No 10 have opened a Flickr account. Now how long before the Taoiseach does the same? *snigger*
They are also twittering.
So sayeth the rumours.
I will hold off even thinking of a purchase until I see the 3G iPhone.
On Friday’s Late Late show, Eamon Dunphy repeatedly pointed to an article by Gene Kerrigan in the Sunday Independent of March 23 . (It was, incidentally, a very good article).
1. Why can I not find this article on the Independent’s website?
2. Why did Eoghan Harris replace Gene Kerrigan on the back page of the Sindo today?
Answers in the comments section please.
For those interested, here is a copy of the article. Dunphy was right to reference it several times.
Update: Apparently Kerrigan was at a conference. It would have been nice of the Sindo to tell us that.
This leaked internal document details the kind of websites that are censored in the UAE. Interesting reading.
Politics.ie looks like it will be subject of legal action on the part of Mr Ahern’s solictors.
Update: P O’Neill informs me that the site has moved its hosting to the US.
Ah. It is refreshing to see someone joining the dots.
You see, I only found out recently that Michael Wall withdrew £50,000 in cash from an account in Galway, some time after he sold the house to Ahern.
Why is this important? Suspected money laundering, using a house to do it. Of course no one is alleging that Ahern was involved in money laundering – but when you read this report it is exactly what springs to mind.
The Beresford Avenue house was purchased in March 1995. Wall is a native of Co Mayo now based in Manchester. He is a long-time supporter of Ahern’s who got to know Ahern during his visits to Manchester. Celia Larkin helped Wall identify the Drumcondra house, which the tribunal has been told was to be rented by Ahern, but to be available to Wall during his visits to Dublin.
Ahern’s solicitor, the late Gerry Brennan, acted for Wall when Wall purchased the house for £138,000. Wall took out a mortgage of £96,600. When stamp duty is included, Wall’s contribution to the house purchase comes to approximately £50,000, a sum that arises at both ends of the house purchase story.
In January 1995, Ahern withdrew £50,000 from his accounts in AIB O’Connell Street. He has said he used the money to buy £30,000 in sterling cash and that he kept it and the remaining Irish currency in his safe in St Luke’s. Over time he gave the money to Larkin, who was working on refurbishing the house Wall had purchased, Ahern has said.
No records have been found that show Ahern purchased £30,000 sterling in early 1995 and he did not mention the transaction until he was first asked about sterling lodgements by the tribunal during a private interview in 2007. Ahern cannot say where the sterling was purchased. If Ahern did not purchase the sterling, then the question arises as to the source of £30,000 sterling that was lodged by Larkin and Ahern to accounts in 1995.
In 1997, after the sudden death of Brennan, Ahern purchased the house from Wall for £180,000, which constituted a loss for Wall after costs. The men engaged separate solicitors for the transaction. The tribunal is expected to hear evidence later this year to the effect that Wall’s solicitor lodged the net proceeds of the house sale to an account of Wall’s in Galway on November 5th, 1997. A month later the sum of £50,000 was withdrawn from the account by Wall in cash. Wall has not been able to produce any records showing where the money went thereafter.
Evidence on these matters has yet to be heard, but nothing said to date has indicated that this sum turned up in Ahern’s accounts after it left Wall’s account. Ahern has said he has disclosed all his accounts to the tribunal.
The tribunal has discovered that Wall made a will during the period when he was the owner of the house in which he left the house to Ahern or, in the event of his demise prior to that of Wall, to Ahern’s two daughters. Ahern expressed amazement when told of this fact by the tribunal in private interview. Brennan acted for Wall when Wall made the will. If Wall had died, his life assurance would have paid the mortgage, and Ahern would have been left an unencumbered house.
It may be over a week late, but it seems that the media is waking up to the Ahern story. The Easter holidays may have caught everyone on the hop, perhaps. Last week I was literally stunned by the lack of reaction to Carruth’s evidence. Not a whisper from RTE. Not much from the Irish Times. Radio shows were muted.
A number of things have now changed.
First, the Late Late Show last night. The audience supported Eamon Dunphy, and he was the only one criticising Ahern. Not only did the audience support him, they cheered him. And they literally laughed at Eoghan Harris, who made an absolute fool of himself. Waters just didn’t make a coherent point.
Second, the Irish Times leads with some figures, and inside it looks further into the Tribunal, more so than it has done in a very long time. The Irish Examiner also has a two-page spread on the figures, though includes only money tied directly to Ahern’s accounts, or monies traced directly to him (totalling 250k, not 450k). Unlike the Irish Times, it does not include constituency monies or the B/T account. This is really a matter of discretion for the paper.
The Irish Times also looks at:
The Evening Herald plan to run a story on the Resign, Mr Ahern Facebook group, of which I am founder (though the group is owned by its members).
Ahern will face questions in the Dail next Wednesday. I believe we are reaching a tipping point.
