Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Moriarty musings

God be with the days when we thought we were joking when we talked about a "banana republic". Now the Moriarty Tribunal estimates that, in current day values, Charles Haughey took about €45m which the tribunal can identify. I suspect that there's more they couldn't find offshore. That sum would have kept the president of any small african or central american republic happy to do business, and you could be sure he'd have something salted away in Switzerland, just in case of a rainy day coup d'etat.

Moriarty has given Bertie Ahern a fool’s pardon for signing books of blank cheques for CJH on the leaders account, at a time when Bertie was treasurer of Fianna Fail. It explains how the party has been so loose about funds intended for party use sticking to the fingers of prominent members like Padraig Flynn and Ray Burke. Flynn still hasn't even been asked about the £50k donation he got from Tom Gilmartin, who is adamant it was a contribution to Fianna fail, not to Flynn personally.

Bertie was Charlie’s most trusted lieutenant so it came as no surprise that when he himself was stuck for few bob, someone organised a whip-round among selected political supporters in the early 90’s to bail him out. Given his willingness to follow in his mentor’s footsteps with regard to this type of funding, it must place a large question-mark over the amount actually disclosed, which was only a pittance compared to the amount accepted by CJH. Why would he stop there?

Before CJH’s demise, can’t you just imagine him laughing to himself as he watched his old nemesis Vincent Browne heading down the driveway with, by his own admission, tears in Vincent's eyes. Or regularly sharing an expensive bottle of chardonnay with that scourge of developers, Frank McDonald. Both men subsequently told of their meetings with CJH and spoke warmly about him. I can't help wondering how close he came to completing his ultimate Machiavellian goal, the elusive and exclusive Irish Times hat-trick - by enticing Fintan O’Toole into his web? Perhaps CJH made it but Fintan hasn't blabbed yet like his peers, or should that be blubbed?

On RTE’s Prime Time, Des Peelo, declared long-time personal friend of CJH, described himself as Mr Haughey’s "forensic accountant". So presumably he should know where all the financial bodies are buried or else he's useless. Which is it to be?

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