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. pete

    Yes, it’s ridiculous. He knows it. Everyone knows it.

    When he was Taoiseach, many (most?) people didn’t care.

    Now that he’s out of government, noone cares. It’s just a mildly amusing sideshow, likely to become a very boring sideshow pretty soon.

  2. An Fear Bolg

    I find her really annoying – she strains her puns and jokes far too much for them to be funny.

    Or unoriginal: yesterday she made a comment along the lines of “we now know where his daughter gets her talent for fiction.” This joke has been made numerous times – in fact, the repulsive Leo Varadkar spat it out on Questions and Answers (or Primte Time) last year? I also think it’s a low blow to introduce someone’s (non-political) child in that manner and include her in a joke which is a dig at her father.

    Plus, while yes Bertie is coming across quite dodgy at the moment, she has been far too hard on him over past months.

  3. crocodile

    Two words jumped out of last night’s ‘Primetime’ report on yesterday’s evidence – ‘sworn tribunal’. That’s right : sworn. While, as Colm Keena remarks in less ostentatious style than Lord, ‘many observers believe the tribunal is past taking Ahern’s evidence at face value.’

  4. Leo

    An Fear Bolg:

    “Plus, while yes Bertie is coming across quite dodgy at the moment, she has been far too hard on him over past months.”

    Eh…. whilst he might be COMING ACROSS as quite dodgy at the moment, I think we can all agree he HAS been quite dodgy for many years. The stuff that is LOOKING dodgy now is all from 1994 for gods sake!

    Miriam Lord is one of the few voices that constantly kept the pressure on the man whilst he was quite obviously lying through his teeth to the tribunal, the press and the great Irish public.

    Been too hard on him? I would have had him whipped in public! I still would.

  5. Leo

    Crewser, is it standard practice for Fianna Failers to defend their members by attacking Fine Gaelers? What a fantastic debating strategy. You must be highly in demand for dinner parties. Perhaps as Bertie has no interest in telling the electorate the truth about his financial affairs, you might be interested in taking up the charge. Let me guess, you would begin: ” Well Michael Lowry….”

  6. The Crewser

    Just like all the others Leo you are adept at attacking FF people while turning a blind eye to the activities of current FG politicians. Have you also nothing to say about Enda Kenny’s handling or mishandling of the Devitt situation or are you also so loyal that no words on the subject can cross your lips. Similarly no comment on Tom Gilmartin, the Star Witness. Really Leo you must do better.

  7. Leo

    Ah Crewser, unfortunately you are making a common mistake, and that is to pinhole me as a Fine Gaeler.

    I have made no support of Fine Gael on this site or indeed any other, and feel that you are trying once again to divert the argument about Fianna Fail by talking about someone I never mentioned; Fine Gael. My comments are entirely directed toward the man you can see no wrong in. Once again I see from his testimony at the tribunal yesterday that he made an “innaccurate” (his words) or “false” (my words) statement regarding rent paid on St. Lukes. Is there no end to this mans lies, or indeed to the short sighted idiots who insist on defending him.

    Defend Fianna Fail/Bertie if you must, but do it by providing valid, provable reasons why they are not a pack of lying cheating $%^£&$. Dont do it by just attacking the other side. That is called “hair splitting” or “nit picking” and is not a valid debating tactic.

  8. The Crewser

    Leo you need to wake up nd smell the coffee. The attacking as you call is what not started by me or Bertie Ahern for that matter. The difficulty I have with the likes of you is that you are mascarading as some sort of independent observer of the political scene in Ireland. The clue for me is in part of your own text (my comments are directed against Bertie Ahern) That is the jist of it but its worded somewhat differently. But you are aligning yourself with Sarah and her merry band of FG supporters plus a few raggle taggle fellow travellers with an anti FF agenda. You are so aligned to their agenda that so see no wrong in anybody else except FF people. That is not good enough. I raised other issues such as Tom Gilmartin and the media agenda against Mr Ahern. You are certainly no independent observer so please do not try to pretend you are.

  9. B

    I think we need to refer Bertie to Amnesty International. After all he is being victimised.

    I think hte main reaon people are fed up with his antics is because he played us all for fools.

    Regardless of party nobody likes being played as a sucker.

  10. crocodile

    It’s no good, Leo. I have nothing to do with FG either, but any time I have objected to being lied to by Bertie, Crewser has diagnosed support for FG as the reason. It’s good to have him here ( Crewser, not Bertie) because he gives us a fascinating insight into the thought processes of the blindly loyal. For him there’s no morality in politics, only which side you’re on. There’s no truth, only what you can get people to believe. Reasoned argument is a waste of time, because your opinions just betray which tribe you belong to, which makes you not worth listening to.

