We knew it was coming. Ahern meets with the editor of the Sindo and responds to his own resignation. But even I was shocked by what he said during the interview.
In my humble opinion what Ahern suggests is almost treasonous. He also somehow does not understand the evidence of Grainne Carruth.
I said I regretted what happened to Grainne. She is a good and loyal friend and I am sorry for what she had to go through.There was some criticisms in the media that I shouldn’t have allowed that happen. If I could have taken that challenge or chalice from her I would have done so. The tribunal called her as a witness and I couldn’t go in her place, all I could hope was that she would be well treated.
It is my view that Grainne was not well treated.She was harangued, which means that she was hassled, she was unfairly hassled and for the life of me I don’t understand why she was called back on the second day. I don’t see why it was necessary that a mother of three, who could not genuinely remember, she was paid pretty low money for doing very good work in my office, but why she had to be … . I think, the only witness that I can recall, who had the Tribunals of Inquiry Evidence Amendment Act with the threat of imprisonment read out to her. I don’t see why a colleague, who is after working for me for almost a decade, why it was necessary to say that she could be fined €300,000?
I don’t know. She finished up her evidence, she said she had a difficulty because it was mid-term, to the best of my knowledge because I haven’t been talking to her since. While I don’t know, the only thing that I can say is that her evidence was given in a short period the following day and the only answer that makes sense to the people I have talked to is that whether it was meant intentionally or not, the effect of it was that it created in the media a cliff-hanger so that all this speculation would be around to give the impression that this mother of three would crack under pressure.
I said that Grainne was harangued and the tribunal transcript showed that this was the case, but that may be just my point of view. I am not going to go on forever about it, but let me say from the back of my heart that if I could have done anything to defend Grainne’s good name, I would have done so. She is a good person and she was treated unfairly.
Ms Carruth gave evidence for one hour at the end of day one, and for two hours on day two. I encourage anyone to read the transcripts, and see if what Ahern is saying is true.
Carruth was not harangued. There was little media pressure, they were asleep at the wheel at the time. She was simply asked some very straight forward questions. She claimed she could not remember, and the tribunal judges clearly did not believe her.
The one obvious question Fanning forgot to ask Ahern was, where did the sterling come from and why did he not tell the tribunal about it in his sworn affidavit?
We still don’t know.