Suppose Bertie Ahern Had A Secret Account in Liechtenstein

The German authorities bribed a bank official in Liechtenstein to reveal the names of people with secret accounts there.

Irish Revenue officials asked the Germans for details of any Irish citizens on the list and the Germans, decent fellows that they are, obliged.

That information would have reached the Irish authorities last week, or maybe the week before, and I was just thinking, wouldn’t it be absolutely nuts if they had somehow discovered a bank account in Bertie’s name?

Wouldn’t it be crazy if it turned out that the Revenue Commissioners had presented Bertie with documents related to that secret Liechtenstein bank account and asked him to explain them?

Wouldn’t it cause a political  earthquake if it turned out that Bertie had â€2 million or more in that account?

Of course it would.  He’d have to resign suddenly without any warning.

But of course, this is just idle speculation.  I have no solid information that any of it has a basis in fact.


By the way, have you seen this email that’s going around?








Politics Scandal

Bertie Ahern in the High Court

Sometimes, things just don’t add up, but you can’t quite work out why. That’s the way Bertie’s High Court challenge has affected me, and I’ve had to agonise over it for a couple of months, but I think I have it clear in my mind now.

Let’s recap.

Bertie gave an affidavit of discovery, in which he swore that he had listed all the information relevant to the Tribunal’s inquiries.


However, he also told the Dáil about other material, which he had not included in the affidavit. To put it another way, he informed the Dáil that he hadn’t given the Tribunal the full facts in his sworn affidavit of discovery.

What the fuck? said the Tribunal. Come back here Ahern you lying bastard and tell us about all this other stuff you said in the Dáil!

No, I won’t, said Bertie. Whatever I tell the Dáil is protected by parliamentary privilege. You can’t question me on it.

So there you have it. Bertie’s right, isn’t he? They can’t question him on it.

Well no, actually.

Though I’m not a lawyer, the answer seems perfectly plain to me. The Tribunal isn’t questioning him on his statement to the Dáil. It’s taking that statement as read, and treating it as public domain factual information, endorsed by Bertie himself.

Using that public domain information as the baseline, they want to question him further on what he told the Tribunal and I can’t see how he could legitimately challenge that.

Then again, I might be looking at it too logically. As I said, I’m not a lawyer.


Update: RTÉ are reporting that the Tribunal lawyers have withdrawn their argument about questioning Bertie on his Dáil statements.  Good.  It looks like I was right and they’ve seen reason.  They have no need to question him on anything he said in the Dáil when they can question him on what he said to the Tribunal, using his Dáil statements for corroboration.

Bock’s analysis is thoroughly vindicated.  Why don’t they just hire me at a million euros a day and forget about all these expensive lawyers?  You know it makes sense.



Bertie Ahern Goes To Court



Politics Scandal

Bertie Ahern — A Man Without Honour

Nobody believed Gráinne Carruth’s evidence.

Not the judges. Not the lawyers. Not the press. Not the general public.

In the end, it turned out that not even Gráinne Carruth believed the rehearsed lies she was parroting in defence of her former boss. In the end, it took a threat from the Tribunal’s lawyer to bring Gráinne Carruth to her senses: a threat of imprisonment and financial penalties for perjury.

You see, Gráinne Carruth presented the Tribunal with an utter fabrication, seeking to mislead it into believing that Bertie Ahern never received any payments in foreign currency. This lie was rapidly exposed, causing a deeply uncomfortable tribunal session which saw Gráinne Carruth repeatedly breaking down in terror.

As well she might. This unfortunate woman had become wrapped up in a tangle of fabrications designed to confuse and obfuscate, to divert attention from Bertie Ahern. And now she was facing jail for a misguided loyalty to the man who had paid her an insulting pittance when she worked as his secretary.

I just want to go home, sobbed Gráinne Carruth at one point, and though nobody present felt anything but sympathy, the truth had to be found.

Having previously denied lodging large amounts of UK currency to Bertie Ahern’s account, was she now conceding that she had in fact done so?

As a matter of probability, I do accept that.

And what happened to the bank receipts?

I always gave everything back to Bertie.