  11. B

    Broken Record. Same old carping about moles, Devitt, Enda and his poor aul hard done by Bertie. Poor aul Bertie. I cry for him every night. Honest I do.

  12. Gordon Davies


    Bartholomew – the man who can’t even tell the truth about his own name – has been exposed as a liar, a tax fraudster, a serial abuser of the confidence of his fellow party members, and a recipient of, as yet, unexplained money. Yet you continue to defend this “low life”, as do most of the senior figures in Fianna Fail.

    Corruption has been at the heart of FF for many years, and, unfortunately; an epi-phenomen in other parties. A small minority of diehards, whose beliefs you express, refuse to recognise this. What part of “we took the money” do you not understand”. FF must heave a collective sigh of relief every day that Flood/Mahon has restricted it’s investigations to Dublin. What would it have found elsewhere?


  13. The Crewser

    Still the same old one dimensional Gordon. No change there then. No recognition of Tom Gilmartin’s crooked evidence, the “frame up” which has been taking place in Dublin Castle. Definitely the coal dust is having its affect. As for B, diehard Gaeler, disciple of Enda, aoplogist for everything thats brought their core vote down to 17%. Will they change leader before the Local Elections. Unlikely, lets hope not. In any case the analogy of deck chairs on the Titanic immediately springs to mind.

  14. B

    Lord Jaysus. I couln’t give a flying shite about Fine Gael.

    Wehn are we going to get away from the petty rivallyry and actually maybe fix a few glaringly obvious problems.

    Inda Kinny would have been great in the 1950s where he seems to think he is from. But that said an elected official with byzantine and implausible excuses for money resting in his accounts is inexcusable. Call me what you like. This whole affair stinks of shit.

  15. The Crewser

    Then B you should not have any problem speaking about Tom Gilmartin or the Tribunal leaks. But I notice that you have. Why? If you are as independent as you say I would imagine that you would like our Court system and related systems to be fair to all who are obliged to go before them. The Mahon Tribunal has serious credibility issues as a result of giving immunity to a crook and failing to control its lawyers (ie those leaking confidential documents to particular media organisations) I cannot make it any plainer for you. What is your position in respect of the above (as a fair and independent observer of course)

  16. B

    I am sorry. I am going through a seperation and in addition to not having a bank account my safe is getting too full due to winning so much on the horses. In England.

    So it is all the fault of the tribunal. It is not the fault of the former taoiseach. It is far easier to tell the truth than to concoct an increasingly complex story.

    But then again I will be accused of everything up to and including Global Warming by Crewser so anything i say at all will be lept on as support for whoever he believes is attacking poor innocent Bertie.

    Crewser I don’t care. Its all a pile of shite and you know it.

  17. The Crewser

    B, if you are going through a separation, which I doubt, then that is tragic. I think it may be a case of too much wine.
    I am not accusing you of anything, I am simply asking you to comment on Tom Gilmartins evidence to the Mahon Tribunal and the leaking of documents by the said Mahon Tribunal to a particular section of the media. How difficult can that be. You appear to have great difficulty doing so, as have all the other contributors to this site. I know why they have difficulty, thats why I’m asking.

  18. B

    Wine = vinegar.

    Bring a case to the European Court of Human rights or get the lawyers struck off.

    You have many legal options open to you. I know that FF is well able to follow the legal route.

  19. The Crewser

    I was just asking for your views on Tom Gilmartin etc. Clearly you have none.

  20. B

    My view is that one is as crooked as the other. If he broke the law he should face prosecution. I have enough going on in my life to worry about who gave what to whom and why.

    It is up to the courts to decide on wrongdoing. If it is a legal matter go legal.

  21. B

    I think Crewser you are saying the tribunal is the Irish equivilant of a Kangaroo court.

    All you are doing about it is lashing out at supposed Fine Gaelers in a Quixotic struggle to vindicate your master.

    Maybe we could get Bertie off if he can prove that he has amnesia or some other mental illness that he seems to rely on to vindicate his lack of records and his ever changing and taller and taller stories.

    Maybe he is a big fan of Lost and wants to keep us guessing to the end?

  22. The Crewser

    You said it B. The only thing that we can be sure of after it all is that there is not a single shred of evidence to suggest that Bertie Ahern was corrupt or ever behaved in a corrupt manner. The Tribunal Team (including the party who leaked confidential documents to Geraldine Kennedy) are not very pleased about this as you might imagine. If any Irish citizen is being set up or framed in any way by evidence which is proven to be lies I believe that they have the right to use any possible method to ensure that they are no so framed. The Tribunal used Tom Gilmartin as their Star Witness and gave him imunity from prosecution despite the fact that he was fabricating evidence. This was not proper or legal. If you are of an alternative opinion please say so. The issue has been dodged for long enough.

