Bertie Ahern and the Briefcase of Banknotes

September 11, 2007 at 12:10 am Leave a comment

I’ve written about this one before, under the title Bertie and the Magic Briefcase. It’s the mysterious exact dollar amount that wasn’t really dollars that his partner Celia Larkin lodged for Ahern on Monday December 5, 1994. You know, the bundle of banknotes in the briefcase. But what else was Ahern doing on that day, that might help to jog his memory? >>>

Monday December 5, 1994 – The Lodgment

On this day, Celia Larkin lodged IR£28,772.90 into Ahern’s account. He says that this was £30,000 sterling cash given to him in a briefcase by his soon-to-be landlord, Michael Wall from Manchester. However, However, by a strange coincidence, the amount equates exactly to $45,000 based on bank exchange rates on that date, and on that date the bank took in less that £2,000 sterling and over $45,000 in other currencies.

Monday December 5, 1994 – On the Same Day

On the same day, Ahern was in Brussels for a meeting of EU finance Ministers. He had just become Fianna Fail leader after Albert Reynolds had resigned over the Father Brendan Smyth affair. In a move that seemed to deny his support for Reynolds on the day of the previous lodgement, Ahern assured reporters that:

I want to emphasise the fact that it disturbs me that that there is a continued case made that myself and my colleagues are economical with the truth. The party that I want to lead is one that is straight with the Irish people.

His desire to emphasise his straightness was, of course, entirely unconnected with Dick Spring’s threats to pull out of talks about making Ahern Taoiseach. But, just in case the message hadn’t got across, he repeated it an appropriately Biblical thrice:

I am not interested in leading a party that is involved in deception… I want to lead a party that is seen as telling the truth… I will do my utmost to make any facts available.

However, inconveniently, Ahern and other Ministers had helped to prepare the speech in which the Reynolds had misled the Dail about the Father Brendan Smyth affair. When asked about this, Ahern accepted that, looking back with the benefit of hindsight, it was all very well to say that the significance of what they had been told should have been clearer, but:

All that I can say is that I did not feel during that time that we were in the business of deception.

That’s six denials of deception on the very same day that Celia Larkin lodged the forty-five thousand dollar amount that was not dollars. If he had only kept his mind on that lodgement, he would not have had to think about deception at all.

Ahern may then recall rushing home from Brussels in time to host a Christmas party in the Department of Finance for various industry and trade union bosses. Possible script: ‘Howaya, there, lads, hope you’re enjoin’ yerselves – listen, I’ve got to rush, I’ve to try to save the oul’ guvmint from that Spring fella’s fit of conscience’.

Think, Bertie Ahern, think! Anything there that jogs your memory of that day? If not, my next post will focus on the two lodgements that took place in 1995.

Jogging Bertie Ahern’s Memory

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Entry filed under: Ireland, News, Politics.

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A blog by Michael Nugent

Welcome to my blog about living in the maddest country on earth. Please feel free to leave a comment.

I also write Bionic Bohs, a blog about following Bohemians football club in the 1970s.

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Bionic Bohs

As mentioned above, if you like Irish football and/or cultural nostalgia, I also write Bionic Bohs, a blog about following Bohs in the 1970s.

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