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How Bertie's own cabinet had lambasted inquiry

THE Mahon Report contains scathing comments about the conduct of some ministers in Bertie Ahern's government, accusing them of "extraordinary and unprecedented attacks on the tribunal".

The report said the attacks were designed to erode its independence and collapse its inquiry into Bertie Ahern's finances.

Although not named in the report, these are some of the comments made by ministers at the time.

Micheal Martin:

"I think he [Bertie Ahern] has explained in fairly understandable terms, the situation after his marriage breakup, the situation in terms of him providing for his daughter's education and so on, and the whole situation about where he lived in St Luke's, to be honest [I] found that to a certain extent unnecessary, that he had to go into that detailed explanation."

"It's a matter for the tribunal to do that, but I just found it from a personal perspective, difficult to comprehend."

Willie O'Dea:

"I'm waiting for the day the tribunal is going to go back to Bertie Ahern and question him about his

First Communion money, whether he got it in notes or in coins, did he put it in a piggy bank or a real bank, or did he get a half crown from Owen O'Callaghan."

Dermot Ahern:

"I wasn't at the tribunal but from what I've heard from the media, I find it quite astonishing, the line of questioning."

Dick Roche:

"It [the questioning] was petty, it was personal, it was prurient, and at times it bordered on voyeuristic."

Irish Independent