Thursday 26 July 2007

Taoiseach knew of 'games' over developments, says Gilmartin

BERTIE Ahern was well aware of the "games" that were going on about developments in Dublin in the late 1980s, the Mahon Tribunal heard yesterday.

But the Taoiseach, who will be called to give evidence in person to the tribunal in September, was the only politician developer Tom Gilmartin said he could trust.

Although he gave a £50,000 donation to Fianna Fail, Mr Gilmartin said he would have been prepared to pay £500,000 to extract himself from the corruption which was going on.

"What favour did I get for my £50,000? I got myself bankrupted and destroyed," he said.

"It cost me, boy did it cost me. Your client (Owen O'Callaghan) was a far better hand at it," Mr Gilmartin told Paul Sreenan, SC.

"You can go on and on until hell freezes over trying to associate me with bribery and corruption, but you will not because I didn't bribe anyone," he added.

Mr Gilmartin said former government press secretary Frank Dunlop was paid to run a ring of corruption, "of which Liam Lawlor was only one".

"I would have been quite happy to pay £500,000 to get my money back and get out of the country.

"I would have been happy going up the road, I would be laughing all the way to the bank," Mr Gilmartin said.

He said he had complained to both Bertie Ahern and Padraig Flynn about what was happening as he tried to put his plans for the development of Quarryvale, now the Liffey Valley Shopping centre, into action.

Irish Independent

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