Thursday 27 April 2017

A guide to the money trail

Deputy Political EditoR

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern's elaborate personal finances continue to perplex and confuse. Here's a catalogue of the cash of interest to the Mahon tribunal. All sums are Irish pounds, unless specified as sterling or dollars.

AIB Upper O'Connell Street, Dublin

1993

December 30 -- Ahern lodges £22,500. Claims it is the first "goodwill loan" from eight friends. He separately took out a £19,000 loan for those bills, with no repayment for 18 months. Taoiseach says it is made up of £15,000 cash, plus £5,000 from Padraic O'Connor and £2,500 from Des Richardson.

1994

April 25 -- Ahern lodges around £30,000; £27,164.44 goes into special savings account; £2,835.26 into his current account. Claims it came from £54,000 cash savings. August 8 -- Ahern lodges £20,000 to account in names of daughters.

October 11 -- Ahern lodges £24,838.49 to his deposit account. Claims it is the proceeds of a second dig-out, following meeting of four friends in Beaumont House. Says money comprises £16,500 from them and approximately £8,000 stg from a Manchester dinner.

The tribunal has shown this story could not produce the lodgment. Instead it points out that it equates to a £25,000 stg exchange. Branch took in more than a dozen times more than its average £2,000-£2,500 daily amount that day. Celia Larkin lodges £800 to her Masterplan account (same branch) on this day.

December 5 -- £50,000 is transferred from Ahern's account, (£28,000 and £22,000) into a new Celia Larkin account. Taoiseach did not disclose this in his sworn Discovery Affidavit.

December 5 -- Separately, on the same day, Larkin lodged £28,772.90 into a further new account in her name. She and Ahern claim this is a conversion of around £30,000 stg provided by Michael Wall and piled on a table in St Luke's.

The tribunal notes that bank records show less than £2,000 was purchased on that day by the branch, which on the other hand took in a huge amount of non-sterling foreign currency. It sees that no sterling rate would allow for the fractional lodgment, but that one buy rate for $45,000 dollars would produce exactly the amount lodged. Ahern has denied ever dealing in dollars. This lodgment was not in Ahern's Affidavit of Discovery.

1995

January 19 -- £50,000 in cash withdrawn by Celia Larkin and given to Bertie, waiting in a car around the corner. Ahern says he used some of the £30,000 or so cash to ask someone, whose name he can't remember, to buy £30,000 stg cash for him.

He uses this claim of having bought sterling to explain subsequent lodgments of £10,000 and £20,000 stg to his account, for which the bank has indisputable foreign exchange slips.

May 15 -- £8,442 withdrawn from a Celia account, allegedly to pay stamp duty on house at 44 Beresford Avenue.

June 19 -- £20,050.91 withdrawn by Celia. £10,000 allegedly spent on house furnishings. £9,684.71 used to open a third Larkin account.

Also lodged to this third account on this day was £11,743.74, comprising £2,000 in Irish and £10,000 stg. Grand total of more than £21,400 now appears in the account. Ahern story that he bought sterling was not disclosed in his affidavit.

July 24 -- A further £9,655 lodged into Celia's third account. She says it was another re-lodgment, of some of £50,000 cash she withdrew months before.

December 1 -- £19,142.92 lodged to Ahern's deposit account. Records show it equates to £20,000stg. Ahern says this was a re-lodgment of sterling he had ordered/bought through someone whose name he can't remember in a place he can't remember, a Mr X.

Total Irish pounds lodged: £147, 509.83. £30,000 actual sterling and £25,000 suspected sterling. $45,000 suspected US dollars.

Irish Permanent Building Society, Lr Drumcondra Road, Dublin

Bertie Ahern savings account

1994

January 31 -- Two lodgments amounting to £5,000.

