The former Taoiseach of Ireland (Prime Minister) Bertie Ahern has bee accused of lying about how money was paid into his bank accounts during the early 1990s by the Mahon Tribunal which investigated his financial dealings.
On Thursday morning the tribunal published its final report after a 15-year investigation.
"Much of the explanation provided by Mr Ahern as to the source of the substantial funds identified and inquired into in the course of the tribunal’s public hearings was deemed by the tribunal to be untrue." the Mahon Tribunal stated
A finding of corruption against former government minister Padraig Flynn was also stated.
“Former minister and EU commissioner Pádraig Flynn "having wrongfully and corruptly sought a substantial donation from (developer) Tom Gilmartin for the Fianna Fáil Party, and having been paid IR£50,000 by Mr Gilmartin for that purpose, proceeded to utilise the money for his personal benefit". says the report.
The report is “a damning indictment” of Ahern’s 15 days of evidence given on a “labyrinthine money trail” according to BreakingNews.ie. The former Irish leader lied about tens of thousands of pounds that passed through his accounts.
It continued "Those findings of fact which are adverse to Mr Ahern and on occasion others clearly demonstrated that important aspects of Mr Ahern's evidence was rejected by the tribunal."
Ahern did not explain the source of deposits of IR£22,500 in December 1993 and £10,000 pounds sterling in June 1995 into his bank account.
Judge Alan Mahon, the head of the tribunal, rejected Ahern's evidence. The former Irish leader stated that he was saving sterling for a planned investment in Manchester.
The judge said he could not rule out or establish if Ahern had been paid off by a developer.
Tom Gilmartin, a property developer, had said another developer, Owen O’Callaghan from Cork, boasted about paying IR£50,000 in 1989 and IR£30,000 in 1992. At this time Ahern was in the position of finance minister.
Mahon said “Regrettably, the Tribunal’s inquiries were rendered inconclusive.
“Because the tribunal has been unable to identify the true sources of the funds in question, it could not therefore determine whether or not the payment to Mr Ahern of all or any of the fund in question were in fact made by or initiated or arranged directly or indirectly by Mr O’Callaghan or by any other identifiable third party or parties.”
The tribunal also found that the late Fianna Fáil TD Liam Lawlor "corruptly requested a payment of IR£100,000" for himself and former Dublin City and County Assistant Manager George Redmond.
On Thursday morning the 3,270-page report of the Planning and Payments Tribunal was been published online.
The Mahon Tribunal report sat in public for over 900 days, over 11 years. It heard evidence from 400 witnesses and examined 130,000 pages of documents.