha” dance viz the estimable Pete Baker. And now here you are slabbering on about Bertie’s – how shall we say? – lack of factual grasp . . . Consider my opinion of you shared.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    You slabbered on Sammy …

    “Consider my opinion of you shared”

    Yes – but you were invited to share the basis for your scandalous attack – not your – ‘estimable’ opinion.

    My analysis, which incidentally would appear to being borne out by the facts, was that the DUP would be pressurised by the Englezes into signig up to Police and Justice and if they did not would rightly get the blame. Pete had some difficulty with this concept which meant this cunning and astute analysis had to be oft repeated long before Bertie opened his chops.

    p.s. You have a remarkable resemblance to a certain ‘Comrade Stalin who also specialised in off-target attacks? Any relation perchance?

  • Rory

    “Is there still a chance that man could be selected to run for president.”

    Oh, indeed there is, Jer – every chance – for if there is one thing the southern electorate dearly admire it is a “cute hoor” and Bertie’s as cute as they come – sure he must have been a beautiful baby (to paraphrase the title of the old song). As Sammy has already pointed out they had no trouble “re-electing the fecker” despite his earlier pathetic, cringe-worthy squirming before the tribunal.

    I must say after the second FF cute hoor in a row has been exposed to serious charges of financial corruption for personal gain that I am impressed with how they do this type of thing so much better in London. Over here prime ministers are cute enough to wait until they have left office before feeding at the trough of corporate largesse in return for all those helpful little moments while in Number 10.

  • Wilde Rover

    It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it,

    “That is absolutely correct and a damning indictment of the ROI electorate who re-elected the fecker.”

    Yes, yes it is.

    Drunk on the snake oil of Celtic Tiger hubris, they put him back in much like you would a lucky rabbit’s foot, out of fear of the luck going away if you didn’t.

    Now that morning is approaching and the inevitable hangover looms ominously in the distance many will look around to blame anyone but themselves for the mess.

    So I suppose that just leaves Spliffo.

    But while it is easy to blame Spliffo, and Lucky Bertiano, and the others, perhaps the electorate should take a long hard look at itself.

    Considering the potential employment outlook, perhaps many of them will have the free time for reflection that they lacked before.

  • Dave

    Too right, Sammy – now if only the southern electorate were moral enough to elect those who enrich themselves to the tune of millions hidden in off-shore accounts by selling mass-murder techniques to drug peddlers in Columbia.