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Wednesday 22 March 2017

Bertie's €10,000 win to 'pay a few bills and buy a few pints'

Fiach Kelly

FORMER Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is keeping his latest winnings -- and he won't have to pay any tax on his €10,000 windfall. He was the lucky winner of a rollover jackpot from a soccer club draw in Dublin on Sunday night.

The draw for Whitehall Rangers football club took place in the Beaumont House, a pub on the northside that is owned by Mr Ahern's close friend, Dermot Carew.

A spokesman for Mr Ahern -- who scooped the prize with a €2 ticket -- said the three-time Taoiseach would hold on to the lump sum and use it to "pay a few bills and have a few pints".

Mr Ahern once famously claimed at the Mahon Tribunal that controversial sterling lodgments to his accounts came from thousands of pounds he won on horse racing.

He is also closely associated with the Beaumont House pub, the place he received his controversial £16,500 "dig out" from friends in 1994.

A spokesman for the Revenue Commissioners said yesterday that any winnings from National Lottery draws or local club draws were tax-free.

Entitled

Mr Ahern was not at Sunday night's draw and was informed of his win by a member of Whitehall Rangers, where Mr Carew is honorary president.

"He heard the news from one of the club committee members," a Fianna Fail spokesman said yesterday.

Mr Carew said that there was widespread delight in the pub when Mr Ahern's name was pulled out of the draw.

"The customers were very happy," Mr Carew said. "He spends money on the tickets every week. He might be in on a Saturday night and buy one."

Club spokesman Paddy Kelly said Mr Ahern was just as entitled to the money as anyone else. However, he said there was a mixed reaction when Mr Ahern was picked as the winner.

"There was a bit of cheering and a bit of razzing. Bertie is a good supporter of the club. He has bought tickets for years and years."

Irish Independent

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