Gráinne Carruth is no crook. Gráinne Carruth is simply one more victim of Bertie Ahern’s complete lack of conscience and human empathy. Gráinne Carruth is one more disposable pawn in Bertie Ahern’s ruthless career of using people for his own benefit, and of discarding them when he’s finished.

This man without honour employed Gráinne Carruth at a wage of £66 per week — a sum that was insultingly low even in 1994. This man without honour then allowed Gráinne Carruth to go into the witness stand and tell a fabricated story that benefited her in no way. This man devoid of human feeling or decency was prepared to contemplate a former employee risking prison on his behalf to cover up his dirty dealings.

Gráinne Carruth’s evidence was clearly rehearsed and coached. Given that she hasn’t worked for Bertie since 1999, somebody must have made contact, and what I want to know is this:

  • Did Gráinne Carruth contact Bertie or was it the other way round?
  • Who met Gráinne Carruth prior to the Tribunal sessions?
  • Who coached Gráinne Carruth in telling these lies to protect Bertie Ahern?
  • How did they persuade a woman who no longer works for the constituency to risk everything on behalf of a man without honour, decency or human feeling?
  • What kind of pressure was applied to Gráinne Carruth and who applied it?


Previously :

Bertie Ahern

JC Skinner


Elsewhere: Jazz Biscuit


Bertie Ahern’s English Money

You might be wondering why the Tribunal is asking all these questions about a private account.

Will I tell you?

The Tribunal is trying to investigate whether Bertie received a corrupt payment of £80,000 from developer Owen O Callaghan.  In order to do that, it must investigate any accounts Bertie had anything to do with.

At the moment, they’re looking at Bertie’s account in the Irish Permanent Building Society branch in Drumcondra.

Why is this important?

Well, for one thing, it’s important to find out if Bertie was bribed to push these kinds of projects at the expense of the ordinary citizen.

For another thing, Bertie has told the Tribunal in sworn evidence that he had no income other than his salary.

If it turns out that he had income other than his salary, then he has lied to the Tribunal under oath.  This is an offence punishable by imprisonment and other politicians have already spent time behind bars for the same offence.

If he has received money other than his salary, we need to know its source, to determine if it’s part of a corrupt payment.  We need to know if he received a huge bribe from a property developer to undermine the democratic planning process in this State. 

That would be quite important. 

It would be important to know, for example, if he had any influence on a planning decision to abandon the Neilstown Town Centre scheme and substitute it with the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, which is not a town centre but a collection of shops in a covered shopping mall.  (Thus depriving tens of thousands of people a proper town centre, and enriching a developer).

We also need to know if he paid tax on this income.  If not, then he was defrauding the State while he was Minister for Finance and also when he was Prime Minister: right up to the present day.

So, what happened yesterday at the Tribunal?

Well, we learned about a lot of activity in bank accounts.

I thought it might make it clearer if I put it all into a table, so here’s a list of dates where UK money was converted to Irish and lodgments were subsequently made to the accounts of Bertie and his two daughters, aged 13 and 15.

Cash money, by the way. 

Not cheques. 

Cash.  Bundles of notes.

UK currency Conversion to IR£ equivalent Amount lodged Account holder
Mar 9th 1994      
UK£4,000 IR£4119.59 IR£4119.59 Bertie
Mar 9th 1994      
UK£1,000 IR£1,028.40 IR£1,028.40 Cecelia
Mar 9th 1994      
UK£1,000 IR£1,028.40 IR£1,028.40 Georgina
May 9th 1994      
UK£5,450 IR£5,518.99 IR£5,518.99  
    IR£3,518.99 Bertie
    IR£1,000 Cecelia
    IR£1,000 Cecelia
Oct 28th 1994      
UK £4,000 IR£3,970.19 IR£3,970.19 Bertie
  Total IR£15,565.57  

Isn’t that an incredible coincidence?  On each occasion, an amount of UK money was converted to Irish, and in the very same branch, on the very same day, exactly the same amount of Irish money was lodged to accounts owned by Bertie Ahern and his two children?

Now, remember, Bertie is the man who swore to the Tribunal that his income derived from his pay cheques as a government minister.  I wasn’t aware that our government was paying its ministers in UK currency.  Were you?

I think we’re entitled to know where our Prime Minister happened to come by such large amounts of foreign currency in cash.  Don’t you?

