There has been some speculation about this sum. The lodgment of about £28,700 on 5th December 1994 was a cash lodgment which is not exactly £30,000 sterling but rather is a lesser sum and may have been a mixture of sterling and Irish pounds. Hence it is in an irregular amount. It is not a dollar sum. I never had $45,000 either then, before then or since. There are no dollar transactions in my accounts. I do not deal nor have I ever dealt in dollars.
In addition two points need to be emphasized. Firstly, at the appropriate AIB rate for dollars on that date, a lodgment of £28,772.90 would equate not to $45,000 but to $44,277.68. Secondly, there are a number of combinations of sterling and Irish pounds that result in the amount which was lodged. The sum of $45,000 was never lodged to any account maintained by Ms. Larkin for the purpose of the house.
So said Bertie Ahern in his statement of last May. The Mahon Tribunal and AIB appear to disagree. Does his statement hold water? In short, it appears so.
Parsing Ahern’s phrasiology, one could be inclined to read between the lines. He says, with my emphasis added:
“There are no dollars transactions in my accounts”
“I do not deal nor have I ever dealt in dollars.
“…a lodgment of £28,772.90 would equate not to $45,000 but to $44,277.68.”
“The sum of $45,000 was never lodged to any account maintained by Ms. Larkin for the purpose of the house.”
Not in his accounts, no, in Celia’s.
Maybe he never dealt in dollars, but Celia did.
Ahern gives the incorrect figure for the transaction, he is off by £1, the sum is £28,773.90 not £28,772.90.
Maybe the dollars were not for the purpose of the house, but served another purpose?
In relation to Mr Ahern’s contention that the amount equates to $44,277.68, the AIB official is pretty straight:
Q: 700: … in relation to the exchange on the sum of 45,000 US dollars, in the event that the published rates were used, and by published rates again I mean the rates we see on page 19110 as being the US dollar Forde Money Changer rates for the day. There are two rates, up to 500 and up to 2,500.
Now if we look back to 22065, we will see that if 45,000 US dollars was tendered by a customer for exchange into Irish currency and if the rate applied to it was the rate appropriate to the transaction up to a value of two and a half thousand dollars, and if the £5 charge was deducted from that transaction, the net result would be £28,773.90, which was the amount of the lodgement to Ms Larkin’s account, isn’t that so?