Ben Dunne: I'm seeing still a shrink to help me cope
BUSINESSMAN Ben Dunne says he still sees a psychiatrist to prepare himself for the bad days in life, and that's how he has, and will continue to, cope with the findings of the Moriarty Tribunal.
Speaking to the Sunday Independent, Mr Dunne -- who the tribunal found had attempted to engage in the "profoundly corrupt" act of seeking the assistance of former minister Michael Lowry to influence a rent review on one of his properties -- insisted he had "absolutely nothing" against Judge Michael Moriarty. He added that, if he met the judge, he would happily greet him.
"I'm not critical of the judge in any way. I have no intention of challenging the tribunal or anything like that. It (the tribunal report) has now gone to the DPP and it will take its own course," he said.
Asked if the publication of the report had been a traumatic experience for him given that its establishment had come about largely as a consequence of his arrest in 1992 in Florida for cocaine, the former supermarket supremo was philosophical.
"I spend all my time still taking therapy to prepare myself for situations like this. So that's why I still see a psychiatrist. You have to be prepared for the bad days in life. We all get them. But I'm well able to cope with them. The judge had a job to do and now he's done it. Now while I might not agree with it, I have absolutely nothing personal against Judge Moriarty. That's important to me that you asked me, it really is."
Asked if the report's publication caused him to reflect on his 1992 misadventure, Mr Dunne said: "There's no point in looking back... The fact is you can't undo your past. So what I do immediately is move forward. And that's the only thing I have tried to do from the time that I had my misadventure, for want of a better word, in Florida.
"This week's finding is a bit of a setback, but I've had a few setbacks since Florida. But I've always continued to move forward and that's what I hope to continue to do. I never take anything on a personal basis. The tribunal had a job to do. It's done the job.
"I obviously didn't like his findings about me, and in a conversation (on RTE's Liveline) from thousands of miles away I may have said things that I shouldn't have about the judge and I apologise. Let it take its course, but I have nothing, absolutely nothing, against Mr Justice Moriarty, absolutely nothing. If I met him on the side of the street, I'd say 'Good morning' or 'Good afternoon Justice'. I'm a bigger man than that."
Asked what he made of the defiant stance being adopted by Michael Lowry in the light of the tribunal's adverse findings against him, Mr Dunne said: "I want to tell you now what I have to do. I was the only one who was referred to in the manner I was referred to, as being profoundly corrupt. I'm only worried about one person now, that's myself.
"I must try and clear my own name. One thing I learned in all the holes I found myself in through my life was to look after myself, and get myself out of it. I've got to worry about my own name here."
That Mr Dunne's name and reputation have taken a battering would appear to be borne out in the findings of today's Sunday Independent poll on the Moriarty Tribunal.
Asked if they believed Mr Dunne's recollection of his dealings with Mr Lowry as opposed to those presented by Mr Justice Moriarty, a mere 19 per cent of those polled said that they did. The majority (81 per cent) said they did not believe him.
A number of respondents said they had not forgotten Mr Dunne's involvement in other tribunals and pointed out that, yet again, here was a very rich and powerful man interfering in the political system.