The web weaved by Ahern is unweaving.
Some things from evidence did not make it into the newspapers, yet again. This is usually for lack of space, but fortunately there is no limit on space here on the internet, so we can pour of the details here. I can understand why only certain sections of evidence makes it in, but there are other parts that strike me when I read transcripts.
As part of an effort to detail these, and indeed the broader context I have moved the Bertie Ahern wiki, and broadened it into the Mahon Tribunal wiki, at www.mahontribunal.com. Clearly it is still a work in progress, and will take time to get organised, but providing a narrative of events and details of evidence I believe to be crucial.
So, to the two issues that struck me from the evidence of Dermot Carew.
1. His memory. Carew was asked whether Ahern ever contacted him in relation to the digout, after the Tribunal first contacted Ahern about it in June, 2005.
Carew “can’t remember” if Ahern contacted him (Q329). Ahern “could” have contacted him, but he “can’t remember it”. “I’m not sure.”
Counsel then pushed him, repeatedly asking him if Ahern had contacted him. Carew never says no, just that he can’t remember the events of last year.
Q335: What is your first memory of this matter being raised in the context of the Tribunal’s inquiries with you?
A: It was actually when Bert actually giving back the cheques.
Q336: When he gave you back the cheque?
A: Yeah just before that or sometime around then that the —
Q337: Well in fact the Tribunal, as you know, have been in touch with you on the 29th of June of 2006, in correspondence.
Q338: The cheque wasn’t sent back for another three and a half months?
Q339: So you were contacted by the Tribunal and asked to give an account as to how this money had come to be given to Mr Ahern, isn’t that so?
A: That’s correct, yeah.
Q340: Yes. And we saw how you gave your response in July.
A: That’s correct.
Q342: Did you discuss with Mr Ahern or any of the other contributors in June or July or at any time after that?
A: Discuss which now?
Q343: Discuss the payment of the monies that constitute what’s called the second goodwill loan, or whip-round for Mr Ahern?
A: I would have discussed it with the lads, yeah.
Q344: Fine. And did you discuss it with Mr Ahern?
A: I could have, I’m not a hundred percent sure.
Q345. Yes. We’re now talking about 2006, we’re only talking about last year Mr Carew.
A: That’s — yeah, yeah.
Q346: This is a unique event. It was now the subject of correspondence from the Tribunal with you. I’m asking you to throw your mind back now, as accurately as you can and indicate whether or not you did discuss the matter with Mr Ahern in 2006?
A: And as I said to you before I’m not sure.
Q347: You’re not sure?
Q348: You’ve no memory at all?
A: Oh I have memory all right but —
Q349: You have no memory of discussing this payment and your involvement —
Q350: — in the payment with Mr Ahern, is that right?
A: What I’m saying is I can’t recollect actually I’m not sure. I could have and I may have. I’m not sure.
Q351: I see.
A: Now I’m going to help you as much as possible, but if I can’t remember something I can’t remember it.
Why the pushing? The Tribunal wants to know whether Ahern made contact with his friends, because on the face of it, the Tribunal does not believe the story. They seem to believe that Ahern made up the story, and asked his friends to back up the story of the £16,500 digout. The Tribunal seems to believe it is far more likely that there was a £25,000stg lodgment.
Now, the second and even stranger event, that occurred only recently. It actually could be an innocent mistake, or could lead the Tribunal to further believe that the £16,500 loan was fictitious.
Dermot Carew claims he paid £4,500 to Ahern in 1994. After the Dobson interview, Ahern said he was paying back the money with interest. But there seems to have been a fuck up.
Mr Carew acknowledges receipt of €6,349 and €3,917 in interest. He signed this receipt in Ahern’s office, it was a prepared receipt. But that calculation is wrong. That amount equates to Carew getting £5,000 back plus interest, not the £4,500 he says he gave.
Barry English, who says he gave £5,000 to the digout, only received £4,500 plus interest back last year.
Q420: … in addition to making the wrong payment to you, the wrong payment was also made to Mr English. Mr English received back £4,500 though he gave five. You received back £5,000 though you gave four and a half?
Was it a fuck up because of an oversight, or was it a fuck up because there was no £16,500 digout, and they got their lying story mixed up and repaid the wrong amount back to English and Carew last year?