Top Ten Things We’ll Miss About Bertie Ahern
Number 10: His visionary insights
- “With hindsight, we all have 50-50 vision.”
- “We haven’t been able to do all that we can.”
- “The cynics may point to the past but we live in the future.”
- “The grass roots, or the rank and file, are now made from fibre optics.”
Number 9: The Drumcondra Mafia
- Digout Des Richardson, who gives false invoices to stockbrokers for political donations then gives the money to Bertie Ahern as a personal gift.
- Tim Nice-but-Dim Collins, the serial bank-account-opener who uses initials like B/T and D/T for his accounts, and who told the Tribunal that “figures aren’t my forte.”
- Joe Burke, who, along with Tim Collins, supposedly lent Ahern’s girlfriend £30,000 of Fianna Fail money, for a house, without Bertie knowing.
- Paddy the Plasterer, who Joe Higgins suggested should avoid Ivor Callaly’s house, as Callaly was in enough trouble already with the painters.
Number 8: His ethical philosophies
- “We’re not gonna hang anyone on the guillotine.”
- “I never condemn wrongdoing in any area.”
- “There is a code of ethics whereby those who have been elected to the House try to remain elected. That is the code of ethics in this House.”
Number 7: His most secretly truthful answer ever
- When Ahern was first asked about the allegations of receiving between €50,000 and €100,000, he told journalists that a lot of the report was correct but “the figures are off the wall.” This, of course, was true, because he got some of the money “off Michael Wall”.
Number 6: His peacemaking abilities
- “There have been disputes between fractions.”
- “We shouldn’t upset the apple tart.”
- “I don’t think it helps people to start throwing white elephants and red herrings at each other.”
- “At present, I have my hand in a whole lot of dykes, trying to keep them in and keep people together.”
Number 5: His tribunal evidence generally
- He has a magic briefcase that turns random uncounted bundles of Irish and English money into large exact round-sum dollar and sterling amounts.
- He once lodged £50,000, then took it out again, then converted it to Sterling, then kept in his safe for a few months, then converted it back to Irish money, then re-lodged it, in two separate amounts.
- He believes that, in 1995, he gave somebody £30,000 to buy sterling with, but he can’t remember who he gave it to.
- He bought his house from a philanthropic bus driver who attends dinners but doesn’t eat the dinners, and who had already given Ahern the house in his will anyway.
Number 4: His opinion of Charles Haughey
- “I think Charlie Haughey is basically a very good man and unfortunately he got into things like the lifestyle, and the bills caused him to do some things that I feel very strongly about.”
Number 3: His social life
- “I’ve never met a socialist in my life, and if I do, I’ll tell you.”
- “I can’t say that I have met any homosexuals.”
- “I could certainly drink a fair few pints of Bass and be capable of driving.”
Number 2: The quadruple negative
- “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.”
- Am I in the Dail? Say that I can only tell the Tribunal.
- Am I at the Tribunal? Say that I can only tell the Dail.
- Am I somewhere else? Say that it’s all smoke and daggers.
- Have they stopped asking questions? Go and watch Man United.
- Are they still asking questions? Tell the High Court to make them stop. Then go and watch Man United.