I expect no less than his resignation. If not, then the clock is ticking.
[Disclosure: I work for the Irish Examiner]
Given certain buildings on the map, and the stage at which they are built, the photos are very recent.
It’s only appropriate that Cork is on there before Dublin. But don’t worry jackeens, Dublin will be on it soon.
Here, for example, is my place of work:
For the geeks: Yes that’s Firefox 3 Beta 4 I’m running. Yes my Delicious plugin works fine, after disabling Firefox’s security settings. Jim Fallows helped out with that.
This video contains some VERY graphic images and audio, please do not watch it unless you are prepared to see and hear them.
Personally, I found the film extremely upsetting. If you would rather not experience that upset, do not watch it.
I do see merit in the argument that the film incorrectly equates all of Islam with violence. In many ways it has the propaganda elements and tone of the same Islamic videos it criticises. Western classical music is used as background, instead of arabic chanting. The most extreme Islamists are used to portray Islam as evil, in the same way Islamic videos portray the West as evil.
One could hold up an extreme version of anything and hold it up as representative, but it is not.
All this video does is encourage the polarisation of views, instead of the compromising of views.
Religion is a curious thing.
The FF website isn’t exactly clear where she was though.
Does that mean she was in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, or both? Or does someone think Abu Dhabi is in Dubai?
Readers will be aware that I have been following events at the tribunals closely for several years. When I lived in Dublin I attended Flood and Moriarty on a regular basis. I saw the evidence of many ‘star’ witnesses including James Gogarty, Ray Burke, Liam Lawlor, Charlie Haughey, Denis O’Brien, Michael Lowry, and many others.
You may not be aware, given the lack of media coverage, but last week was probably the most important week in the history of the Flood/Mahon tribunal.
It was the most explosive evidence I have ever heard. It was certainly also one of the most dramatic weeks. Over two days, Wednesday 19th and Thursday the 20th of March, we heard clear and concise contradictory evidence against the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern. This evidence was based in part on the recollection of employees of his bank branch and on documentary evidence that recently became available to the Tribunal.
In terms of the so-called Bertiegate saga, the evidence on those days is as important, if not more so, as the day the scandal first came to light following a leak to the Irish Times in September 2006. It was more important than all of the days Ahern gave evidence combined. It was more important than all the evidence given by Ahern’s friends and colleagues.
It has been shown that when Ahern was asked about lodgments to his Irish Permanent account he believed that there was a lack of documentary evidence to either support or deny his story. The bank had said they could not find documentary evidence. So Ahern told the tribunal that lodgments came from an accumulation of salary cheques.
The bank later found documentary evidence. And this documentary evidence proved that lodgments to Ahern’s accounts were made in cash, in Sterling. Ahern had never told this to the tribunal, at any stage, in the prior three years.
When his secretary Grainne Caruth, who made the lodgments on Ahern’s behalf, was asked about these lodgments she was shocked. She then claimed that she could not remember lodging the Sterling sums to Ahern’s accounts. She could not remember lodging the equivalent of two years’ of her own salary in one day.
The judges clearly did not believe that she could not remember. Which means she was lying under oath. Perjury.
It also means that the Taoiseach lied to the Tribunal. It could also mean that many of his friends lied to the Tribunal. This includes Tim Collins, who claimed the B/T account was a Building Trust account, when really it was the Bertie/Tim account.
The upshot of all this is that Ahern also committed perjury. Collins too. His digout friends are looking more suspicious. A criminal conspiracy if you will.
So our leader, our Taoiseach, lies under oath. He may say he ‘forgot’ to the tell the tribunal about sterling. But this does not cut it. Sterling went into his personal accounts, and he never told the Tribunal. He thought they would never find out about it for lack of documentary evidence. But unfortunately for him, the evidence turned up. Now he is caught.
And how did RTE, which prides itself on Tribunal issues, cover this massive story? With silence.
The story was demoted to second or third on the news agenda on both days. There were no talking heads live from the tribunal, simply stock news reports, with little follow up analysis to explain the gravity of the news. No doorstopping of Ahern over the weekend.
By Sunday, it’s influential This Week programme on RTE Radio 1 was on the story. Except a newbie, and apparently a trainee, was put on the task of helping us understand the week’s events. She failed miserably. It was an embarrassment.
By this week, it has fallen off the news agenda. Ahern has simply refused to talk about it. Gone to ground. Will deal with it later. And the journos it seems have accepted that.
It is not good enough. It is not acceptable.
Where did the Sterling come from and why did Ahern not tell the Tribunal? Two simple questions. We need answers. Not at the end of May. Not in the Tribunal. Not next week. Now.
I, for one, demand it.
Try and count how many times in this video we now know that he misled us. I remember at the time watching and not believing a word he was saying. I guess I was right.
The syncing is poor, I may try another upload.
Update: YouTube in three parts: