Mahon Tribunal announcement – as it happened
It’s been a bad day for Fianna Fáil as a whole, but for Micheal Martin specially. He has now announced that he will hold a press conference tomorrow after tonight holding a officer-level meeting of the party tonight.
What’s worst for him, though, is the fact that he was one of the Government Ministers who the Tribunal has severely criticised for trying to undermine its work in 2007.
Martin and his front bench colleagues were the people this part of the report was written about: “It was entirely inappropriate for members of the Government to launch such unseemly and partisan attacks against a Tribunal of Inquiry appointed following a resolution passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas to inquire into serious concerns regarding corruption in public life.
“There appears little doubt but that the objectives of the extraordinary and unprecedented attacks on the Tribunal was to undermine the efficient conduct of the Tribunal’s inquiries, erode its independence and collapse its inquiry into that individual. They were as regrettable as they were ill-considered and unfounded.”
The Twitter machine is still hopping mad with reactions to the incredible findings in today’s report:
The report is scathing about attacks on it from Government ministers in 2007, when Bertie Ahern was still Taoiseach. The report also goes on to detail other attacks on its credibility:
“It was perhaps inevitable that some of those individuals would attempt to blacken the name of the Tribunal in order to undermine its inquiries and its ultimate findings. Had the Tribunal found favour with those individuals or in the sectors of the media supportive of them, this would have been the first indication that the Tribunal was not doing its job.
“Nevertheless, not all the Tribunal’s critics fall into this category. On the one hand, some of the more sustained and virulent attacks on the Tribunal went beyond what could be termed as normal unpopularity and are best viewed as attempts to compromise its integrity and independence.”
The report and supplementary evidence will now be available to the Gardaí. Bad news for Flynn, who could well be expecting future run ins with the Criminal Assets Bureau if the Tribunal’s report is anything to go by.
The Tribunal also says that even though the then Taoiseach Albert Reynolds was informed that Padraig Flynn illicited a corrupt payment from Gilmartin, he still made FLynn a member of his cabinet.
The Tribunal’s final report is also incredibly bad reading for former Government Minister and EU Commissioner Padraig Flynn. Unlike Bertie, Padraig has been found to have been party to corrupt dealings. The report even says that he initiated a corrupt donation from Tom Gilmartin of IR£50,000.
The money was sought by “duress and coercion” by Flynn from Gilmartion for the Fianna Fáil party. But, the report says the money was used for Flynn’s personal gain.
Extraordinarily, it also says they are sure that the money at least part-funded the purchase of a farm in Co Mayo.
The Tribunal report says Padraig Flynn acted “wrongly and corruptly”.
There has been varied reaction to the brutally honest findings on Twitter since the report was published:
Another damning finding of the Tribunal for Bertie Ahern is that they completely back the honesty of the testimony of broadcaster Eamon Dunphy, who gave evidence in 2007.
“The Tribunal was satisfied that Mr Dunphy gave his evidence honestly, and in the belief that it was true and accurate. It rejected any suggestion (to the extent that it was made) that Mr Dunphy embellished or otherwise altered his evidence to the Tribunal,” the report reads.
Eamon Dunphy told the Tribunal that in several meeting with Owen O’Callaghan about possibly building a new stadium in Dublin they discussed Bertie Ahern. O’Callaghan developed the Quarryvale site, now Liffey Valley, and claimed to Eamon Dunpy to have ‘take care’ of Bertie in relation to eh development. Dunphy says he also claimed that Bertie had failed to return the favour by giving a favourable tax designation to O’Callaghan’s Quarryvale development.
The Tribunal also has a lot to say on Bertie Ahern’s home at 44 Beresford Avenue, Drumcondra. Ahern always said that Manchester businessman Michael Wall had bought the house for him, because he had nowhere to live after his divorce.
The Tribunal rejected that Wall had ever rented the house to Ahern, or even ever owned it. The reports says they’re fully satisfied that Bertie owned it since 1995. The say he bought it secretively and it didn’t transfer to his name officially until 1997, when he became Taoiseach.
The Tribunal rejected the evidence of both Ahern and Wall on the house. They said the mention of the home in Mr Wall’s will was simply a mechanism to hide Ahern’s ownership.
The Tribunal goes on to reject Bertie Ahern’s evidence that he managed to accumulate IR£54,000 in cash savings between 1987 and 1993, when he was Minister for Finance and didn’t have a bank account.
The report rejects all Ahern’s explanations for lodgements from 1993 onwards.
It says the second dig-out session in Machester in October in 1994 didn’t ever take place. It says they are satisfied that the money alleged to have been raised there was in fact a foregin currency lodgement of £25,000 Sterling.
The report does not link Bertie Ahern to any payments from Liffey Valley Shopping Centre developer, Owen O’Callaghan.
It does, however, find that Bertie’s alleged ‘dig-out’ sessions in Dublin and Manchester were not that at all. It, in fact, finds that the Machester dig-outs never actually happened at all.
The first donations in a pub in Dublin in December of 1993 were said to have raised IR22,500. The tribunal report rejects that this actually happened for this reason. They say they don’t believe these funds were contributed to Bertie because of his poor finanacial standing owing to his divorce.
The report continually says that because Ahern failed to provide a truthful account they do not know the true source of the funds.
Because not provided with truthful account unable to determine original source of such funding.
Although the report stops short of finding Bertie Ahern to have been party to corruption, the tribunal has slammed the former Taoiseach’s evidence on virtually every payment. It rejects as false the evidence of both Ahern and most of his allies.
The headline findings of the report stop short of labelling Bertie Ahern as corrupt. It does say that he completely failed to account for the source of €165,214.25 in his bank account. The tribunal has also found that the so-called Bertie-Tim account, controlled by the former Taoiseach and Tim Collins contained an unaccounted for IR£50,000.
That aside, the report does not call Bertie corrupt, which was the main focus of the tribunal.
The most noteworthy finding of the report is that senior Fianna Fáil cabinet members tried to make serious and sustained attacks on the credibility of the Tribunal. It says the unprecedented attacks attempted to erode the tribunal independence and effectively neuter it.
Lots of people struggling to download the report. If you can’t get a copy, here’s another link to the full document.
It appears the website has crashed.
It’s here! The final report of the Mahon Tribunal is up. Get your hands on a copy by downloading it HERE.
The website is seriously struggling under the weight of traffic.
Want a simple, concise breakdown of the central figures involved in the Mahon Tribunal? The Irish Independent have put together a handy slideshow of the people who will (most likely) be dominating today’s news.
Conflicting reports about the time of publication coming to light on Twitter. Some reports say the findings will be made public at 10am, while others are reporting a publication time of 10.30am.
Either way we’ll be keeping an eye on it and make sure you’re kept informed.
Fifteen minutes to go until the publication of the Mahon Tribunal report. Lots of speculation over whether it will be published on time or if they’ll make us wait to read it.
According to reports, a copy of the Tribunal’s findings will first be delivered to the Dáil and then released to the public online.
Here’s a great detailed report about the Mahon Tribunal from the Irish Independent. Covers the beginning of the investigation, the main people involved, the fall out from previous findings and the controversial cost of the longest running public inquiry in Irish history.
Twitter is literally buzzing with talk about the impending release of the report. Less than an hour to go, according to reports. Here’s what people are saying:
Are you in the dark about today’s Mahon Tribunal report? Does your brain need a bit of a refresh? No worries, the Irish Times has just published a brief overview of what the Tribunal is all about.
Check it out here: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2012/0322/breaking9.html