Bertie Ahern

Has Bertie been at the sherry or something?

Ah poor Bertie. He shouldn’t be at peace talks in Spain, he really should be mucking out his jail cell in mountjoy.

Bertie was the greatest Leader this country ever had.

A legend alright

Anyone ever read, or read about, Jon Ronson’s book ‘The Psychopath Test’?

He makes the case that a huge proportion of business, political, and religious leaders score extremely highly on the test, in other words a lot of our leaders are technically psychopathic in their attitudes and behaviours.

A few of the characteristics include glib and superficial charm, grandiose self-worth, pathological lying, conning and manipulativeness, lack of remorse or guilt, and having a parasitic lifestyle. When you see the shit that Bertie continues to come out with, he’s at the very least a full blown sociopath. He couldn’t give a fuck about what happened under his watch, and whatever it was, it certainly wasn’t his fault.

Wasnt Ahern the most successful politican in Irish history?

Unfortunately he was a master at politics, all he cared about was power.

Still with all that, I think his legacy will be better than those of Cowen’s and Lenihan’s. Reading that book about Anglo at the moment by Simon Carswell. Cowen’s brief shameful stint as Minister for Finance is exposed badly.

he brought peace to this land- was a great statesman in europe

his only fault was trusting the regulatory authorities too much

+1. Bandwagoning types just trying to find a scapegoat, same folks fawning over him while in power no doubt. Much like Prince Charlie, history will look kindly on Bertie.

plenty in the pocket doesnt prevent starvation of the soul

The Celtic Tigers misers who give out about some failings that may have happened under his watch with the economy should remember the peace he brought to this land

Didn’t you once describe Ahern as a corrupt spiv?

Hopefully not, the dithering clown.

dont think i ever used the term spiv in my life

coming from Italy id have a more tolerant attitude to corruption than others on here. corruption helps things get done

[quote=“KIB man, post: 629547”]
Wasnt Ahern the most successful politican in Irish history.
[/quote]I doubt if that claim passes muster. He never secured an overall majority.

Colm Keena has written a book on Bertie. Extract from it in the Irish Times yesterday. The stuff about his attitude to money is interesting. A lot of brave talk from the likes of Royston now that Bertie is safely out of power and generally hated in the country though. He never really thought that he should speak up while Ahern was Taoiseach and lying to Tribunals.

Edit: Probably easier to read it on the IT website here.

