It also finds that in relation to the B/T account, known as the Bertie/Tim account by bank staff in the Permanent Tsb, Mr Ahern and his associate, Tim Collins, failed to truthfully account for IR£50,000 lodged into this account between 1992-94.
In the introduction to the report the judges say a number of senior cabinet ministers made sustained and virulent attacks on the integrity of the tribunal members.
They say there is “little doubt” the objectives of these extraordinary and unprecedented attacks on the tribunal were to undermine the efficient conduct of the tribunal, erode its independence and collapse the inquiry.
The Mahon Tribunal does a great job of bringing us back to the 90s. Downloading the thing is like having dial-up.
— Joe Leogue (@JoeLeogue) March 22, 2012
Wait for it.
The Mahon Tribunal is due to publish its report [by Justice Alan Mahon, above] on corruption in the planning process later today. It is the final report from an inquiry that has lasted 15 years…The last report from the Planning and Payments Tribunal will come after 1,200 days of public hearings involving over 600 witnesses.
The previous chairman Fergus Flood made corruption findings against a number of individuals…
Today’s report will focus on the allegations of developer Tom Gilmartin…[including] that Bertie Ahern was paid by rival developer Owen O’Callaghan.
(Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland)
“When the final report of the Mahon Tribunal is published, we will act without fear or favour against anyone who is shown to have abused their position in Fianna Fail or in elected office. Action will be swift and comprehensive,”
Micheál Martin, Fianna Fail Ard Fheis, March 2, 2012
Sinead Desmond (presenter): “You’re representing a new Fianna Fail, but then I was thinking about two things from your past. One of them being a – totally legitimate – donation by [Cork property developer] Owen O’Callaghan that found its way into your wife’s Dublin bank account. That seemed strange to me and had a sniff of the old Fianna Fail. And the second thing, in the Mahon Tribunal you were asked if you ever brought Owen O’Callaghan to meet Bertie Ahern and you said no that you would have remembered if such a thing happened. And then you were shown Mr Ahern’s ministerial diary which seemed to recollect a meeting between yourself, Bertie Ahern and Owen O’Callaghan but you said you couldn’t recall it. I’ll give you a chance to explain but both of those incidents smell of the old Fianna Fail that put ourselves in the position we find ourselves in.”
Micheál Martin: “I think that’s very unfair because I gave a very comprehensive account to the Tribunal on this…You’ve picked out two things…I gave a very comprehensive account and documentary evidence to the effect in terms of that donation that the money was spent on the party’s electoral operation in that local election. We showed the receipts – we didn’t have the full receipts, but we showed the receipts also the money left very quickly in the month around the General Election itself so every political party got donations at that time and they didn’t have to declare them.
Desmond: “But it ended up in your wife’s bank account?”
Martin: “My wife and I worked together in terms of the politics at the time. There’s nothing strange about that. We both lived in Dublin for that period and so there was nothing in that. When I say I lived in Dublin I was up here during the week in the Dail. Mary worked in Dublin for that year so there’s nothing wrong with that at all and no one has ever suggested any impropriety or any wrongdoing in terms of that.”
Desmond: “Neither was I.”
Martin: “Yeah (laughs) but when it’s taken out like that in full isolation like that it creates an innuendo and it creates an issue when there was none and in fact all I was ever was asked and every TD was asked at the time was for a list of donations that they received from that gentleman (O’Callaghan). And I gave them full comprehensive information with receipts which I even didn’t have to have at the time but I did and presented what I had at that time and there’s never been a suggestion by anyone that there anything wrong or any impropriety in relation to that”
Desmond: “What about the meeting mentioned in The Mahon Tribunal.”
Martin: “I never had a meeting with Bertie and Owen O’Callaghan.”
Desmond: “It’s all there recorded in his diary.”
Martin: “But it wasn’t you see even the tribunal itself didn’t seem to be going into (pause) I don’t want to be going into this because it’s based on the report (pause) didn’t seem to be too clear about it (pause) never any indication in advance that that was going to be raised (pause) I certainly didn’t…(trails off)”
And the total cost of paying the 35 people who served on the tribunal’s legal team since it was established in 1997 has now reached almost €50m. The top earner is Patricia Dillon, who has been paid almost €5.6m in legal fees.
Well, she did do all the heavy lifting.