Charvet shirts 'neither sinister nor important'
CHARLIE Haughey was questioned in detail by the Moriarty Tribunal about £15,000 debited to the Party Leaders' Allowance Account in respect of exclusive Paris shirt company Charvet when he gave evidence behind closed doors.
In a transcript read out to the inquiry yesterday, counsel for the tribunal, John Coughlan SC, said that in 12 months in the 1990s there was £15,832 debited to the Leaders Allowance Account in respect of Charvet Paris.
A cheque made payable to AIB for £8,332 on February 4, 1991 was used to purchase FF61,605 made payable to Charvet, Paris.
Asked could he be of any assistance to the tribunal about that, Mr Haughey said this has attracted "a great deal of public attention".
"This could be described as having gone in to folklore but I don't think it is as sinister or important as it has been made out to be," he commented.
Mr Haughey said he had discussed the matter with his secretary Katherine Butler. He said he did not have a bank account of his own which which he could go out and get French Francs and Ms Butler recollects him saying to her to give it to his administrator Eileen Foy and ask her to look after it.
He was then asked about a £7,500 cheque dated September 18, 1991 made payable to cash.
Counsel said on the back of the cheque there was a note 'French Franc draft'. Mr Coughlan said AIB was able to trace that cheque as having been used to purchase a FF63,000 draft made payable to Charvet. Asked if he knew anything about that, Mr Haughey said: "No. It is probably in the same category as the other one."
Mr Coughlan brought Mr Haughey through a series of debits from the Leaders Allowance Account in 1990 and 1991.
Mr Haughey said he had no recollection of a cheque for £2,403 on December 20, 1990 which was made payable to Adare Manor.
He was also asked about a series of cheques made payable to Le Coq Hardi restaurant.
The first cheque was for £4,532 dated April 4, 1990. Mr Haughey said he had no recollection of it.
"That would quite clearly be entertainment of maybe a delegation of some sort or maybe a party delegation," he said.