He seemed like a man of the people yet wouldn’t buy a round. He seemed uninterested in money yet enjoyed the comforts of
prosperity. And the public thought he was a modest, sociable man, but the former taoiseach could be frightening in private.
In an exclusive extract from his new book, Public Affairs Correspondent COLM KEENA profiles the man behind the image
IT WOULD BE FOOLISH to believe that the public persona of such a successful populist politician as Bertie Ahern was a true or full reflection of what the man was actually like. During his years in government he had such a strong image as a man of the people, and one who was present in the media and the public arena, that it was easy to believe his public and private personas were one and the same. Mary O’Rourke famously remarked that everyone in Ireland had met him.
The first time I met him was outside a deserted count centre near Sheriff Street, in his constituency, during the 1989 general election. I had long hair and was wearing jeans and runners, standing beside my bicycle. A black Mercedes pulled up and out got a tousle-haired minister for labour, wearing an anorak or car coat. I explained that I was a reporter from the Irish Press , and we discussed the extraordinary deprivation visible all around us. He spoke fondly of the local constituents and appeared to have all the time in the world to stop and chat. When I got back to the office I told colleagues about the meeting, about what an attractive character he was, entirely lacking in arrogance.
My first view of a less attractive aspect of his character came when he gave evidence to the Moriarty Tribunal of Inquiry in 1999. In the witness box he gave an impression of barely contained anger. He eyeballed John Coughlan, the tribunal barrister who was questioning him, and my impression was that he filled the large, high-ceilinged room with an air of menace. I thought how I wouldn’t like to meet him in a dark lane at night, and how, if I did, I might just turn and run.
The tension surrounding his appearance in June 2000 followed him out afterwards to the yard in Dublin Castle, where jostling by photographers trying to get pictures threatened to turn ugly. Ahern intervened to calm the situation. “Ah, lads, lads,” he said, in his familiar, friendly way, urging everyone to relax. “Someone will get hurt.”
He was a completely different person from the one who had appeared in the witness box. The tribunal, of course, did not allow the broadcasting of its proceedings.
A number of political reporters came to Dublin Castle to watch Ahern give evidence that day, and I remarked to some of them afterwards that Ahern in the witness box had been nothing like the politician I knew through the media. “He’s not a nice man at all,” one of the correspondents replied. None of his colleagues demurred.
What struck me was how Ahern had so successfully created his powerful public image using the media, while those in the media who had the most dealings with him had a view of him entirely at variance with the image they were involved in creating.
Gerald Kenny, a party activist who lives in the Dublin Central constituency and works as a counsellor and psychotherapist, remains friendly with Ahern. In his view Ahern, despite his public persona, is filled with an unusual level of anger, a “natural fury”. “On one or two occasions, when speaking to [party] loyalists, I have seen him get into a mode of public speaking that was almost demagoguery.”
Kenny believes that Ahern was sincere in his interest in religion. Ahern, he said, would make observations such as, “We are all only passing through life,” and that in this life we should try to help others. Yet he had another side that was without mercy and devoted to the winning and holding of power. In Kenny’s view, everyone in Fianna Fáil knew Ahern was ruthless, and everyone was intimidated by him, including the government.
For Kenny, Ahern is a shy, retiring man who forced himself to act as the hail-fellow-well-met character he presents in public.
“I remember one occasion when I was in charge of finance in the cumann. We used to have chicken-and-chips functions, and we had one up at the Parkside Hotel. Bertie was invited as guest speaker. There were three or four of us sitting at the top, on a slightly elevated stage, and Bertie went out to speak. He had his hands behind his back, and he was sort of wrestling with his fingers behind his back all the way through the speech. From the front he appeared perfectly calm, but from the side I could see his hands in combat. I remember thinking, That’s not just nervousness: that’s interior conflict. I always felt that Bertie was a forced extrovert.”
The former lord mayor of Dublin, Royston Brady, was unusual among Ahern’s inner circle in that he had fallen out with him and would speak to the media when Ahern was still in power. Brady told me at one point that he would not speak on the record, because he “still had to work in this town”. As Brady saw it, Ahern and the so-called “Drumcondra mafia” had taken over the Fianna Fáil operation in that part of Dublin, had then taken over Fianna Fáil itself and now, with Ahern as taoiseach, had control of the country. “They’re not going to give it up easily,” he said, and he added that Ahern couldn’t believe he had got control of the party.
It was only when Ahern was gone from office that Brady began to speak on the record.
This view of Ahern taking control of Dublin Central from the party is shared by the long-time party activist Joe Tierney, who says Ahern was “no more a Fianna Fáil man than the man on the moon”. People appeared at the tribunal to discuss matters relating to the constituency whom he had never heard of, even though he was immersed in the constituency organisation all his life. He said the annual fundraising dinners in Kilmainham had nothing to do with Fianna Fáil in Dublin Central.
It was obvious that Ahern had to be a tough character to become leader of Fianna Fáil, though it was an aspect of his character that he mostly kept out of public view. By contrast, his attitude towards money was entirely hidden. Ahern created an image of a man who was unusual in his lack of interest in personal wealth. According to Royston Brady, nothing could have been further from the truth.
Ahern would sometimes bed down in the apartment upstairs in St Luke’s, his constituency headquarters, before getting a house nearby, on Beresford Avenue. According to Brady, it was not without its luxuries.
“Ahern was the first person I’d ever seen with underfloor heating in the bathroom – for a man who said he had humble tastes! He said, ‘Take your shoes off and feel it.’ A man who liked to give the view that he sleeps on the couch with an anorak on.”
According to Brady, Ahern was very interested in money and very tight with it. “I would describe him as being borderline eccentric when it comes to money and stuff like that.” St Luke’s was packed with gewgaws that Ahern had been given when performing official functions over the years. A friend of Brady’s once pocketed one, and there was consternation until it was returned.
“I remember another incident on St Patrick’s Day. There were four of us: myself, Dominic Dillane [Fianna Fáil’s treasurer for Dublin Central and two other supporters]. We went to the Brian Boru [pub in Glasnevin] . . . We went in, and I just said, ‘What are you having?’ and [Ahern] said, ‘No, I’ll stay on my own.’ So I bought drink for the three lads, and he bought his own drink. We had four drinks. So it would have been the sensible thing to do to buy a round each. But he bought himself the individual drink on each of the four occasions. So I just said to myself, coming away, I said to the lads – because we went into town and had a good few drinks, and he went off – I remember saying to the lads, ‘Did you ever meet such a miserable bastard in all your life?’ Here he is, the taoiseach of the country, and you think he would have said – lookit, all the work we do, knocking on doors – that he would buy us a few drinks, but not a chance. It’s examples like that you remember.”
Ahern’s long-time associate Paddy Duffy does not necessarily disagree with Brady’s claim that Ahern was slow to put his hand in his pocket. He said it was something they’d noticed about Charles Haughey, who would never have any money on him. As time went on, Bertie became a little like that as well. “A bit of tapping the pocket, though he was obviously well known for buying his pint as well.”
His view on Ahern’s interest in his personal finances is that Ahern would have known about his own financial situation “down to the last dot” at all times. It would be the same in most aspects of his life, he says. “He is a man of great precision, and particularly in regard to statistics.”
It became clear during Ahern’s evidence to the Mahon tribunal that he had a keen interest in his own money. At times it was the tone he used, such as when referring to not wanting to see his savings being exhausted by paying the legal bills that arose from his separation from his wife.
In September 2007 the Review Group on Higher Remuneration in the Public Sector issued a report that included a recommendation that the taoiseach’s salary be increased by 14 per cent, to €310,000 from €271,882. But that December the government decided it would defer the recommended increases for ministers and the taoiseach. When Ahern resigned as taoiseach he became entitled to an annual pension of €111,235.20. As the economic crisis gathered momentum it was decided that serving deputies who were receiving ministerial pensions should accept a cut of 25 per cent. Then, later again, Ahern agreed to forgo his pension while he was a serving TD. In December 2010 he announced that he would not be standing in the 2011 general election.
Had he not made the announcement until February 2011, his pension entitlements would have been considerably lower. In the event, his combined ministerial and TD pension entitlements came to about €135,000 a year, or almost €2,600 a week.
Ahern’s interest in, and capacity for, retaining numbers and statistics became apparent during his time in the tribunal’s witness box. At one point, while giving evidence about a dizzying array of transfers between his bank accounts, he launched into a lengthy list of movements of precise amounts between different accounts on particular dates – all without referring to his notes. It was an extraordinary performance. Judge Mahon put down his pen and stared at Ahern, apparently more interested in his ability to rattle off such a list than in the evidence Ahern was giving.
HIS ABILITY TO MAKE people laugh was another aspect of his character that was not generally known. During Ahern’s latter period in office I covered a trade mission to Saudi Arabia and Dubai that Ahern headed. One night the Irish group found itself at a party inside the high walls of a compound in Riyadh. A large number of Irish and foreign businesspeople and public servants were there, and, despite Saudi Arabia’s strict rules prohibiting alcohol, and the presence of armed soldiers on the other side of the wall, the drink was flowing. I recall standing at the bar and watching people in robes ordering glasses of Paddy.
When Ahern arrived he stood on a chair and delivered an impromptu address. He was hilarious and had the crowd, myself included, in stitches. Some people had tears rolling down their cheeks he was so funny.
He repeated the performance a few days later at a reception in a hotel in Dubai. His delivery was astonishingly good. A large part of the humour came from the fact that he was the taoiseach and was standing on a chair talking about the money the people in the room were earning from their exploits, how he wouldn’t mind having some of it, how he was sure the Revenue Commissioners would be very interested to know about it, and so on. Making money and keeping it was the dominant theme, with the Revenue Commissioners – and, by implication, the State – being seen as adversaries in that enterprise. Shock at the attitude being revealed was a large part of the comic formula.
THE TRUST THAT many people had in Ahern during most of his political career was attributable to the belief that he had no interest in money or personal enrichment. Events during his ministerial career such as the row over the 1993 tax amnesty, the discussion of tax breaks for the wealthy during the Fianna Fáil-Labour Party coalition and the Mahon tribunal’s concerns about tax designation all sparked less controversy than they might otherwise have done, because people in Leinster House believed that Ahern, unlike Haughey, had no interest in money.
Ruairí Quinn, who was in government with Ahern when Ahern was minister for finance, said his view that Ahern had no interest in money meant he tended not to question his motivation.
“I never got a sense that he had a hunger for money. The revelations subsequently came as a big surprise to me. The only correlation that came to me was George Redmond. George would eat his lunch out of a drawer. He loved the comfort of having the money.
“You just don’t know with Bertie what it was. The volume of money that was going through those accounts, when you place it in the context of the times, was enormous, and yet he didn’t seem to be the beneficiary of it or to live a lifestyle remotely like Haughey – or anybody else, for that matter.”
Royston Brady makes the point that from early in his political career Ahern arrived at a point where most of his expenses were covered. He didn’t have to run a car or buy his meals; even socialising and attending sports events could be paid for by others. Brady believes Ahern must have accumulated a vast amount of money. (There is no evidence of his doing anything with it, and he may well have left it in deposit accounts.)
