At long last we’re about to see something coming back from the Mahon / Flood Tribunal.
Anyone who followed the Bertie Ahern module must be agog to see what the learned judges make of his ludicrous shenanigans, though Ahern is by no means alone. Cast your mind back to the evidence from Ray Burke, Charlie Haughey the old crook, and Frank Dunlop, dispenser of bribes to councillors, who turned and wriggled on the hook until eventually collapsing under threat of jail. Think of the old miser, George Redmond, a man so stingy that he wanted the Tribunal to extend its lunch hour so he could go home for a sandwich instead of paying for one in the local café. (George, you might remember, was caught at Dublin Airport carrying a suitcase full of cash, and was later convicted of corruption and jailed).
The list of gobshites is so long, the memory buckles under its weight. Apart from those already mentioned, let’s not forget the appalling Bailey brothers, Joseph Murphy Senior, Liam Lawlor and the absurd puffed-up buffoon, Pádraig Flynn.
On the credit side, of course, we have to honour the memory of the late, great James Gogarty, the man who set the whole thing in motion and whose evidence delighted a nation as he ran rings around the lawyers, despite being a very elderly man.
I’m looking forward to seeing this report, and in due course I’ll do my best to summarise some of the more entertaining and juicy bits.
It took fourteen years and cost a fortune, but we need to know what was going on. The mindset behind the crookery that Mahon and Flood investigated is the very same as the mindset that allowed crooked bankers to run rampant and destroy our economy and perhaps our society.
If we’re ever going to rebuild this country on principles of honesty, efficiency and fair dealing, we need to see clearly where we’ve come from so that we can try to avoid ever again going there.
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