Thursday 22 February 2018

Richardson loses challenge to Mahon Tribunal findings

Tim Healy and Michael Brennan

FORMER Fianna Fail fundraiser Des Richardson, pictured, has lost a High Court challenge to certain findings of the Mahon Tribunal against him.

It came after he was named on the Revenue's tax defaulters list earlier this month with a €108,906 settlement for under-declaration of income tax and capital gains tax.

Mr Richardson, with an address in Serpentine Avenue, Dublin 4, had operated as an executive fundraiser for Fianna Fail in the early 1990s from the Berkeley Court Hotel in Dublin.

Mr Richardson had mounted a High Court challenge to sections in the report of the Mahon Tribunal, which had quizzed him about his involvement in the first "dig out" payment for former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

Mr Richardson insisted that the tribunal was wrong to say he was unable to account for IR£39,000 in funds in a company account – because they never asked him about it.

In her ruling, Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne said she accepted there was a mistake in the Mahon Tribunal's findings in this regard. However, she said it was not the function of the court to correct errors of fact made by the tribunal. She said she had no doubt the tribunal would be happy to correct the error.

The Mahon Tribunal had been investigating the sources of payments made to Mr Ahern's accounts in the 1990s. Mr Richardson was one of the trustees of St Luke's – the constituency office in Drumcondra which was Mr Ahern's political base throughout his career.

Irish Independent

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