Furthermore, in case you thought we were talking about a piddling amount of money, let me remind you of something.  We now know the identity of the secretary in Bertie’s office who lodged this cash on his behalf.  This secretary was being paid IR£66 per week in 1994.  That’s IR£3,432.

The secretary lodged IR£15,565.57 on Bertie’s behalf that year: nearly five times her annual wage. In fact, between them, Bertie’s two children had more money from these lodgments than Bertie paid his secretary for the entire year.  You might also be thinking that £2,000 each was nice going for a 13-year-old and a 15-year-old to have in their accounts. 

In addition to all this, you might remember our old friend, the B/T account, from which a big pile of money was given to Bertie’s girlfriend to buy a house.  This was the account started by Tim Collins who denied under oath that the B stood for Bertie, even though he’d opened another account — the D/T account — with Des Richardson.

Well, the former manager of the branch gave evidence that he always believed Bertie to be the owner of this account, and we heard earlier in the week that there’s no documentation in existence linking it legally with Fianna Fáil. 

The manager told the Tribunal that on October 26th 1994, UK£20,000 was exchanged one-for-one with Irish money, producing IR£20,000, and that a cash sum of IR£20,000 was immediately lodged to the B/T account.  These transactions were done on the same machine by the same teller and the lodgment followed immediately after the exchange of currency.

Isn’t that just an incredible coincidence?

How much are we up to now?  What’s the running total?

Oh yeah.  IR£35,565.57 (or 45,168.27 in euros, at a time when almost nobody in the entire country earned that much in a whole year by honest work). 

Not bad going for one little branch in only eight months.

Now, all this is separate from the €38,000 euro equivalent in dig-out money from Paddy the Plasterer and his cartoon friends.

And it isn’t the €50,000 in cash he’d saved the previous year despite his ruinous marital separation.  You know: the money that just happened to equate to a conversion from UK£25,000 and US$45,000.

And it’s not the €40,000 in cash he received from Mick Wall to refurbish a brand new house.  That came in December.

I’m also not counting the conversions in the following year from UK£10,000 and UK£20,000. Let’s call them €40,000.

So that’s all adding up to €213,168.27 from sources other than Bertie’s salary, despite his evidence on oath to the Tribunal, and this is only the money we know of that went through some bank accounts.  Don’t forget that Bertie is going to the High Court on April 1st in an effort to prevent the Tribunal asking about other currency transactions and other bank accounts.  He’s also attempting to prevent the Tribunal from asking about expert advice he received on foreign currency conversions.  Other than that, he has nothing to hide, it seems.

Jesus, we seem to be well past IR£80,000 already and we’re not even breaking a sweat.




Bertie Ahern — A Man Without Honour


Bertie Ahern Goes To Court

Bertie and Tim’s B/T Account. Do They Think We’re Complete idiots?

The Kindest, Most trusting and Most Innocent Of Them All

Bertie Ahern. Busted!!

The Friends of Bertie Ahern



That’s Ireland –  Huge Digout at Bertie’s Office

Gavin’s Blog

Public Inquiry


Politics Scandal

Bertie Ahern Goes To Court

Bertie’s court case isn’t that complicated, you know, when you take a few minutes to look into it.

Will we do that?

Will we just take a minute or two to examine what our Leader is up to?

Right. Well you see, Bertie produced certain documents when demanded by Tribunal, but he also made a statement on the matter in the Dáil.

Now, this got the Tribunal worried because it looked like Bert was claiming to have more information than he’d handed over. It looked like Bert had said, There ya go, Mr So-called Tribunal, here’s everything I have, har, har, har.

But now it sounded like he was telling the Dáil there was another stash of stuff he never mentioned anything about, even under oath. Not even in a sworn affidavit.

The Tribunal was so concerned by this statement that it wrote to Bertie in October 2006, looking for clarification.

The Tribunal’s letter pointed out seven things it believed Ahern told the Dáil, and these things weren’t covered by the documents he’d handed over.

