Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Bertie Ahern – a former taoiseach “who accepted large donations from property developers” – seeks an honour from St. Columb’s School in Derry – Eamonn McCann dissents

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Join Eamonn McCann and former St. Columb’s College pupils to say to Bertie Ahern : No thanks.

Eamonn McCann writes :

The source is Eamonn McCann’s facebook page ;

As former students of St. Columb’s College we are dismayed to learn that the college’s Past Pupils’ Union has invited Bertie Ahern to address its annual dinner.

The former Taoiseach was disgraced when it emerged a decade ago that he had played fast and loose with the truth when required to explain major aspects of his finances.

A statutory inquiry described his sworn evidence as “unreliable and untrue.”

The Inquiry under Judge Mahon found that he had accepted large donations from property developers and others while in government without declaring them.

In one instance, it ruled that he had been dishonest under oath in his account of how he had received €165k. He testified that he’d won the money “on the horses.”

He claimed that he couldn’t explain his income and outgoings during his period as Minister of Finance because he hadn’t had a bank account.

If an ordinary citizen had come up with this sort of yarn to explain social welfare payments he’d be told to think up a better one than that if he wanted to stay out of jail.

St. Columb’s is one of the most prestigious schools in these islands. It boasts Nobel Laureates, great musicians and a roll-call of other giants of global culture.

This shining reputation will be sullied by St. Columb’s now conferring honour upon him.

Nothing else that he’s done can wash away the stench of corruption.

Ahern’s attendance at this function sets current St. Columb’s students a terrible example as they prepare to make their way in the world.


Eamonn McCann

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