One of the very first reactions I got to reading the transcript of Tim Collins is the following:
Between Q.1 and Q.200 Collins is vague about everything. He can’t remember. He doesn’t know. He can’t remember. Don’t know. Just can’t remember anything, it was all so long ago. Most of his answers amount to that in their totality.
But you get the Q.68. Collins is being asked about a £10,000 lodgment to the B/T account on January 31, 1993. This was just after the general election of 1992, but the lodgment was made into an account unconnected with the election. Collins is asked to explain.
As if by magic, he remembers everything. You can’t shut him up.
Well the period of time would have been over the Christmas period, so it would have been put in after, after Christmas.
The situation on the building trust account is that when the House Committee, which were four or five members, five members, decided that if we had a surplus monies coming in and it was decided by the committee and various members of the committee that we would put a sinking funding together called a building trust in the event of and my view at the time, in the event of anything ever happening to Bertie Ahern got knocked down or anything like that, the trustees would not be held responsible for any debt on St. Luke’s and to this day I hold that view, although some of the members have since died.
And where we thought we could possibly, we had enough money for the election, we would put money in or cheques or whatever into the building trust account. And that was the whole idea behind the building trust for, call it a rainy day, a sinking fund, call it what you like. But that was my view on it and it was particularly another member that has since deceased as well, that was his view as well. That we would have a rainy fund day there. Because we bought St. Luke’s and it gave problems. At the end of the day I, particularly myself, I wasn’t the youngest at the time, that I didn’t want to be held responsible for it all, any debt on the house, you know.
What the hell is he on about?
Davy Stockbrokers donated £5,000 towards Ahern’s election campaign, on November 11, 1992. That cheque, along with another cheque for £5,000 was not lodged until January. It just sat in St Luke’s apparently. All the way through the election campaign. And then it was lodged to the B/T account after the election. Into an account in the name of Tim Collins.
But on the same day as Collins opened that bank account back in 1992, the FF organisation opened an account too, for the purpose of the election.
The B/T account raised £28,730.
The Dublin Central constituency election account raised £500.
And by the time the election was over, the account was overdrawn to £1,572.65.
Asked why this was so, Collins said: “I can’t explain that.” (Q59)