Taoiseach Doesn’t Mind Being Called a Liar

January 31, 2008 at 1:27 am Leave a comment

Even by his own high standards of garbling the English language, Bertie Ahern excelled himself yesterday with this reply to a Dail question about his taxes:

It is not correct, and if I said so, I was not correct, I cannot recall if I said it, but I did not say, or if I did, I did not mean to say it, that these issues could not be dealt with until the end of the Mahon tribunal. That is not what Revenue said.

After a few more mangled sentences from the Taoiseach, Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore responded somewhat more clearly:

We will need to examine the written record to parse the Taoiseach’s exact statement, but there is no parsing necessary in a headline that appeared in the Irish Mail on Sunday of 30 December, which stated: “Bertie lied about tax”.

Gilmore then wondered whether Ahern was going to sue the Irish Mail on Sunday for calling him a liar. This led to this intriguing exchange: >>>

Deputy Eamon Gilmore:
I cannot recall reading a newspaper headline about a political leader in this State that was so blunt and used the word the Ceann Comhairle will not allow me to use in the House. I assume the Taoiseach rejects the assertion that he lied about his tax affairs. Has he taken action arising from this headline, the type of action most people would take or initiate were such a headline printed about them?

The Taoiseach:
Was that a headline from the Irish Mail on Sunday?

Deputy Eamon Gilmore:
Yes.

The Taoiseach:
I would need a whole law library to keep ahead of the actions I would take against the Irish Mail on Sunday.

Deputy Liz McManus:
The Taoiseach has one.

The Taoiseach:
I just ignore the Irish Mail on Sunday.

Deputy Ruairí Quinn:
There was a time when the Taoiseach did not do so.

The Taoiseach:
On the legislation—–

Deputy Eamon Gilmore:
He sued Starry O’Brien.

The Taoiseach:
That was not the Irish Mail on Sunday.

An Ceann Comhairle:
We will not discuss newspapers now.

The Taoiseach:
The Finance Bill will be before the House in this session as will the social welfare Bill.

Overview:

And so it seems that the Prime Minister of our country has no problem with a national Sunday newspaper leading its front-page story with an allegation that he has lied about his taxes.

Not only that, until Eamon Gilmore told him about it yesterday, the Taoiseach was blissfully unaware that it had even happened. Presumably his media monitoring team was taking as long a Christmas holiday as the Dail did.

But now that it had been brought to the attention, his response was to ignore it.

So now it’s official: our Taoiseach doesn’t mind being called a liar.

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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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