Proximity Property Limited

Here is the CRO company printout. 2110765_11.pdf

First question. What involvement, if any, did the State-owned Industrial Credit Corporation have with Proximity, or 72 Amiens Street? Ah yes, the mortgage was taken out by Ahern et al with ICC.

Brian Cole appears to be an engineer, and also at the time a director of Building Advisory Services Limited. Kevin O’Brien is a former director, having resigned on June 28, 1989. Mr Cole replaced him. Solicitors acting for the firm are Kilroy and Co, Leeson street.

According to the Irish Times, the company’s address is “a five-bedroom dormer bungalow”. (1999) (It is normal to list residential addresses as company premises)

Sherry FitzGerald held four Clontarf auctions over the last week: a five-bedroom dormer bungalow at 102a Howth Road was withdrawn at £350,000 and sold later for a higher figure.

Here is the Tribune story.

Ahern

Hmm. I’ve spent the last few hours going over Dail television archives. I am posting statements the Taoiseach made, that were of concern to the Tribunal, to YouTube. On a personal level it is clear to me. Ahern outright lied to Dail Eireann. Without a doubt.

I can say that because of information that has come to light since then. The Gilvarry letter, the letters between Revenue and Ahern, the Tribunal evidence.

I guess we have to ask ourselves, is it acceptable?

Padraic O’Connor. Ahern says it was a bankdraft… “it could not have been a company cheque.” Technically he is right, in fairness. But that is only because the company cheque O’Connor wrote was paid to another company, EuroWorkForce run by FF fundraiser Des Richardson, and Des Richardson then drew a bank draft from a Bank of Ireland account. Ahern did not receive anything personally from Padraic O’Connor.

Faking Facebook 2

As I expected, someone has come clean as the faker of Barry Egan’s profile. “Egan” added me as a friend, but I never replied to the request. Putting “natch” after one of the profile items was the clincher for me.

It seems it was a very successful experiment in adding people as friends who may know a famous person – and then reverse engineering friend requests. Many of the other profiles I came across also appear to be fake.

Ahern's gamble

We knew this was coming. Ahern has decided to take a case to the High Court and is challenging aspects of its investigation. Ireland.com reports:

Today, lawyers acting for Mr Ahern in the High Court in Dublin secured leave to seek a judicial review challenging the handing over of specific documents, including advice from a banking expert.

Despite the political tension surrounding the work of the tribunal, Mr Ahern insisted today’s action referred to legal technicalities and said he plans to appear as a scheduled witness at the tribunal next week.

Mr Ahern later told reporters: “These are a few technical legal issues where my legal team advised that I have absolutely no alternative.”

The Taoiseach, who was not in court, is also seeking to prevent the tribunal questioning him on statements made under the privilege of the Dáil parliament.

“They (his legal team) say the Dáil privilege, which has always been challenged by politicians, and the other two issues are related to professional advice that my legal team got independently, and the tribunal are seeking that advice,” said Mr Ahern.

“The legal team say that that is not proper procedure and the third point is, where the tribunal have independent legal advice, financial advice, and they won’t give it to my people.”

He is seeking legal privilege over the documents, which he believes should be subject to the same immunity as if he were a witness before the High Court.

Brian Murray SC, for the Taoiseach, maintained that the tribunal has no right to question statements he made about his personal finances under privilege in the Dail, even if they were repeated elsewhere.

He also secured a temporary stay on a production order until Thursday afternoon, when the matter will come back before the High Court.

The documents, which contain advice from banking expert Paddy Strong, had been due to be handed to the Mahon Tribunal at 4.30 this afternoon.

During the ex-party application made by the Taoiseach’s legal team, Mr Murray said the Taoiseach is also seeking the discovery of documents from the planning tribunal in relation to allegations regarding foreign exchange transactions.

Mr Justice Bryan McMahon said the Taoiseach has an arguable case.

The Taoiseach, who sat in the tribunal witness box over several days in September and December, is due to appear before the Mahon Tribunal again for two days on February 21st and 22nd.

Last month, the government narrowly won a Dáil vote on a motion supporting the Mahon Tribunal after a heated debate by TDs.

The government motion urged the tribunal to continue its work and said it looked forward to receiving its report as soon as possible.

The motion also condemned the leaking of tribunal documents as a breach of confidentiality and said it infringed the rights of those affected.

Bryan McMahon is an interesting character. Kerry born, son of a writer, and appointed to the High Court last year (from the Circuit Court on May 2, just before the General Election). He was also appointed to the board of the Abbey Theatre by fellow Kerryman and Ceann Comhairle John O’Donoghue. I digress.