The Tribunal believed that Ahern stated as follows in the Dáil:

  • he had examined the personal financial records relating to his wife and children as far back as 1977,
  • he had sought professional advice on his records for the previous seven years
  • he had surrendered full documentation on the loans (which the Tribunal was inquiring into)
  • he had supplied all documentation requested by the Tribunal
  • his documents included legal and tax advice
  • he had up-to-date paperwork on the famous dig-out loans from Paddy the Plasterer and all the other good buddies
  • he possessed full records on capital gains and gift tax.

So what does this all mean?

Well, you see Ahern swore an affidavit of discovery to the Tribunal in March 2006, and these items aren’t on it, according to the Tribunal. in other words, he left them out, even though he was supposed to hand over everything.

It means the Tribunal was tearing off its wigs and dancing on them. It means the judges were saying That lying bastard Ahern never gave us what we asked for, the lying bastard.

In effect, the Tribunal is saying, Bert, you told us one thing, and you told the Dáil something else. Now which is it?

What do you think Bert replied?

Well, he said, there’s a great principle at stake here. What an elected representative says in Parliament is privileged and he can’t be questioned on it by anyone. It’s in the Constitution, and I must protect the Constitution.

You see? Bertie the Democrat.

Listen carefully to what Bertie is telling you.

He’s going to the High Court, to stop the Tribunal asking these questions. Bertie claims that an elected representative can’t be questioned on a statement he makes to our elected parliament. Not even if that statement is totally at odds with something he told a Tribunal of Inquiry. Not even if what he tells the Dáil is a pack of lies. Not even when that Tribunal is investigating the bribery of politicians.

Now, wouldn’t it seem logical, if there is a contradiction between something he told the Tribunal and the Dáil, that somebody has been lied to? You would have thought so, wouldn’t you?

And wouldn’t it seem logical, if the Tribunal is prevented from asking the question, that our elected Parliament would be asking him the same question. It might be saying, well, Bert, you told the Tribunal one thing and you told us something else. What’s going on, Bert? And did you lie to us, Bert?

So, let’s see now.

Did he tell the truth to both of them?

Or did he tell the truth to the Dáil and lie to the Tribunal?

Or did he tell the truth to the Tribunal and lie to the Dáil?

It can’t be all three, you know: even I can see that, and I’m not a lawyer or a politician or anything clever at all.

So which is it, Bert? Hmm?


None of Your Damned Business …

… said Bertie Ahern to the Tribunal.


None of the Tribunal’s damned business that he had a safe in his office stuffed full of the cash he managed to save during his separation.

None of the Tribunal’s business and therefore none of your damned business and none of my damned business.

I see.

Perhaps somebody should remind Bertie of one thing.

Nobody mentioned his marital difficulties until Bertie himself went on the six o’clock news and wept salt tears in front of the nation as he told us about his marriage breakdown. Nobody had said a single word about his marriage until that moment, but when Bertie used it as an excuse for all the money he accepted, he made it a legitimate question.

Ah! thought many people, so that’s why you had to take those handouts! You poor, misunderstood thing. And how brave of you to reveal the intimate details of your separation.

How remarkable that, in the midst of all this financial difficulty, he somehow managed to set aside fifty thousand pounds in used notes.

And how imprudent of our Minister for Finance that he didn’t feel the need to use a bank for all this money, even though interest rates were approaching twenty per cent at the time.

And how astonishing that he explained this lapse by saying that opening a new account would have proved his marriage was over and he couldn’t face up to that reality at the time.

How astounding that we had a finance minister who kept no bank account, was routinely handed bags of money and couldn’t face reality.

And how worrying that, in spite of having huge wads of cash all over the place, he found it in his heart to accept gifts of thousands from people, some of whom could barely afford it and some of whom were intimately involved with big business.

And how remarkable that his decisions as Minister for Finance should benefit those very businesses his donors were so closely associated with.


And again, how impressive it was of Bertie that he could save fifty thousand pounds in cash despite his ruinous circumstances.

The same circumstances that he yesterday informed the Tribunal were none of its damned business.



Tribunal transcripts

Politics Scandal

Bertie Ahern. Busted!!


Ahern has announced his resignation.


Hey Bertie!! Howya doin, Kiddo? I didn’t recognise you there for a minute with the size of your nose. I swear to God, that hooter just keeps getting longer and longer every time I see you

Did you spot that report in today’s paper? That’s right, Bert. Three quarters of Irish workers earn less than €38,000 a year. Wasn’t that how much you gave yourself as a raise not too long ago? What a coincidence.

