The evidence at the Tribunal today was nothing short of explosive. Unfortunately it received scant coverage.
First, the manager of Irish Permanent Building Society, where Ahern had his personal account.
Blair Hughes says he remembers Sterling transactions. Documentary evidence proves it. This directly contradicts Ahern’s story that they were salary lodgments. He also said the B/T account, which was held in the same branch, had no connection whatever to St Luke’s or Fianna Fail. He assumed B/T stood for Bertie and Tim, at the time. He had no evidence it was anyone else’s account. Hughes also seen Grainne Caruth in person in the branch, and believes she was involved in Sterling transactions into the personal accounts of Ahern.
Secondly,Ken McDonald of the same branch. He more or less concurred with Hughes. There was also at least one foreign exchange lodgment to what is variously referred to as the B+T, B/T and BxT account.
Thirdly, is the devasting account of Grainne Caruth.
Here is a woman who earned £66 a week, or about £3,500 a year. She was paid by one of Des Richardson’s odd companies, Willdover.
On March 9, 1994, the following happened:
10.24am: £4,000 Sterling changed to Irish and lodged.
10.28am: £1,000 Sterling was changed and lodged.
10.31am: £1,000 Sterling was changed and lodged into Cecilia Ahern’s account. The docket was signed by Caruth.
10.33am: £1,000 Sterling was changed and lodged into Georgina Ahern’s account. The docket was signed by Caruth.
On May 9, 1994, the following happened.
10.56am: £1,000 Sterling was changed and lodged into Georgina Ahern’s account. The docket was signed by Caruth.
10.58am: £1,000 Sterling was changed and lodged into Cecilia Ahern’s account. The docket was signed by Caruth.
Later in October that year, Caruth signed more lodgment dockets in relation to £4,000 Sterling.
In April 1995, Cyprian Brady TD lodged over £10,000 to the account.
In December 1995, Caruth’s name appears again, this time a £5,000 lodgment.
And does Caruth remember any of this? In one day, lodging the equivalent of two years’ salary? In Sterling?
Nope. Not a bit.
The Chairman was incredulous. She has contradicted previous evidence. She denies she was involved in Sterling transactions.
Her story is incredible. And she could be the next to break after a night to ponder, ala Frank Dunlop.