Friday, July 27, 2007
Okay, now that we've cleared that up, only two questions remain to be answered.
Who gave Ireland's Prime Minister $45,000 in 1994, and why has he been making up implausible stories about the payment?
When the girlfriend and supersecretary of Bertie Ahern, Celia Larkin (right), dropped into his office at St Lukes in December 1994, at his request, to pick up a suitcase full of cash and take it to the AIB bank and deposit it, where had the money come from?
Who gave Bertie such a massive sum of American currency, in cash, a sum he has consistently blustered and given ever-changing and bizarre explanations for? And more importantly, why?
Let's recall that Bertie, formerly a Finance Minister who didn't have a bank account, the allegedly qualified accountant who signed blank cheques for his mentor, corrupt former Taoiseach Charlie Haughey, initially claimed that this cash was an amount that his landlord Michael Wall had given him in order to refurbish the house he was renting.
Of course, such an amount to refurbish a relatively new home is bizarre to begin with. To have your landlord hand it over to you in foreign currency banknotes is stranger again. Since Bertie was signing so many blank ones for Charlie, you'd think these people might have heard of cheques.
For that landlord to subsequently sell the house to his tenant only a couple of years later, after ploughing £30,000 STG into it, makes virtually no financial sense whatsoever, especially since he sold it to Bertie for only £140,000 punts and had only owned the home for a couple of years, during which it seems Bertie was renting it the whole time.
Remember, this is only ONE of the strange payments Bertie received in cash at that time. Let's not forget the two whiprounds totalling £8,000 punts that he got from businessmen pals in Manchester. Or the debts of honour, totalling £39,000 punts he received but never repaid until this all became public in 2006?
Then there is the £50,000 punts he had apparently saved up between 1987 and 1994, despite having no bank account in that period.
Now that we know that the £30,000 STG house improvement donation from Michael Wall doesn't add up, the question remains, who did give Bertie that money, which appears to be $45,000? Was Bertie receiving large undeclared cash donations from American interests?
And more importantly, why?
Sadly, like the end of season cliffhanger, we've now got to wait for months for the answer. Tune into the Tribunal in the Autumn to find out.