The Kindest, Most trusting and Most Innocent Of Them All

Haughey once described Bertie Ahern as the most ruthless, the most devious, the most cunning of them all.

How wrong he was, but what could you expect from a man like Haughey who was so venal and corrupt himself? Naturally he’d expect to find the same mean traits in all around him, and I have to admit, even I was taken in by this cruel distortion of Bertie’s true nature: trusting, kind, generous and open.

Why have I changed my view?

Simple. After the news this weekend I now know that Bertie was fooled and misled by some of the people closest to him, people he had every reason to trust with his life.

His constituency headquarters, St Luke’s, needed refurbishment, and a fund was set up for that purpose. Bert’s confidant, Tim Collins, opened an account called the “B/T” account and before long it contained £40,000. But then, somehow, without Bertie’s knowledge, his girlfriend was given £30,000 out of the account to buy a house. Imagine that! Imagine if your girlfriend did that and never told you?

But there’s worse. Guess who approved the loan? That’s right: Bertie’s own lawyer, who was a trustee of the money, and who never told Bert a single thing about it either. Nor did he tell Bert that there were no repayment terms. That Celia could keep the money for as long as she liked unless Fianna Fail asked for it back, which in fairness, they eventually did, just after the Tribunal started asking about it. And in fairness to Celia, she did pay back the money, with full interest, or actually, just to be precise, with the interest the money would have earned if it had remained sitting in the account, though I’m not sure what sort of account it was. I think current accounts pay quite a low rate of interest: perhaps as little as 0%.

It gets even worse for poor Bert. Not only did his lawyer and his girlfriend fail to tell him about this transaction, but his lawyer then went ahead and provided the conveyancing services for the purchase of the house, which Celia still owns.

What a fool Bertie must be feeling now. And how foolish he must feel when he remembers all the money he had to borrow on behalf of the Party to refurbish the offices when all along he could simply have asked his girlfriend to give it back.

As you know, Bertie has often told us he’s an accountant, so it’s a bit of a mystery how the existence of the B/T account could have slipped his mind. Especially when, as far as he knew, it contained enough money to buy a fine Victorian house on the North Circular Road in 1993. But anyway, for whatever reason, Bert just plain forgot to go looking for this money which belonged to the Party, and not to him personally or to Celia Larkin. He just forgot, as any accountant might. Or alternatively, he forgot the money didn’t belong to him.


This, after all, is a man so trusting that, as co-signatory, he was in the habit of signing blank cheques (made out to Cash) for the use of his boss, Charlie Haughey.

Oh Bertie, how could you have let them land you in this fine mess?

You poor, harmless, innocent, forgetful, trusting accountant.


Bertie, Celia and the Loan


10 replies on “The Kindest, Most trusting and Most Innocent Of Them All”

I need to get a life. Just howled laughing at some of your stuff. Laughed out loud. How refreshing to read a writer. Serious stuff if one can take it seriously. Putin’s man in jeans is now in the hot seat and I hope he doesn’t get scorched. Looked at the rent a crowd and wondered at the miracle of PR. Makes me wonder what kind of world we are leaving to the next generation. Thank you for the laughs.
Absolutely worth the time spent reading you. I do have a life after all and it will start with your blog. Jo from Limerick.

Just read your Haughey piece for the first time there,and it really summed up my families experience of the 80’s.My father had the (dis)pleasure or meeting Haughey once .Said he was a snob,it was sais in such a way and because my dad doesnt swear that you could have put “cunt” instead of “snob”.. any i digress..
Really though comparing Haughy to Bertie in the crook stakes is liek comparing Keith Richards to Westlif in music terms,both part of the industry but on differing levels..

always enlightening, sugar! i’ve learned more about modern irish culture/politics in the past year reading all y’all than ever before. (i know, i’m an american, it’s agiven that we’re slow like that)
btw, three cheers for brattleboro, vermont! ever since the dems took control of congress, i’ve been waiting for SOMEONE to pull those 2 up on charges!

Paddy died and went to heaven. As he stood in front of St. Peter at the Pearly Gates, he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him.

He asked, “What are all those clocks?”

St. Peter answered, “Those are Lie-Clocks. Everyone on Earth has a Lie-Clock. Every time you lie the hands on your clock will move.”

“Oh,” said the Paddy “Whose clock is that?”

“That’s Mother Teresa’s. The hands have never moved, indicating that she never told a lie.”

“Incredible,” said the Paddy. “And whose clock is that one?”

St. Peter responded, “That’s Abraham Lincoln’s clock. The hands have moved twice telling us that Abe told only two lies in his entire life.”

“Where’s Bertie Ahern’s?” asked the man.

“Bertie’s clock is in God’s office. He’s using it as a fan.”

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