Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern outside North Strand Fire Station, Dublin during ‘eleventh hour’ Fianna Fail election canvassing last night.
(Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland)
[Form top Paul Kiely, Jim Nugent and Des Peelo]
Shane Ross went on the Last Word with Matt Cooper on Today FM last night to discuss the latest revelations about the Central Remediel Clinic. He spoke of the senior CRC management and their links to former taoiseach Bertie Ahern
Matt Cooper: “Jim Nugent,… the Chairman and Acting Chief Executive of the CRC, Director at the Central Bank in the boom years, regular donor to Bertie Ahern at the Clontarf Castle and other functions over the years. One of Bertie’s ‘dig-out’ men as well – and now he’s disclosing this?”
Shane Ross: “Well, yeah and also he was director of [state-run tourism training body] Cert…”
Matt Cooper: I forgot about the loans he owes to Danske Bank!”
Shane Ross: “That’s right…”
Matt Cooper: “It was all over the Irish Independent today, what was it, about €9 million?”
Shane Ross: “Yes, €9 million owed to Danske Bank as well – I mean this is an extraordinary man, I asked them [members of the CRC at the PAC meeting] towards the end today, about the link to Bertie Ahern and they all kind of looked at me as if I had two heads, at the idea, that really they could all be there because they had links to Bertie – which is something that apparently had never occurred to them.
But, I mean, you have the most extraordinary coincidence, if nothing else – I don’t believe it is a coincidence, where you have Mr. Nugent who was appointed to Cert under Bertie Ahern’s government, he was appointed to the board of the Central Bank under Bertie Ahern, you have Paul Kiely who was appointed to the CIE board under Bertie Ahern.
“You have Des Peelo, who wasn’t there today, but he was former chairman, who was a good friend of Bertie Ahern’s representative at the tribunal, you have Tony Kent, the Late Tony Kent who was a senior member of the Central Remedial Clinic, who was in the Senate and who was a great friend of Bertie Ahern’s – and you also have Vincent Brady, who wasn’t there today, who was in the cabinet with Bertie Ahern. All, at some stage were on the board of the CRC. Now, they just kind of shrugged their shoulders and said, ‘no, no, no’, and protested that they were all very talented in their own rights, but it was a pretty unconvincing kind of scenario. They were all, you know, pals of Bertie, one way or another – linked to him, one way or another.”
Shane Ross: “….You know, can I just add one thing about the pension pot, which is absolutely extraordinary – the money transferred, over €3 million which goes into this pension pot out of which Mr. Kiely is drawing, but what emerged today was that he’s not getting a pension on the basis of his €106,900, which is what the…”
Matt Cooper: “… Ah, let me guess – it’s on the basis of his top-up as well, is it?”
Shane Ross: “On the basis of his top-up.”
Matt Cooper: “So, he gets the HSE funded salary, he gets a top-up on top of it for all these years that… and then…”
Shane Ross: “And then..”
Matt Cooper: “And then he gets the pension based on the gross amount?”
Gavan Reilly: “The HSE salary was just short of 107,000, and I think the privately sourced bit of it was about another 117,000 – so his net salary was somewhere in the region of about 220,000.”
Matt Cooper: “So, what’s he getting as a pension now?”
Shane Ross: “The pension is higher, it’s higher than his basic salary from the HSE.”
Matt Cooper: “You’re joking?”
Shane Ross: “I’m not, Im actually not.”
Matt Cooper: “That’s typical – but I thought this sort of thing was supposed to be ended when this country went bust a few years ago?”
Shane Ross: “Well, for some people, it didn’t end and for some people, there were no pay cuts. But there are losers here, and Mr. Nugent said today, rather ironically, he said, ‘there are no winners in this situation.’. There are! Mr. Reilly is a winner, there are other winners at the top of the CRC, but there are losers. The disabled people are losers, the staff who aren’t very well paid, are losers. But there certain, there are one or two winners, which is what’s been happening in Ireland today has been happening over the past five or six years.”
Matt Cooper: “Shane, Isn’t the Mater Hospital where Bertie learnt his accountancy?”
Shane Ross: “Yeah, that’s absolutely right.”
Matt Cooper: “He didn’t qualify as an accountant, but he learnt his accountancy up there?”
Shane Ross: “Bertie Ahern came from that stable. Mr. Kiely said today that he didn’t come from that stable, but certainly Mr. [Brian] Conlon came from that stable, there’s another member of the board, whom I think comes from that stable as well. There’s an extraordinary coincidence – and no-one answered the question, but we’ll come back to it – there are extraordinary formal links between the Mater and the CRC, which I don’t really understand.”
Previously: Mr10 Per Cent
(Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)
Public Relations consultant Paul Allen writes:
…So rather than hysterically cheer lead the rise in property prices, or indeed blinding blame Bertie and Co for our downfall, the only way we can ever ensure we learn from the past is to embrace it.
And while that includes the bad and the ugly of Fianna Fail’s and Bertie’s reign, it also needs to include the good.
Indeed, many of Bertie’s skills and insider knowledge of the drastic errors he and his government made could just be what it takes to drag this country out of recession and back to sustainable levels of prosperity.
“I have worked with Paul Allen and his team for many years and have always been impressed with their hard-working approach and commitment to getting results. Paul never takes no for an answer”
Bertie Ahern quoted on Paul Allen’s website (since removed)
A less than slick promo for the International Forestry Fund featuring the cheeky little divil and a 1980s porn soundtrack.
Why selling Irish forests might just be patriotic.
To the (plastic-handed) pitchforks!
(Thanks Mark Malone)
What about de trees?
Outlining details this afternoon at Buswell’s Hotel, Dublin, of a private members’ motion (which will be put to a vote in the Dail this week) to halt Coillte’s plan to sell off harvesting rights to Ireland’s 1.2 million acres of public forests, were from left, Joan Collins TD, Catherine Murphy TD, Clare Daly TD and Richard Boyd Barrett TD.
Bertie Ahern is chairman of the International Forestry Fund, a private tree-felling operation.
(Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland)
Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has been taking his full €150,000 a year pension since he left the Dail, after reversing his decision to give part of it back to the State.
The revelation comes as new figures released under Freedom of Information legislation show that only seven out of 116 former ministers gave up part of their pensions last year, despite the introduction of a simple system to allow them to do so.
None of the Fianna Fail ministers who presided over the economic crash gave up any part of their pensions.
Just let let that sink in.
Bertie is trousering €12.500 a month – about €3,000 a week. Which would be about €600 a day if he was working. Which he’s not.
Then re-watch this.
Now. Who needs a brisk walk in the crisp morning air when you can get your pulse racing like that?
Maybe he’s like an Irish political version of Highlander or something…
Italian designer Pal Zileri’s Spring/Summer collection 2012. We’re not laughing now. Oh no.