Ahern is clearly again trying to delay the tribunal. He has done so for 3 years, and he is continuing to do so. I get the feeling that they are trying to throw as many legal challenges at the tribunal as possible, and hoping that one will stick. The Dail privilege of statements made outside the Dail is nonsensical.

The reference to a Dail speech was highlighted by Irish Election, I especially like this bit from September 2006:

The Taoiseach: I know the law, although I am not an expert on every aspect. However, many years ago my tax advisers checked the issues in detail on the basis that it was a loan with interest. Subject to correction, I believe that the rate throughout the loan period was 3% — the interest rate that a person would have received on a deposit from 1993 or 1994. It was calculated yearly, and the total interest would be more than €20,000. I receive an annual figure from my tax adviser. It was calculated over the entire period on that basis. I paid capital gains tax and gift tax. It is not appropriate for me to spell out what I paid, but I assure the Deputy that I did so following advice.

An annual figure from your tax advisor? Really? Can we see that? Can we discover it? You paid capital gains and gift tax? Really? Can you show us the receipts? Will Revenue agree?

Do we need a ‘green revolution’ to get Ahern out of office?

Blog awards

The shortlists are up. I have been nominated in the best news/current affairs blog category. Cheers to the person who nominated me :).

I guess I should do some link whoring or something to all the other nominees. I am a regular reader of many, so do check them out:

Best Blog Sponsored by PutPlace

Best Photo Blog Sponsored by Pix.ie

Best Arts and Culture Blog Sponsored by Poetry Ireland

Best Political Blog Sponsored by Digital Revolutionaries

Best Group Blog Sponsored by Salesjobs.ie

Best Personal Blog Sponsored by Microsoft Ireland’s Developer and Platform Group

Best Use of Irish Language in a Blog Sponsored by Edgecast Media

Best Technology Blog Sponsored by Bitbuzz

Best Designed Blog Sponsored by BB Gardens

Best Sports and Recreation Blog Sponsored by Boards.ie

Best News/Current Affairs Blog

Best Specialist Blog Sponsored by iQ Content

Best Newcomer Sponsored by Edelman Dublin

Best Business Blog Sponsored by FirstPartners

Best Music Blog Sponsored by DownloadMusic.ie

Best Food and Drink Blog

Best Crafts Blog Sponsored by This Is Knit

Best Popculture Blog Sponsored by Weeno Media

Best Blog from a Journalist Sponsored by RedFly Marketing

Faking Facebook

What a curious thing. This week someone by the name of Simon Coveney, and using a picture of a TD of the same name, joined the Resign, Mr Ahern Facebook group. Interesting, I said to myself. I wonder if that could be the same guy. He did post about broadband over on Damien Mulley’s blog just last week, so it’s not impossible that he has just joined Facebook.

But being the nosey guy I am, I looked at his friends, whose friends I in turn looked at. Before I knew I had a smorgasbord of Irish celebs – many of whom keep their friends list public, but their profiles private. Either it’s a really big spoof, or they haven’t figured out that I can see their friends lists.

Coveney (or whoever setup the profile) has six friends.

Robbie Fox (Renards) (62 friends)
Declan Gill
Gerald Kean (Lawyer to the stars)
Gayle Killilea (Wife of Sean Dunne)
David McWilliams
Tara O’Leary

But dig a little deeper into the friends of friends, and all of a sudden there’s the entire Sunday Independent crowd. Hmm. I have deep suspicions. Many of the profiles on the face of it are fake, the photos look like promo shots rather than personal photos (though I can hardly talk)… maybe some are real, maybe some are fake, maybe they are all real.

Maybe someone should make a graphical representation of who knows who. Other profiles that I came across on my travels…

Leigh Arnold (Surgery soap?)
Izabela Chudzicka (Er know that name from somewhere)
Gordon D’Arcy (Rugby)
Barry Egan (Sindo)
Glenda Gilson
George Hook (Really? Looks too young)
Brian Ormond (Not locked down, looks legit)

Glenda Gilson’s profile (is it real?) has 189 friends, including:

Pauline McLynn (Mrs Doyle) (129 friends)(Friends with Graham Norton who cleverly turned off the setting of seeing his friends)
Gordon D’Arcy (No sign of Brian OD)
Andrea Roche
Brian Ormond

But what is interesting is seeing who mixes with who..

Barry Egan (20 friends) is friends with

Gavin Lambe Murphy (Who has 35 friends? That all?)
Paddy Casey (looks fake)
George Hook (the son?)
Robbie Fox

ARGH the list goes on…take a nose for yourself.

Update: Hmm. Within minutes of this post, Barry Egan asked to be my friend. Is this the work of Chancerdom, or Twenty perhaps?