  23. Sarah Post author

    “The only thing that we can be sure of after it all is that there is not a single shred of evidence to suggest that Bertie Ahern was corrupt or ever behaved in a corrupt manner.”


    one word: STERLING

  24. The Crewser

    Suddenly Sarah appears out of the blue. The answer to that is no. By the way how do you feel about Tom Gilmartins evidence. Are you happy with the way it was given and the way the Tribunal protected him and gave him immunity from prosecution.

  25. The Crewser

    Perhaps an integrity test for Journalists and aspiring Journalists would be very useful. That way they would not be able to hide when certain matters are raised and only come out sniping when it suits their particular agenda.

  26. Liam

    An integrity test for annonymous posters on blogs would also be very useful.

  27. Luke

    Crewser, you are absolutely hilarious. Your man has let you down in front of the entire country, and the only way you can salvage a bit of dignity is to admit how disappointed you are, then we might take you seriously as someone who is interested in politics.

    But instead you are trotting out the same lame propaganda and misdirection. Could I ask you to honestly tell us what you have thought of Bertie’s evidence of the past few days?

  28. The Crewser

    As I said earlier Luke any Irish citizen (be it Bertie Ahern or Anne Devitt) who is being put through the wringer on the basis of the word of someone who has lied consistently through their evidence and been rewarded by the Mahon Tribunal with immunity from prosecution, has the right to take whtever steps are necessary to protect themselves. Why did Des O’Neill have no problem with Gilmartins lies, Why will Sarah Carey and Co. not comment on Gilmartins lies. Why did the Tribunal give immunity to Gilmartin knowing that his accusations were a tissue of lies.
    These are the questions which need to be addressed by Sarah and other contributors before they begin to analyse Mr Aherns evidence.
    You Luke, might like to give the other shy contributors a lead by addressing these questions

  29. B

    Calling someone a liar is libellous and you of all people should know how strong Irish libel law is being of the Fianna Fail persuasion who use it at the drop of a hat.

  30. The Crewser

    Mr Gilmartin was described by a District Court Judge as “shifty” many years ago
    He certainly lived up to his reputation at the Tribunal and went one better by weaving a tissue of lies with the aid of some journalists. There is no doubt about that B but I feel you for one would not be interested.

  31. Luke

    I repeat what I posted early – Could I ask you to honestly (emphasis on the word honestly) tell us what you have thought of Bertie’s evidence of the past few days?

  32. The Crewser

    And I have asked you to comment on Tom Gilmartins evidence to the Tribunal which resulted in Mr Ahern being there in the first instance. I can only assume that like Sarah Carey and the others you are unable or unwilling to do so. As regards Bertie Ahern’s evidence, knowing the man personally as I do, I am satisfied that given the length of time that has elapsed since the events in question he has made a fair and honest attempt to piece together the detail of what happened all those years ago. As a working politician, Minister and Taoiseach he would have had a full schedule of meetings and appointments through the years in question and would find great difficulty in accounting for matters such as were raised. No other politician in Dail Eireann today has had their accounts forensically examined in the way that Berties were and the fact that not a scintilla of evidence indicating that any corruption had occured speaks volumes for the man’s integrity.
    I can see why Sarah and the others will not mention Gilmartins evidence and the Tribunals decision to give him immunity depite his dodgy evidence. That speaks volumes too.

  33. B

    And you are now a lawyer and an all-seling clairvoyant too now it seems with total perspective on all that is going on.

    Surely if it is a stitch up you can drag the perpetrator through the courts? Call up the High court there. You guys have it on speed dial as it is.

  34. Luke

    >I am satisfied that given the length of time that has elapsed since the events in >question he has made a fair and honest attempt to piece together the detail of >what happened all those years ago.

    Was that interview with Bryan Dobson fair and honest? Bertie should have come clean at the start – yes, I took money from my businessmen friends, it seemed OK at the time but actually it was highly inappropriate for a Minister For Finance, please accept my resignation.

    Instead we were treated to years of our politics being dragged (once again!) into a gutter of lies, evasions and self-justification.

    Crewser, were you not disappointed by the winning money on horse’s defence? Do you not find the bundles of notes being exchanged in Manchester, for want of a better word, Grotesque, Unbelievable, Bizarre and Unprecendented?

  35. Leon

    Nothing that Gilmartin said has been disproven. It is clear that there was a massive conspiracy to corrupt the functioning of the Irish state to enrich a narrow group of businessmen and politicians.

    This is the Taca / Ansbacher conspiracy still alive and well in Fianna Fail.