Look, Bert, I know you need the money. I know you’re going through the world’s longest and most expensive divorce, but Bert, it’s been nearly twenty years. Surely you must be past the worst of it by now.

I couldn’t get over that guy O’Connor. You know, the former boss of NCB stockbrokers? That’s right. The guy you listed as a personal friend that time you went on the six o’clock news and cried. Jesus, I was nearly in tears myself.

You remember what you told the nation, Bert. Don’t you? You told us that a bunch of your close personal friends got together and raised a bit of cash to help you with your legal bills after the separation. Remember? And you told us the money was a loan, a debt of honour, and you assured each and every one of the donors you were going to pay them back.

Well, imagine my surprise when Mr O’Connor gave evidence to the Tribunal that

  • he wasn’t a friend of yours,
  • you never told him you’d pay the money back
  • he thought it was to help run your constituency office
  • it came from his company and not from him
  • his colleagues in the company knew about the donation and
  • he paid the money on foot of a false invoice supplied by your fixer, Des Richardson.

Jesus, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. So he wasn’t a friend of yours at all, and he didn’t think he was helping you with the separation?

You realise what he’s saying, Bertie, don’t you. For your sake, I hope you do.

Bertie, he’s saying it wasn’t a dig-out!!!

I don’t know, Bert. It’s unbelievable. How are you going to lie your way out of this?

Dammit, Bert, isn’t it a pity you didn’t manage to slip that law through in time.

What law?

You know the one, Bert. The law that will give you the power to close down a Tribunal if you don’t like what it’s finding out. The one you announced last week. Surely you didn’t forget so soon?

And look, Bertie, this Richardson guy. Isn’t he the same one who used to be a consultant to Rohan Holdings? Sure he is. And didn’t he get a million in fees from Rohan Holdings the same year you changed the Finance Act? Ah, you remember, Bertie. Course you do. The year you changed the Act so that Rohan Holdings could claim two million back in tax. The same year Richardson handed you fifty grand from friends because they were so worried about your separation. Friends like NCB Stockbrokers who now claim they don’t know you. The bastards.

By the way, Bertie, I nearly forgot something else. Jesus, my memory is as bad as yours.

What was all that about the casino and the bag of dollars? That guy who was trying to set up the casino in the Phoenix Park — didn’t he bring you to several Manchester United matches? That’s right. He did. And didn’t the Tribunal say something about lodgements to your account in dollars? Oh yeah. That’s right. And didn’t you say there was no dollars, don’t be ridiculous? And didn’t it turn out that casino-man made contributions to other people in dollars? Oh, now that I think of it, that would be right.

And you would be? Oh that’s right: the leader of the governing party in Ireland, and the Prime Minister.

Of course. Right.

I see.


More on this site :

UPDATE 2nd April 2008:

Bertie announced his resignation today.

Here’s a selection of Bock posts about our Leader.

In the Name of God, Go!

Bertie Ahern in the High Court

Bertie Ahern Goes To Court

Bertie Ahern – A Man Without Honour

Bertie Ahern, Celia Larkin and the Loan

Bertie and Tim’s B/T Account. Do They Think We’re Complete idiots?

Locating a Children’s Hospital


Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid

Bertie Ahern




The Limerick Blogger


On Bock:

kick it on

Politics World

Three Leaders, Three Standards : Bertie, Olmert and Suu Kyi

As I write this, Georgia are pounding the living shit out of Namibia, and all I’m thinking is, why the fuck couldn’t Ireland have done that?  

And then I’m thinking who the fuck cares?  Look at Burma.

Here we are, living in a corrupt, fucked up little country, where senior politicians have no shame.  We have a prime minister — minister for finance at the time of the donations — who can’t remember skulking around with the price of a house in cash in a duffel bag, and who sees nothing wrong with doing so.  His party supporters see nothing wrong with such a senior politician being given this money by a circle of businessmen (or by one single company, depending on whose theory you prefer).

