I am forced to come back to react to the Ahern revelations.
The most interesting name spotted: Des Richardson, one of his closest friends and one of the Drumcondra Mafia.
Why? Richardson’s company, Berraway, is thought to have received large payments from, Rohan Holdings, owned by developer Ken Rohan. Rohan was perhaps the sole beneficiary of a tax break in Section in the 1994 Finance Act introduced by Ahern when he was minister for finance. The developer is believed to have saved £1.5 million in tax at the time and a further £150,000-£180,000 per annum thereafter.
Another man named by Ahern who ‘loaned’ money, was founder of Marlborough Recruitment, Dave McKenna. Richardson earned up to 70,000 a year from Marlborough as executive director.
The Planning Tribunal is looking at links between Richardson and Frank Dunlop. Both have an interest in a company called Beraway. Beraway is also apparently related to Rohan Holdings.
Bare in mind that with £40,000 in 1993 one could easily buy a 3-bed semi-detached house. How on earth a simple legal separation could have cost this much is beyond me.
Bertie Ahern should resign, now.
The IT has a transcript. I like this part:
Q. But some of them were people in business, they had business interests, they were in position potentially to benefit from decisions you would make as minister for finance.
A. Well you know all I can say on that they didn’t and never did they ask me. They were not people that ever tired to get me to do something. I might have appointed somebody but I appointed them because they were friends, not because of anything they had given me. and you know, I think they appreciate that these were debts of honour, they gave them to me, I suppose on hindsight back I wasn’t to know then that I would be Taoiseach that I would have more money. That my daughters would be far more self sufficient, I didn’t know these things. You know, so whether I should have took it or not, but I always seen them as loans. I didn’t see them as any risk other than friends at a time of need when they knew I was in difficulties, when they knew that where I was staying and how I was living was a source of conversation.
In 1999, Jody Corcoran wrote an article about how Rohan benefitted from the 1994 Finance Act.