Lord on Ahern

By | June 6, 2008

Miriam Lord truly excels today.

Recalling the Dobson interview…

What a performance. He bared his soul to the people, and they showed him compassion and understanding in return. Worse fools us.

He took advantage, pure and simple.

And in the tribunal witness box, Bertie Ahern tried to insist yesterday that in the Dobson interview he had not tried to put across the idea that he had been on his uppers. (Because, as has been shown in the last two days, and in Ahern’s previous appearances, that was definitely not the case.) “I don’t think that was the impression I gave,” he told lawyer Des O’Neill.

“I made it clear to Mr Dobson that I wasn’t impoverished after my separation . . . but I equally made it clear that I didn’t own a home.” O’Neill took the view that his interview gave the impression “he had been in straitened financial circumstances”. Bertie didn’t know where he got that impression from.

“We’ve been through this before,” replied Bertie sulkily.

Deathly Des wondered if the former taoiseach, in that emotional interview, had been seeking to “create the impression” of “financial impecuniosity” in order to justify getting payments?

“I don’t think, I mean, I haven’t looked at this for a while,” mumbled Bertie.

And this after a morning of farcical evidence about him routinely carrying around a “float” of a few thousand pounds in his hip pocket when he went over on a trip to Manchester. Of how he didn’t think it “a significant” amount of money to be carting about on his person in the early 1990s.

How he, as minister for finance, was using his millionaire pal (deceased) in England as a bureau de change. How he was thinking of buying himself a pad in Salford – a two-bedroom house or “mewses” property – as an investment. How he changed £30,000 into sterling in one transaction, but didn’t do it himself and can’t remember who ran the financial errand for him. How he was betting on the horses in England and homeless in Ireland.

It’s ridiculous. And Bertie knows it.”

53 thoughts on “Lord on Ahern

  1. Andrew Lawlor

    Crewser, regarding Fianna Fáil’s management of the economic boom. The so called Celtic Tiger boom began at around the same time that FF and the PDs were elected to government in 1997. We had seen the first hints of the boom that lay ahead in the preceding years when the FG, Labour, DL ‘rainbow coalition’ were in power. Having sailed into government on the crest of the emerging celtic tiger wave FF began 11 years as the dominant party in a series of governments which so sucessfully managed the country’s ever growing wealth that within a few short months of the boom coming to a halt they were announcing that the coffers were empty. I don’t know if this slow down in the economy will be merely a temporary blip or if we are heading into a prolonged recession. (I don’t believe that the highly paid economists and analysts who bullshit daily on our radio and newspapers know the answer to this question either but they will continue to pretend that they do.) I do however think that if the economy had been managed with any level of competency over the last 11 years that we would have survived a little more than six months post boom before the money ran out. The amount of tax euros collected by the Revenue Commissioners over the last 10 years has been staggering. It presented an unprecedented opportunity to transform the country. Instead, ten years later we have a series of half finished infrastucture projects (Luas and the motorway network), some major infrastructure which will probably not now get past the planning stage (Metro North, the extension of the Dart and Luas out to Lucan, Leixlip, Clondalkin. Galway’s gLuas. The Western Rail Corridoor. Much needed upgrades to sewerage and water treatment facilities throughout the length and breadth of the country), a Public health service that is even more disfunctional than it was ten years ago with serious doubts being cast about whether new pieces of vital health infrastructure will now be built (The new hospital for the North East being a case in point). Thousands of childen will attend school classes tomorrow in prefabs and overcrowded classrooms with leaking roofs and rodent infestations.
    The vast majority of new wealth created over the last ten years was earned in property. People who had no knowlege or experience of property speculation invested billions in second homes and many of them are now getting their fingers burned as prices tumble. Developers and builders, Fianna Fáil’s traditional friends, have made huge fortunes and we now have over a quarter of a million empty houses in the country. The money for all of this amateur propert tycoonery came from successive tax cuts brought in by FF led governments, outting billions of euros back into people’s pockets to buy election after election and to hell with inflationary spending. As I have pointed out before, the Irish electorate share a huge burdn of blame for this, voting with their pockets and believing that the good times would never end and choosing to ignore the few who said that we could not provide European levels of public services without European levels of taxation. Employees PRSI in Ireland is 6.5% while employers contribute 8.5%. In Belgium the equivelent rates are 12% and 30 %. We are constantly regalled with stories of the fantastic state sponsored childcare available in Scandinavia but any party which advocated the taxes required to pay for these sevices would be wiped out at the polls. Face it folks, we are much closer to Boston than Berlin and we voted for just that. Incidently, I have no faith that the other would have managed things any better but I’m sick of people eulogising FF’s asture management of the boom.

    (Sarah, apologies for the length of the comment, but these smug arseholes get me going sometimes.)

  2. Leon

    The blunt reality Crewser is that you have been unable to give a single instance where Gilmartin has demonstrably lied. This is in stark contrast to disgraced former Taoiseach Ahern.

    As for Ber Cowen he was well known as a gombeen man of the lowest stripe and the son was only too quick to crawl into his father’s coffin. In fact we now have a government of coffin crawlers. Couglin, Lenihan and Cowen all snuggled up to their fathers’ corpses to get elected.

  3. graham

    “Graham might now understand why I refer to Devitt so often. Its to emphasise the hypocrisy of Kenny and Co. more than anything.”

    Thats it crewser, it’s the hypocrisy of Kenny and Co.
    But what of your own? If you think what Anne Devitt did was wrong, then you must believe what Bertie did was wrong.

    I had always felt that regardless of your political leanings, Crewser, you were intelligent and had some argument to put forward. Now it is obvious that you just throw out a few statements to keep the debate going. You never actually give anything constructive to it. That and your blind support of Bertie even after his lies and deceit, lead me to believe that you are just a lemming, ablind follower willing to over the edge just because the man in front has.

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