March 9 -- £4,119.59 lodged by Grainne Carruth, who accepts it came from £4,000 sterling conversion out of £6,000 sterling overall. Corroborated by branch manager Blair Hughes. Smaller amounts lodged to accounts of Taoiseach's daughters. Ahern says this lodgment was the proceeds of his salary cheques

March 23 -- £7,000 lodgment, which Ahern says was inheritance from death of his father.

May 9 -- £3,518.99 lodgment by Grainne Carruth, which Ahern said was proceeds of his salary cheques, but which she accepts came from sterling conversion of £5,450 British currency cash.

May 10 -- £50.63 lodged, proceeds of £50 sterling conversion.

May 23 -- £1,434.15. Said to be a cheque and cash lodgment.

October 28 -- £3,970.19 lodged by Carruth, proceeds of a £4,000 sterling conversion. Ahern claims this represented his salary.

1995

April 12 -- £10,060.71 lodged in cheque by Cyprian Brady TD.

July 13 -- Lodgment of £2,662.02 by Grainne Carruth. Ahern claims it relates to his salary cheque. But on same day, she is shown to have lodged money to his AIB account.

December 21 -- £5,000 lodged. Said to be further inheritance payment.

Georgina Ahern account

1994

March 9 -- £1,028.40 lodged by Grainne Carruth, proceeds of stg £1,000 conversion.

May 9 -- £1,000 lodged by Carruth, part of sterling conversion.

Cecelia Ahern account 1994

March 9 -- £1,028.40 lodged by Grainne Carruth, proceeds of £1,000 sterling conversion.

May 9 -- £1,000 lodged by Carruth, part of sterling conversion.

B/T Account

Opened in election year 1989 by Tim Collins with lodgment of £7,285.71, including £5,000 cheque payable to 'Bertie Ahern'. Same day another £1,000. (6 June 1989)

1990

March -- £5,000 lodgment of cheque paid by a Mr X.

1991

June -- £5,000 lodgment of cheque from a Mr X.

1992

February -- £5,000 lodgment of cheque from a Mr X.

August 25 -- £20,000 cheque lodged, less £1,000 taken out in cash, claimed proceeds of a 'Golf Classic.' But no golf classics held by local FF until 1997.

1993

January 26 -- £10,000 lodged in two cheques, including J&E Davy cheque for £5,000 payable to Bertie lodged. Total in B/T account now £42,133.92.

March 30 -- £30,000 'loan' to Celia Larkin. Repaid this year.

1994

August 26 -- £20,000 cash withdrawal. Allegedly left in cash at St Luke's for Joe Burke.

October 26 -- £20,000 input, said to be re-lodgment of the August money, but tribunal notes £20,000 sterling conversion just seconds before.

1995

July 18 -- £10,000 cash lodged, claimed proceeds of golf classic. In 2006, B/T account had £48,000 on deposit. Inactive since 1995. Total amount under query -- £52,000.

Other accounts

AIB Drumcondra

Bertie Ahern/Joe Burke election 89 account (address above Fagan's pub)

May 29 1989 -- opened with £5,000 lodgment.

Tim Collins 'doesn't know' if FF election donations switched into Bertie/Burke account. Fund had a £17,000 surplus at end of 1989 election.

Tim Collins election 92 account

Established on Nov 13, 1992, same day as local FF constituency set up own election account. The Tim account finished £28,730 in the black, the FF one £1,572 overdrawn.

CODR account

Claimed to be FF account. Address is above Fagan's pub at Bertie's then constituency office.

1988

January 11 -- Lodgment of £22,955.13, origin unknown. By July 1988 account had £50,000. (Spent £44,000 that year, with St Luke's bought for £56,000 on May 18, 1988.) January 29 -- Surplus of £17,019.80 transferred in from Bertie/Burke election 89 account (now closed). Credit balance of £27,617 in August.

Mortgage a/c

2000 -- a £75,000 FF mortgage taken out on St Luke's, despite £47,000 on deposit in B/T account.

D/T account -- opened 23 July 1991; operated by Des Richardson and Tim Collins.

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