Ahern appears to have particularly enjoyed the company of wealthy property developers and builders, many of whom came from modest backgrounds – something that must have influenced his views on the management of the economy, the construction sector, property-based tax breaks and so on.
He was less comfortable in the presence of old money or of people who came from privileged backgrounds. There was a view in Leinster House that Ahern resented Fianna Fáil blue bloods, such as members of the Lenihan and Andrews families, and was less inclined to promote them.
Many people believe Ahern suffered from a sense of insecurity and resentment. This may in part explain his enormous ambition and political drive.
Gerald Kenny was struck by the similarities between Haughey and Ahern. They were both driven by a desire for power and were without mercy. He believes Ahern understood Haughey from early on and modelled himself on him. “He would talk about Haughey’s shrewdness, his ability to do deals, his work ethic. Because Ahern was a workaholic, really.”
Both were interested in money, though Haughey used it to buy the good things in life and to aggrandise himself. Ahern had different issues with money, but they were both really motivated by power. Kenny says:
“A lot of people I knew were in the party because they thought that was the best way to run the country and was in the interests of everybody. But once Haughey took over it all began to change. Bertie was a direct continuation of that.”
For Kenny and Joe Tierney, Haughey and Ahern brought about the collapse of Fianna Fáil’s dominance in Irish politics. Tierney says Haughey allowed corruption to flourish because this protected him from his own corrupt acts. The electorate noticed the years of scandal, but the effect was muted until the economy collapsed. Then the result was the party’s miserable performance in the 2011 general election.
On the day of the election, Tierney says, he received a phone call from Cllr Mary Fitzpatrick, a Fianna Fáil candidate in Dublin Central, that prompted him to go to Stoneybatter, where Ahern was standing on the street near a polling station, hoping that his presence would encourage people to vote for Fitzpatrick’s competitor for party votes in the constituency, Cyprian Brady. Tierney flew into a temper when he saw Ahern’s State car sitting nearby.
“I said, ‘Are you a fing headcase? Is there something wrong with you? Your fing state car! There are people in [O’Devaney Gardens] who haven’t a bit to eat this morning. And the fing state car!’ I said to him, ‘You fed up the whole country, you f***ed the party up, and you have the state car in the most deprived area in the place.’ He said, ‘You don’t know what you’re talking about.’ ”
AS TAOISEACH, AHERN had an enormous media presence, and he became a type of presidential figure, almost above politics. His press operation was formidable. He avoided serious current-affairs programmes and forums where he could be subjected to any sort of sustained questioning. Reporters were told where he was due to be appearing that day and would assemble, most often outside, to get a few lines from him on the way in. This was particularly important for broadcast reporters.
The issue of the moment would be put to him, he would give his prepared response and then he would go into whatever function he was attending. His response, therefore, would often be the first item on television and radio, as it gave a fresh opening to the broadcasters’ reports. And so he managed to be prominent in the media without being subjected to questioning by it.
Over time, his press handlers developed a system whereby they would ask reporters beforehand what they were going to ask him, so that he could consider his response. Some reporters objected, but the broadcast reporters were under pressure to get hourly updates on the stories of the day, so a comment from the taoiseach was important to them.
There was pressure on them to play ball. While Ahern gave the impression of being amiable and relaxed, his press agents were often under great pressure. When he had been questioned in a way he did not like, the press secretary would often get it in the neck afterwards. Likewise, the press secretary might try to argue with the journalist beforehand, to try to stop him or her from asking a particularly awkward question.
Ahern had charm, drive, stamina and patience. Royston Brady believed he was vain, liked publicity, liked having his picture in the newspapers, liked being popular.
He spent the bulk of his adult life in the glare of the media, and he certainly gave the impression of enjoying it. After his public image was damaged by the revelations about his personal finances, he at times made his dislike of the media plain and lowered his guard to display sulkiness and self-pity. In an extended interview with Ursula Halligan on TV3 after he had left office, Ahern articulated a sense of grievance and failed to assert his political achievements. Asked at the end of the interview if it had all been worth it, he said he wasn’t sure.
One can only imagine what it does to a person to be constantly in the public gaze, to have to assert bonhomie at all times, to pretend to be optimistic and outgoing and friendly when in fact they are insecure, worried or angry. Some in Leinster House came to dislike Ahern because of the endless succession of friendly greetings, comments about sports events and so on, which were false in so far as Ahern had no real interest in the people he was greeting.
But others appreciated the effort, the pauses for brief conversations, the ability to remember names. Greg Sparks, a financial consultant (and a member of the Irish Times board), once found himself near Ahern at a race meeting. He introduced his wife and daughter, and during the very brief encounter Ahern remarked to Sparks’s daughter Alannah that she was nothing like her sister Billy. (They have different-colour hair.)
When Sparks got home he asked Billy if she’d ever met Ahern. She said she hadn’t. Then she remembered that she’d been at a function in Na Fianna GAA club some months earlier and had been one of many who had shaken Ahern’s hand as he worked the room. She had introduced herself; he had asked if she was related to Greg Sparks; she had said she was his daughter. That was the extent of the encounter. Months later, during another brief encounter, Ahern had been able to recall her name and note her sister’s different hair.
NO ONE I SPOKE to had any suggestion to make about why Ahern was such a driven politician or why he wanted to be in politics. Pat Rabbitte professed to having been always fascinated by Ahern.
“He was single-mindedly focused on politics like nobody I ever encountered before. Everything he did was a political action. The much-vaunted Manchester United fan, the Dubs aficionado – it was all a political action; going to Parnell Park or Croker. I’m not saying he didn’t enjoy seeing the Dubs, but it was a political action.”
He believed that, for Ahern, being in politics, “being Bertie and functioning as Bertie”, became a type of addiction. He recalled one Christmas when nothing much was happening. Then Ahern popped up commentating on English soccer for Setanta Sports. “Nothing for two days but Bertie in his jumper commenting on the Premiership. They showed it over and over again. How could you compete with that?”
The disclosures that came from the Mahon tribunal changed people’s view. Ruairí Quinn was shocked, in part because he had never noticed a hunger for money in Ahern.
For Rabbitte there is no paradox here: Ahern’s wariness was about politics but also about self-protection, and it goes back to the corrosive influence of Haughey. A number of people around Haughey knew what was going on, according to Rabbitte.
“Bertie’s wariness in the witness box was a wariness about his own protection. I never recall him demonstrating a similar wariness about where the economy might go, and I rationalise that along the lines that very, very few politicians in Leinster House would have been able to carry around in their stomachs what Bertie Ahern carried around during his period as leader.
“He never told the tribunal anything that he wasn’t sure they knew already. That was the way he treated them: tease out what do they know, and, who knows, next weekend it might be different. A challenge in the High Court might be successful, something might happen, one of the beaks might tumble over and die – who knows? He played it right up to the wire, and that’s why he finally became so disorientated during the 2007 election. He felt that it was catching up with him.
But in fact, of course, the people were still prepared to give him absolute licence. As I said – and I came in for a lot of criticism inside the party for saying it – in answer to a question on TV one night as to why I didn’t pursue [the issue of Ahern’s finances during the election], when I did pursue it after the original story in The Irish Times I lost five points [in the opinion polls] and he gained seven, and I never got them back. People did not like – whatever it is about Irish people –
they did not believe Bertie was dishonest, and they didn’t like the Irish Times story, and they didn’t like the opposition pursuing it, and they showed that in the poll.”
AHERN HAD A PHENOMENAL capacity to retain information. His frenetic canvassing around the country and the endless succession of meetings with politicians, developers, professional experts, business figures, party activists and ordinary members of the public meant he had an ear to the country like no one else. Everywhere he went he received praise and was lobbied. He appears not to have understood the need to listen more closely to critics, in particular to informed critics, than to supporters and to those who are prospering from his policies. Hearing only what you want to hear is a common and human failing, and one to which political minds are particularly susceptible.
In the estimation of Greg Sparks the economy had lost international competitiveness by the end of Ahern’s first government. But Ahern and his colleagues were in awe of the economic numbers, the growth that had occurred and the increase in employment. “They lost the run of themselves. The figures were phenomenal, and they believed their own propaganda.”
That most Irish people who are not from farming backgrounds are only one or two generations away from the land may explain part of the fascination with property that developed then and later. When Irish people began to buy trophy properties abroad, such as the Savoy hotel in London, it fed into a type of nationalism. “But from a government’s point of view you have to step back from the propaganda and be a lot more analytical than that, but there is no evidence that they did.”
Micheál Martin, the Fianna Fáil leader, has no doubt that Ahern’s chief motivation in politics was to serve the public. “I think he had a fierce sense of history, a fierce sense of his father, the old IRA. We used to have long chats about that.” Ahern had a great interest in people’s personal situations and would look out for them. He had a lot of honourable traits. For Martin, the evidence that came from the Mahon tribunal was very disappointing. “I don’t know what’s behind it.”
Paddy Duffy says the Ahern he knew had no interest in money. Ahern for him was devoid of self-importance, someone who retained his humility and modesty throughout his years in power. When asked to define the political ideology or vision that drove Ahern, Duffy says: “Bertie and all the rest of us would be driven by a broad, deep-seated Irish Christian democratic [view]: Catholic, not socialist, but doing the right thing in terms of promoting equality of opportunity and fairness. Bertie would have had that, and we all would have had that from our own background. My own feeling is that Bertie actually developed his views as he did things. He didn’t come to the table with a set view of how things should be done, but the philosophy evolved through doing it, and at the end, when it was done, you could look back and say, ‘Ah, my goodness me, look what he did with the Northern thing; he must have thought all that out from the beginning.’ But in fact no: he developed that view as he went along with everybody else, as they went along together, and the philosophy was created, or the thought patterns or the objectives were brought together.”
Ahern was the most able politician of his era in the sense of winning power, yet he had little or nothing by way of political conviction in the sense of having views that would differentiate him from others. Every politician in Leinster House is in favour of peace, jobs and economic growth and wants a society that has time for sports, volunteerism, a sense of community and neighbourliness. Ahern had enormous drive but no particular vision.
Arguably what was a political asset for him was a catastrophe for the State. Success for Ahern came at a time when Ireland had at last achieved economic success and, precisely for that reason, needed new direction, new objectives, a particular type of management.
Because he had no particular political vision he had nothing to guide his decisions. He was easily influenced by those who had strong views. And whenever nobody was around to impress their vision on him he was inclined to let matters drift. Circumstances, chance, political calculation and the electorate swept him along until he, and then the country itself, crashed on to the rocks.

Bit lightweight isn’t it? The way it was being hyped up during the week I was expecting something better than that. That doesn’t amount to much more than assorted anecdotes about Bertie.

Hadn’t heard any of the ads for it or anything so wasn’t really expecting anything going into it. Nothing really new there I’d suppose, don’t think it’s really news that the rest of the Dublin Central FF organisation didn’t like his mob. Doubt I’d buy the book on the back of it, but it’s the kind of thing one of my family would get me for Christmas so will give it a read if I get it. Royston seems to be no less of a useless cunt now than he ever was. Found it an entertaining enough read though, the attitude of the two Labour lads towards him is probably most interesting, but any quotes from a serving politician are likely to be self-serving I’d suppose.

10.27 - The Tribunal was “not provided with a truthful account as to the source of the said lodgement of IR£22,500 to Mr Ahern’s bank account on 30 December 1993”. The Tribunal was unable to determine original source of his money.

10.25 - The tribunal REJECTS Ahern’s evidence that he accumulated approx IRL£54,000 in cash savings between 1987-1993.

However it did accept that it was his usual practice to cash his salary and expenses cheques rather than use a bank account. That is to say that the tribunal accepted that the then Minister for Finance did not have a bank account.

10.24 - The Tribunal rejected evidence that there had been a collection organised by Des Richardson and Gerry Brennan from friends of Ahern, or that £22,500 was provided to the former taoiseach in the manner claimed. Tribunal is satisfied that he did not get any sum as a gift or a loan as he claimed.

10.23 - Quite significantly we have learned so far that the tribunal has quite categorically rejected Bertie Ahern’s evidence that he received so-called dig outs from friends during the 90s. He failed to truthfully account for over €165,000 that passed through his accounts. This may be stating the obvious but that is not good news for the former Taoiseach.

10.17 - The Tribunal found that Ahern failed to truthfully account for a total of £165,214 that passed through accounts connected to him.

10.16 - The Tribunal rejected evidence of Ahern, Des Richardson, Charlie Chawke, Michael Collins, David McKenna and Jim Nugent about their involvement in December 1993 fundraiser – £22,500 – for Ahern, the then finance minuster.

10.14 - Page 2481 of the report states that much of the explanation provided by Bertie Ahern as to the source of the substantial funds identified and inquired into during the Tribunal’s public hearings was deemed by the Tribunal to have been untrue.