2 thoughts on “Cut the pork”

  1. IRELAND ON SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 18 2005 BY RONALD QUINLAN.

    Bertie and ex-girlfriend refuse to say if they were given cut price jewellery to promote Chinese store.

    BERTIE AHERN and CELIA LARKIN were last night at the center of a potentially damaging mystery over cut-price Chinese pearls.

    During an official state visit to Beijing the taoiseach and his former lover posed for a photograph in an up market store that is known to sell pearls and other jewellery to VIPS at heavilly discounted prices.

    These shopping expeditions are normally arranged by foreign diplomats.Visiting dignitaries pose for publicity photos–used around the store and in advertising brochures—and in return receive handsome discounts. Cherie Blair wife of the British PM,is at the center of a growing storm—inevitably called Pearlgate–after a number of Chinese Jewellers claimed that they had given her discounts of up to 90% on expensive pearls she picked up on official visits.

    But last night neither the Taoiseach nor MS Larkin would explain the circumstances in which they were photographed with the owner of the ‘Fanghua pearls and jewellery shop’nor would Larkin reveal where she acquired several expensive-looking pearl necklaces that she has worn regularly in recent years or how much she paid for them.

    All Celia Larkin–recently appointed by Mr Ahern to a prestigious position on the National Consumer Agency–would say was=”LIKE ANY ANYBODY, I HAVE JEWELLERY”

    Last night the Taoiseach and his ex-mistress were accused by an independent TD of allowing themselves to be used in a cheap and sleazy way.
    Issues like this seriously damage and take away from the image of politics=said Dublin north central deputy Finnian mc Grath.

    ” It shows a complete lack of respect for public office and only feeds into the negativity and cynicism towards politicians from the general public.

    Officials at the Department of the Taoiseach were were unable to make any comment on whether Mr Ahern or MS Larkin had declared the purchase of a neckace or neckaces to customs officials on their return to Ireland.

    According to the Revenue Commissioners, any imported item worth in excess of 175 euro must be declared to customs and excise upon arrival,where it becomes subject to VAT at the standard rate of 21%.

    With prices for single strand freshwater pearl necklaces at ‘Fanghua Pearls and jewellery’ starting at 6,000 yuan=607 euro,
    the purchase of such an item would be liable for VAT of 121.40 euro upon returning to Ireland

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