Bertie Ahern, Celia Larkin and the Loan

 Posted by on February 25, 2008  Add comments
Feb 252008
 

UPDATE

Do They Think We’re Idiots?

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Original post.

It certainly looks like an act of generosity, doesn’t it?

A kind-hearted politician takes pity on a staff member in trouble. The staff member’s two elderly aunts risk losing their rented home of sixty years, but just in the nick of time the politician arranges a loan of £30,000 to cover the cost of buying it for the old ladies. The money comes from his constituency account, so nobody loses out, and it’s all a discreet, private transaction between employee and employer. Thank God the elderly women are saved.

It’s easy to see how people would be uncomfortable with the Tribunal, isn’t it? What will they be asking about next? Do they want to see the old ladies thrown out at the side of the road? And anyway, wasn’t it Fianna Fáil’s business?

Well, no, actually.

Not when it turns out that the staff member was the politician’s life partner.

Not when Bertie refused for days to disclose this person’s identity to the Tribunal.

Not when it turns out that the staff member still owns the house.

Not when it turns out that the loan was only paid back three weeks ago after the Tribunal started asking about it

Not when the loan remained outstanding for fifteen years: to most people, that would look more like a gift than a loan, but that’s not for me to say.

So. Where are we?

Well, we seem to have a loan on highly preferential terms to a woman with whom Bertie would soon share another house

Not a stranger, or simply a staff member, but his partner in all things, financial and otherwise.

You see, this loan was made on terms that no bank would offer. This was a loan that was to be repaid “on demand”, whenever Bertie’s constituency organisation needed it back, which as it turned out wasn’t to be for fifteen years. They just seemed to get on fine without this money — enough cash to buy a house — which had been lent to Bertie’s life partner, who used it to purchase a property which she still owns. And though they’ve subsequently separated, Bertie and Celia were very much together at the time.

But what of the account from where the loan money came? Well, this account was set up in 1989, around the time Bertie was beginning to receive unsolicited donations and dig-outs from every quarter, much to his bewilderment. The fund’s purpose, Bertie said, was to provide a contingency fund should his offices need refurbishment. Strange then, that although ‚ €150,000 was subsequently spent on the offices, there seemed to be no need to call in the loan to Bertie’s girlfriend.

The account was opened by his supporter, Tim Collins, who named it “B/T”. Clearly this couldn’t possibly have stood for “Bertie/Tim”.  They insisted it stood for “Building/Trust”, which is what it was renamed recently, after the Tribunal took an interest in it.  But how do we account for the backslash?

Let’s set/up a building/trust fund, in/case we/need building/repairs. After that, let’s all/go for a/pint. Anyone see my feckin/anorak?

In Fianna/Fáil, you’re never/far from a backslash.

So there you have it. This is what the hard-hearted, evil tribunal is asking:

Who really controlled the funds in the account?

Who really benefited from it?

Where did the money come from in the first place?

These are not unreasonable questions to ask a former Finance Minister who is now our Prime Minister. After all, a country needs to be sure that its top politicians, and especially the head of government, aren’t in anybody’s pocket.

These are fair questions, you might conclude. The kind of questions that need to be asked in a functioning democracy, in spite of Bertie’s complaints about intrusions into his privacy.

Not to mention his attempt to limit the Tribunal, for some reason best known to himself.

  18 Responses to “Bertie Ahern, Celia Larkin and the Loan”

Comments (17) Pingbacks (1)
  1.  

    it all depends on whether you subscribe to the ‘decent workin’ man’ view of Bertie or not…

    Everything is seen through that lens, and the truth, well that just doesn’t matter. It’s all about tribal loyalties and the fear held by some that they’ll be found out themselves if they ask to many awkward questions of others… :)

    Three certainties in life: Death, Taxes, and the desire to avoid both.

  2.  

    But I heard some people from outside the tribunal on the radio. They said he was a decent man and that it was disgraceful what was happening to him after all he’d done for the country. They said he should be left alone and not grilled over ‘piddling amounts of money’.

    Jesus, Bock. Now I don’t know who to believe.

  3.  

    He’s a corrupt gobshite, please can we organise a march or something to say we want the fecker gone. In the mean time have a laugh at his expense.

  4.  

    If he gets out of this one unscathed then i give up..I mean i think i mentioned something about him getting away with a murder even if he was caught over the body ,with the murder weapon in his hand screaming “I glad i killed the bastard”…

    The “Ah ,sure its only Bertie” brigade are obviously a much more powerful entity than i want to contemplate..

    Obviously the Tribunal should be allowed get on with its job,but why do i get the feeling that it will be a slap on the wrists at best for all involved???

  5.  

    Q. Who really controlled the funds in the account?
    A. Bertie

    Q. Who really benefited from it?
    A. Bertie & family

    Q. Where did the money come from in the first place?

    A. Guys with diggers?

  6.  

    Read Fintan O’Toole in the IT today and you find that this money which according to Bertie wasn’t needed by the party, was given to Celia at a time when the party (specifically in the person of BA himself as party treasurer) was asking its own members to loan their personal monies to the party to keep things afloat! It stinks and anyone who thinks otherwise has obviously done so much Coke they have destroyed their olfactory nerve!

  7.  

    In that case, Bertie didn’t think the money in the account belonged to Fianna Fáil.

  8.  

    Or he just thought that he had the right to distribute it as he wished regardless of its provenance? Surrounded as he seems to have been by cronies who let him run riot with the funds it is an understandable mistake. And technically it was St. Luke’s which of course is not Fianna Fáil!
    Silly me! How could I have possibly misjudged him.

  9.  

    Bertie the man with all those marital money problems back in the day. And yet he had money to buy houses with.

    And that gets me thinking. How much untraceable cash did he spend through all those years.

    You know the way we all go to the shops and buy groceries or underwear or bedding or household cleaning agents? Yeah, all that stuff. I’d like to see an audit of all Bertie’s spending on the basics.

    And sure if Bertie never got a chance to do the shopping, being so busy and not owning a car and all that, then somebody must have done that for him. So did he hand them a wad and say, “Get whatever’s needed, and a few pizzas will ya, I’m not getting a free dinner this Saturday.”

  10.  

    Paddyanglican, you saying that Bertie is a coke head ?

  11.  

    I’d say he’s more like a Fanta Orangeman these days, Sniffle.

  12.  

    a sack of spuds for Bertie?:)
    Just reading this…
    http://potatoesforbertieahern.blogspot.com/

  13.  

    I turns out that the lad that opened the account Tim bought the Oldbidge Estate the location of The Battle of The Boyne and resold it shortly afterwards to the State for a profit of 750K

    Bertie was the man that promoted the state purchase.

    Small world

  14.  

    You sorry set of wakners, don’t you realise the whole world is laughing at you ? In every other country in the civilised world your fearless leader would have been locked up, three quarters of the front bench with him. I am from England, my wife is Irish, and ashamed to be. I don’t know how you dare hold your heads up. Hope you all get what you deserve!!

  15.  

    ..i hate to say it,but I agree with senoj ,I do not understand how such a well educated and clued in population can listen this nonsense day in and day out….its like ,Bertie gives his eveidence,…its found to be flawed…and then he comes along and says “…OK,how about this ?…” and off he goes with his next story…incredible….

  16.  

    They dont have enough evidence for a prosecution,sadly. Did Ms Larkin pay full interest as her solicitor states? Me thinks not.

  17.  

    I believe they charged some nominal level of simple interest.

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