    By the way is it true that Ber Cowen (well know slimy Gombeen man) would force women to pay debts by enforcing droit de seigneur?

  36. graham

    Crewser, why do you so often refer back to Anne Devitt, when it is clear from your total support of Bertie that corruption, blatant lies, inappropriate payments and questionable dealings are something that you are prepared to ignore?
    This has nothing to do with any one political party. Either you take a position on such dealings and apply it to all, or you say nothing at all. But then from reading your comments over the last few months, I think it is clear to all here that you apply a very different set of standards to those you know personally and those that you feel are in the opposition. And given that you know Bertie personally, as you have just said, there is a clear conflict of interest and as such, nothing you say on this matter is in any way subjective.

  37. The Crewser

    Still not a single contributor is able to address the Tom Gilmartin evidence, not even Leon, he of the nasty personal attack. This approach says quite a lot about the man. If he finds himself unable to compete in debate he resorts to this tactic. For his information there might be a clue in Tom Gilmartins evidence as to its spurious nature. He actually admitted under cross examination that he rang journalists to help him for guidance in the fabrication of his stories before he took the stand. Presumably these were the ones who had access to Geradline Kennedy’s documents (now shredded)
    As for Electron and his penalty point I think the public at large know exactly the story with Endas failure to do anything. It was electorally imprudent in North County Dublin to chuck Devitt out at that time and he hoped that in time people would forget. But they have not forgotten. The real issue is Enda’s double standard and hypocrisy on the matter. If Enda and Leo Varadakar were not so high and mighty in their holier than thou approach they might find that people would be more forgiving.
    Graham might now understand why I refer to Devitt so often. Its to emphasise the hypocrisy of Kenny and Co. more than anything.
    But back to Gilmartin’s evidence. The silence has been deafening from Sarah and the other like minded contributors on this matter. Its high time one or two of them plucked up the courage to address it.

  38. crocodile

    Crewser believes it’s better to have no standards at all than to have some, but occasionally fail to live up to them. The Devitt thing is deplorable and I don’t think I’d put much trust in Gilmartin either, but none of that is in the same league as Mr Ahern lying to us on the evening news, in the Dail and before a sworn tribunal.

  39. The Crewser

    Still no comments on the Gilmartin evidence and his immunity. Guys I’m disappointed.

  40. Electron

    B. Biffo and co. will need Labour in the next election – they’ll be crucified for the collapse in the housing market and bad management of the economy – they’ll need the numbers to try to hold on to power.

  41. B

    Why are we continually surrised when FF make a haimes of the economy? They have never called it right once.

    Crewser, the affair has gone beyond Gilmartin. Even if Gilmartin told Olympic record winnig Porkie pies the former Taoiseach made bits of his own credibilty.

  42. The Crewser

    Still dodging the issue B. The Irish people know that only FF are capable of managing the economy in boom times and recessionary times. Thats why they re-elect them so often.

  43. B

    Hahahahahahahaha. Now Crewser you are a comedian.

    From Day 1 FF have made a bollix of it. Sure Dev hadn’t a bulls notion what he was at. Charlie wanted us to tighten OUR belts while he was suffing his own pockets.

    Bertie caught a lucky wave caused in the main by external factors that he claimed that FF had made. If this were so why did it take them so long to do it and did they have a road to Damascus experience giving them the divine wisdom to steer it the right way?

    Pull the other leg.

  44. The Crewser

    Its always the electorate who decide it in the end B. They are good judges as May 24th last proves. Even you cant argue with that.

  45. B

    No I cannot. You are right there. What the electorate decides is how democracy works. Even if you don’t agree with it.

    Unfortunately the Yay sayers to the amendment to the Constitution that allows the ratification of the Lisbon treaty want rid of this democracy to plamas a few suits in Europe. Kissing Euro asses isn’t going to help us.

  46. The Crewser

    If you are part of a club B, you may as well be on the inside where you can put forward your reservations with vigour and passion. If you are on the outside looking in you may as well be pissing in the wind.

  47. B

    Thats rich coming from Fianna Fail. Your founding father tried to make us do it all internally and all we got was child abuse, right wing Churches and macaroon bars.

    We are NOT voting to leave the EU. We are NOT voting against EU membership. We ARE voting on changing our constitution to allow the treaty to be ratified.

    I am PRO Europe. I am PRO Democracy. We cannot lecture Burma and China on Democracy if we allow this treaty to be ratified. We are effectivly getting rid of Democracy for “efficency” and keeping a few rampant Federalists from throwing croissants at us.

    That is a crappy reason to vote Yes to a bad treaty. And Crewser without representation in this “club” how the hell are we going to have our voices heard? Explain me that please.

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