A tribunal discovers all kinds of irregular money transactions involving this politician.  The same politician tells the tribunal three or four different stories to account for this, and even suffers an attack of amnesia over some of the details.  Trivial details, admittedly, such as when and where and why he changed the price of a house in Irish currency into the price of a house in British currency.  One of the judges on the tribunal accuses our prime minister of telling them two diametrically opposite stories or, in other words, what would be called perjury if he did it in a court of law instead of at a sworn tribunal.

Has this man no fucking shame?,  I ask myself, and I hear you laugh a hollow chuckle.

Shame?  Are you fucking kidding?  Bertenstein?


Ehud Olmert, Israel’s prime minister, is currently being investigated by police over a property deal. 

Did he get money? 


Was he given a house?


Well, what the fuck happened?

Oh, they think he might have bought an apartment at a good price.


Can you imagine anything remotely like that happening in Ireland?  Can you?

Can you imagine a policeman so much as glancing at our revered Leader?  Like fuck!  Unless he happens to be a mutant Ninja career-suicide policeman who has no plans for any sort of promotion ever again, and who wants to spend the rest of his days counting ragwort plants in Wolf Hill.

And they call Ireland a First-World country.

Over there in Burma, you have a crowd of monks standing up to the murderous thieving bastards who hijacked democracy in that country and grow rich out of child labour and genocide. 

Over there, they have the incredibly courageous Aung San Suu Kyi who has sacrificed a lifetime in defence of the  principle of democracy. 

They have priests who care nothing for property or money or power or buggering little children, but who have the courage to risk everything by standing up to injustice.

And our politicians would probably call Burma a Third World country.

The worthless, crooked, thieving bastards.


Previously: Bertenstein


 kick it on

Politics Scandal


Back in 1994, £50,000 would buy you a house. 

Not a swish house in a fancy area, it’s true, but a good house nonetheless, in a solid, decent neighbourhood.

The kind of house and neighbourhood that decent people have to save for and work hard to pay for over twenty or twenty-five years.  The sort of house where you could raise and educate a family, possibly teach them solid  values of decency and honesty.  The kind of house where the children of an average family could get a good start in life and perhaps go on to do better than their parents.

Back in 1994, when £50,000 would buy you such a house, Bertie Ahern was clawing his way out of deep financial trouble.  His marriage had collapsed, he had no home of his own and businessmen were passing the hat around to help him out.  Not so long ago, before the General Election, Bertie went on the main evening news and shed a tear at the way he was being treated by the media, who wanted to know about his financial transactions during 1994 and 1995.  He was deeply upset by this unwarranted intrusion into a very painful time in his life, and the Nation’s heart softened.  The people re-elected him.

Well, today Bertie Ahern told the Mahon Tribunal that he couldn’t remember the precise reason why, in 1995, he withdrew £50,000 from his bank account and transferred it to another account owned by his partner.  Remember now: this is a man we were asked to believe was at his wits’ end in back then.  A man barely surviving a ruinous separation settlement with his ex-wife. 

And yet, at such a difficult time in his life, this man was able to withdraw  enough cash to buy a house outright and put it into a safe in his office.  Personally, I don’t have a safe, and I don’t know anyone else who owns one either, though of course it isn’t a crime to have a safe.  It’s just that I don’t know many people who have enough money to buy a house sitting in their account — especially people who are going through divorce or separation. 

You’d imagine Bertie would at least remember why he withdrew such a huge amount, wouldn’t you?


Bertie just can’t seem to recall. 

It was no big deal, he told the Tribunal.



The Friends of Bertie Ahern



kick it on

Politics Scandal

Te Morituri Salutant

Well, Bertie is finally going before the Tribunal to explain how he was given a pile of money and a house by his builder friends while he was Minister for Finance, and how there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a finance minister receiving huge financial gifts from property developers.


I was just trawling through the back catalogue and I thought it might be useful to refresh our memories of previous bile-filled outpourings, so here you go, in no particular order.


The Manchester Monkeys

More Bertie

Bertie Ahern

Be Afraid.  Be Very Afraid

Bertie’s Parallel Universe

The Friends of Bertie Ahern

Bertie Ahern: Please Quit Now

Bertie Ahern – Scientist, Accountant and Statesman

General Election

The Power of Belief

The Sisters of Mercy

The Feast of the Blessed Condescension