Ahern at the tribunal

More stories spun. I don’t have time to look into his evidence in detail, but I will. Things to note:

1. He didn’t pay taxes that he should have – tax evasion?
2. As P O’Neill notes, why did he get cheques from family and cash from friends?
3. St Luke’s rears its ugly head again.

Bertie Ahern: Taoiseach and Peacemaker” by Ken Whelan and Eugene Masterson is proving to be a very badly written book.

To finance the purchase, they [Kett and Kiely] brought together 25 local well-to-do supporters who pledged £1,000 each, with further contributions over a five year period. This was sufficient to put together a mortgage for the house with the repayments paid through the constituency organisation’s own bank.

The purchase price in the mid-80’s was £57,000. The house was assigned to a group of five trustees – again, not party activists – who for legal purposes vested the property in the Dublin Central Fianna Fail organisation. The senior TD was Bertie Ahern and St Luke’s effectively became his headquarters.

..

When the purchase of St Luke’s was closed it became obvious to all and sundry that the house needed serious refurbishment as there was a foundation crack in the structure. This was costed at a further £50,000 and, when approved by the trustees, the work took over a year and half to complete.

Some of the original contributors dropped out over the following few years or simply made occasional donations to the mortgage on St Luke’s. This shortfall on the purchase and redevelopment of St Luke’s combined with the salaries of the full-time constituency workers there together with sundry expenses, were causing serious headaches and making huge inroads into Ahern’s private time, until Des Richardson arrived and restructured the fund-raising requirements of Dublin Central through his annual Royal Hospital Dinner.

But no. At Q.54 Ahern says “I wouldnt have considered him one of the organisers of that function.”

At Q.413, Ahern goes into a lenghty description of St Luke’s history. He says they spent £200,000. €47,000 is still sitting in an account intended for St Luke’s.

At Q 440, Ahern gives more detail. saying it cost 89,000 for the renovations. He says the mortgage is currently 75,000, and the constituency has 90,000 including the 47,000.

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